Kilcar and St.Michael's players contest a high ball during the semi-final in MacCumhaill Park on Saturday. Photo Thomas Gallagher INDD 250917 Kilcar v St Michaels TG1
A bit like Dublin this year, Kilcar will have to wait until County Final day in October before their championship credentials are ultimately tested.
Kilcar . . . 2-16
St. Michaels . . .0-7
Barry Doherty’s team, such a well-oiled machine which came unstuck in last year’s decider, are back chomping at the bit.
Fifteen minutes into Saturday night’s semi-final, they had St. Michael’s practically dead and buried when Ryan McHugh palmed the ball to the net for his first of two goals.
The county man played a clever one-two with Eoin McHugh and as his momentum carried him on, he ended up in the back of the net after the ball.
It was a classy goal by a ruthless Kilcar. With just a quarter gone, they were ten points to the good, 1-7 to 0-0 with St. Michael’s struggling to find an answer.
St. Michael’s deployed the same defensive game-plan which saw them over the line against Burt in their quarter-final. But while Andrew Kelly and Colm McFadden did so much damage in that game, they were unable to impose their game in the driving rain at MacCumhaill Park.
Aided by the elements, Kilcar completely dominated the first half with Eoin and Ryan McHugh and Stephen McBrearty really impressive.
They were clinical in front of goal and had amassed 1-8 on the scoreboard, all but one point from play, before St. Michael’s hit their opening point as the game entered the 27th minute through Michael Gallagher.
Kilcar’s response? A second goal, made look all too easy. Straight from Eamonn McGinley’s kick-out, Ryan McHugh found himself bearing down on goal and, similar to the opening goal, played a one-two, this time with Patrick McBrearty, before palming to the net.
Colm McFadden kicked a late free for St. Michael’s but by half-time, his team had long been in trouble, and they trailed 2-8 to 0-2.
Kilcar, such convincing winners in last year’s semi-final when defeating Naomh Conaill, stretched their lead out to 13 points with an early free from Patrick McBrearty a minute after the restart.
Ciaran Gallagher kicked a fine score for St. Michael’s but Kilcar hit back again with another free from All-Star nominee McBrearty.
Those watching at home on EirSport might well have been reaching for the remote because this semi-final was bereft of any real intensity or excitement. Kilcar won at a canter. When you concede only seven points in a senior semi-final, it has to be a decent performance.
Ciaran McGinley, who had another fine game at midfield, scored three points, one in each half. His second on 52 minutes, helped Kilcar into a 2-13 to 0-5 lead.
In the dying moments, and in almost comical circumstances, he ran unchallenged from half-way, as St. Michael’s found themselves without a defender in their own half. But after racing through on goal, McGinley blasted over with only Mark Anthony McGinley to beat.
Stephen McBrearty and substitute Mark Sweeney also kicked late scores to seal another semi-final win for Kilcar.
Kilcar: Eamonn McGinley, Stephen Shovlin, Conor McShane, Pauric Carr; Ryan McHugh (2-3, 1f), Michael Hegarty, Barry Shovlin; Mark McHugh (0-1), Ciaran McGinley (0-3); Andrew McClean, Stephen McBrearty (0-3), Eoin McHugh (0-3); Matthew McClean, Patrick McBrearty (0-2, 2f), Conor Doherty. Subs: Barry McGinley for S Shovlin (45); Mark Sweeney (0-1) for M McClean (47); Brian O’Donnell for A McClean (48); Ashley Carr for Conor Doherty (52); Patrick Gallagher for M Hegarty (57).
St. Michael’s: St Michael's: Mark Anthony McGinley; Liam Kelly, Michael McGinley, Michael Gallagher (0-1); Ruairí Friel, Ciaran Gallagher (0-1), Oisin Langan; Liam Paul Ferry (0-1), Martin McElhinney; Christy Toye, Colm McFadden (0-2, 1f), Daniel McLaughlin; Andrew Kelly (0-1), Michael Langan, Hugh O'Donnell. Subs: Ciaran Kelly for L Kelly (45); Brian McLaughlin (0-1) for M Langan (50); Odhran McFadden for H O’Donnell (54); Michael Cannon for R Friel (57).
Referee: Robbie O’Donnell (Naomh Muire).