03 Oct 2022

Cooley Kickhams tested to their limits by Junior Champions Glen Emmets

Enda O'Neill Cooley Kickhams

Cooley's Enda O'Neill grabbed two points as they accounted for reigning Junior Champions Glen Emmets. (Pic: Arthur Kinahan)

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Cooley Kickhams overcame a plucky Glen Emmets side at Páirc Uí Mhuirí to become the first team into the intermediate quarter finals as group winners. Kickhams did not lead in this intriguing encounter until the final ten minutes.

There was a possible shock in the offering, the underdogs Emmets operating two league divisions lower than Cooley, were well set up, executed their plan verbatim and frustrated the winners for the majority. That was until that higher level of football stood to the peninsula men.

Men behind the ball, Raymond Lambe’s charges were honest in their endeavour, Sean Byrne and Evan English got through a trojan amount of work off either wing for last year’s junior champions.

Up front, it was about being as efficient as possible and in James Butler and Kealan O’Neill they had a reliable duo. Both leaders found the target in an excellent opening. That allowed Emmets to settle into the task of taking on the division 1 side in Cooley.

For Colm Nally’s charges it was a tough test to pass. With Emmets full of energy, Cooley laboured and fell right into the Tullyallen men’s hands. Shooting from way out and kicking the ball away continuously.

Centre Fearghal Malone was the one constant for Cooley on the night, driving his side forward and showing real leadership. He fired over a whopper and Paddy Johnston soon levelled but the ingredients for a shock were still there.

Full forward Damien Grimes had Eoin McDaid in bother, and he found the target along with Butler. Meanwhile cornerback Cathal Maguire hand passed the ball over the bar when Cian Talbot won a ball he should have never won in the Cooley full back line.

Ever present Malone again was on hand to give Cooley a foothold in the game with a well struck 45’ shortly after they were dealt the blow of an injured county man Gerry Malone departing the field.  That made it 0-5 to 0-3 at half time.

Corner man Cian Connor was off it with his first half frees, but he would no longer supply his opponents some hope and quickly pointed the first score of the second half with a placed ball. Darren Marks then had his side level, 0-5 apiece.  

Debutant Alex Carolan came on and showed his potential and immediate power with an excellent point, but the game was all about to come apart at the seams.

Michael Rafferty levelled with a free and from that resultant kick out Rafferty intercepted Mooney’s short kick out and drove the ball home. After that the result was never in doubt.

Conor Grimes never relented and allowed Tullyallen to finish the game strong, recovering from the set back to hit three points in a row.

That may help them on the score difference stakes against Oliver Plunketts this Saturday, if it is a draw between the two neighbours. But with two wins from two, Cooley march on.

COOLEY KICKHAMS:  Neil Gallagher; Dean McGreehan (0-1), Eoin McDaid, Ronan McBride; Patrick Hanlon, Fearghal Malone (0-2, 0-1 45’), Gerry Malone; Darren Marks (0-1), Richard Brennan; James O’Reilly (0-1), Patrick Johnston (0-1), Enda O’Neill (0-2, 0-1 mark); Michael Carron, Michael Rafferty (1-2, 0-2 free), Cian Connor (0-2, 0-1 free). SUBS: Aoghan McGuinness for G Malone (26), Patrick McGrath for Johnston (58).

GLEN EMMETS: Andrew Mooney; Emmett Delaney, Sam Kenny, Cathal Maguire (0-1); Keith Boylan, Daniel Grimes, Robbie Byrne (0-1); Cian Talbot, Conor Grimes (0-3, 0-2 free); Sean Byrne, James Butler (0-2), Evan English; Ronan Grufferty (0-1), Damien Grimes (0-1), Kealan O’Neill (0-1). SUBS: Alex Carolan (0-1) for S Byrne (42), Eoghan Maguire for Damien Grimes (42), Alex Blakeman-Fowler for Butler (55).

Referee: Aidan Shevlin (Stabannon Parnells)

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