Sixmilebridge showed why they’re the reigning County Champions as they sent Kilmaley fighting for their senior status with a five point win.
In the tie of the round so far, Sixmilebridge edged out a Kilmaley side that were lacking a killer instinct. The game was made all the better because the referee Ambrose Heagney was in full control of matters and applied the rules correctly, something which a lot of referees in the County could take note of.
John O’Meara’s side created a three point advantage inside the opening seven minutes with Niall Gilligan and Kevin Lynch on target. It took Kilmaley eight minutes to get on the scoreboard and it was Daire Keane who pointed their first effort. They hit the next three scores in succession to take the lead for the first and only time in the game.
Seadna Morey sliced over a sideline cut on the sixteenth minute only for Kilmaley to point via Diarmuid McMahon on their next attack. Sixmilebridge regained the lead with a fortunate goal as Cathal Malone’s saw his shot blocked by Bryan O’Loughlin but it ricocheted off the netminder to the back of the net.
Daire Keane responded with a free but Sixmilebridge pointed three scores on the trot to hold a four point advantage at the break.
Kilmaley reduced the deficit to a single point as they raised three white flags inside the first five minutes of the second half. Christy Griffin picked off a much needed score for the Bridge that was followed by a Cathal Malone effort.
Eoin Enright and Jamie Shanahan traded scores before Cian Moloney slotted over his first free of the afternoon. A free from Caimin Morey dropped in the Kilmaley goalmouth and was flicked to the back of the goal by substitute Danny Morey, a cousin of the freetaker.
With five points between them and time running out it looked as though Kilmaley were done for, however they struck for goal in their next attack as Eamon Bracken fired past Derek Fahy. His effort was cancelled out by Seadna Morey at the other end with the County man pulling on the sliotar for their third green flag and confirmation of their victory.
Having reached the last four of the championship last year, Kilmaley now find themselves fighting for their senior status. Such is the competitiveness of the current format that every game is crucial. They are unfortunate to be in such a position because they are capable of challenging for honours. On this occasion they could have easily won but spurned too many chances, in total they had thirteen wides and one clear cut goal chance after a questionable short puck-out from Derek Fahy was almost punished. To beat the best teams you must take your chances, Kilmaley didn’t and it was the difference.
After a setback in Round One, Sixmilebridge are back and leading the race for the Canon Hamilton. Defensively they gave away very little while five of their six starting forwards scored. What’s more impressive is Danny Morey was sprung from the bench and notched 1-01. On top of that this wasn’t their full strength team as Shane Golden, Brian Corry, Alex Morey and Brian Carey were all unavailable for the game.
With these players still to return and savage competition for places, the championship is opening up for them. Seadna Morey at midfield scored 1-02 and it’s clear to see they are far more effective with the County man in the middle of the park, he along with Aidan Quilligan, impressed most for the victors.
Sixmilebridge: Derek Fahy; Noel Purcell, Aidan Quilligan, Tadhg Keogh; John Fennessy, Caimin Morey, Paidi Fitzpatrick; Kevin Lynch (0-01), Seadna Morey (1-02 1’SC); Jamie Shanahan (0-01), Niall Gilligan (0-03 2f 1’65), Christy Griffin (0-01); Cathaoir Agnew, Cathal Malone (1-01), Conor Deasy (0-01). Subs: Danny Morey (1-01) for Agnew (36), Gavin Whyte for Deasy (56).
Kilmaley: Bryan O’Loughlin; Martin O’Connor, Colin McGuane, Conor McMahon; Aidan McGuane (0-01), Kenneth Kennedy (0-01), Brian Cahill, Eoin Enright (0-01); Conor Cleary (0-01), Michael O’Neill (0-02); Daire Keane (0-04 2f), Michael O’Malley; Cian Moloney (0-01 1f), Diarmuid McMahon (0-01), Sean O’Loughlin. Subs: Eamon Bracken (1-00) for S O’Loughlin (43), Paraic McNamara for Moloney (53) (Inj).
Referee: Ambrose Heagney (Corofin)
All photos by John Meyler