Na Piarsaigh's Gerard Smyth is held up by St. Kevins' Seán Callan and Dylan Maher. (Pic: Arthur Kinahan)
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St. Kevin's 1-17 Na Piarsaigh 1-14
St. Kevin’s will contest the quarter-finals of the Intermediate Championship for the second successive year, but Na Piarsaigh will miss out once again.
The 2016 junior champions were able to withstand the challenge from the men from Dundalk, hitting the game’s final three scores at Páirc Uí Taibh to seal their progress.
With both teams having fallen to defeat against Naomh Fionnbarra on consecutive weekends, this was a straight shootout for a last eight place and with a far inferior points difference, the odds were heavily stacked in the Kevins’ favour.
They began with a confidence you would associate with a favourites tag, racing into a 0-8 to 0-2 lead inside 17 minutes. Lee Crosbie and the excellent Patrick Clarke, with three, shared the majority of that point scoring burden.
However, by the break there was just two scores in it. Na Piarsaigh found their fire with Michael Woods’ two minors the pick of the bunch.
The sides exchanged scores as the second half began, with Alan McCartney’s curler splitting the posts as Damien Shields’ team closed to within a point.
The game’s first goal arrived in favour of the men from Philipstown. Shane Roddy failed to deal with a forward ball and Clarke capitalised. Crosbie and Larkin swapped scores before the Naps goal hauled them back into it. Stephen McGuinness was the man who finished emphatically.
Despite Robert Murphy’s leveller, hopes were extinguished as the game edged towards its conclusion. Two points from Clarke and then a final score from Dylan Maher won it.
Eamonn McAuley was dismissed for two yellow card offences late on too, while Conall Shields saw a goalbound effort pushed away by Kevin’s ‘keeper Danny Crosbie.
St. Kevin’s: Danny Crosbie; Matthew Downes, Barry Byrne, Michael Grogan; Dylan Maher (0-1), Enda McKenna, Patrick Duff; Seánie Crosbie (0-1), Seán Callan; Lee Crosbie (0-2), Liam Boylan (0-2), Eoin McKenna (0-1); Patrick Clarke (1-7), Cian Callan (0-2), Shane Meade (0-1)
Sub: Aidan Craven for Meade
Na Piarsaigh: Peter Gallagher; Fearghal Mulholland, Ronan McCartney, Stephen McGuinness (1-0); Ciarán Murphy, Joe Woods (0-1), Conall Shields; Jarleth Lyons, Shane Roddy; Mark Larkin (0-2), Michael Woods (0-3), Gerard Smyth (0-1); Robbie Murphy (0-3), Alan McCartney (0-3), Eamonn McAuley (0-1)
Subs: Niall Franklin for Smyth, Adam Molloy for Gallagher, Stephen Arrowsmith for Franklin
Referee: Anthony Briscoe (Stabannon Parnells)