Home Gaelic Football Courtwood GAA Courtwood withstand late fight back from The Rock

Courtwood withstand late fight back from The Rock

Conor Hogan was in flying form for Courtwood tonight against The Rock
Conor Hogan was in flying form for Courtwood tonight against The Rock

Brought to you in association with The Final Furlong

Courtwood 1-11 The Rock 0-12

Laois Shopping Centre Intermediate Football Championship Round 1

Courtwood withstood a rousing fight back from The Rock to emerge victorious in round 1 of the Intermediate football championship in Annanough tonight.

Eddie Kinsella’s men led for virtually all of the encounter and stretched their advantage to six points with less than a quarter of the game to go.

But The Rock, buoyed by the introductions of Fionn Kirwan and Stephen McDonald from the bench, staged a late rally which saw them get to within two points of Courtwood.

On reflection, The Rock will regret kicking a number of poor wides throughout the game which ultimately cost them in the end.

However, after a very poor league campaign, this was certainly a positive performance and will give them some hope of progressing from the losers section in a few weeks time.

The Rock played with the breeze in the first half and began well with Thomas McDonald and Aaron Dowling kicking them into an early lead.

Courtwood responded with a fisted point from Alan Kinsella and then grabbed the game’s only goal in the sixth minute.

Rory Doyle and Paddy Wilson combined from a quickly taken line ball before Niall Donoher charged towards goal and neatly flicked it to the incoming Matt Kelly who palmed the ball beyond Conor Allen.

Brian Hogan, Kelly and Donoher all pointed in quick succession to move Courtwood four clear and they created another goal opportunity when Matt Kelly released Alan Kinsella but The Rock keeper Conor Allen pulled off a fine save to deny him.

The closest The Rock came to a goal was when Kieran Carroll ended a surging run by crashing a shot off the outside of the post.

The impressive Aaron Dowling kicked three more frees before the break for The Rock but Courtwood had Rory Doyle and Matt Kelly to thank for their 1-6 to 0-5 half time lead as they also landed late points.

Kieran Carroll cut the deficit to three points straight from the throw in but Courtwood stretched three clear by the 40th minute thanks to Kinsella, Donoher and Kelly.

Danny McRedmond replied for The Rock but Matt Kelly cancelled that out for Courtwood to leave the score reading 1-10 to 0-7 with less than a quarter of the game to go.

Thomas McDonald and Shane O’Connell raised white flags either side of a Matt Kelly point for Courtwood which would prove to be their last in the 50th minute.

Aaron Dowling, Shane O’Connell and Stephen McDonald all pointed for The Rock in the time that remained but the goal that they so desperately needed never came and time ran out for them in the end.

Courtwood join Portlaoise, Rosenallis and Emo in the winners section while The Rock must get the better of either Annanough, Timahoe or Barrowhouse to avoid ending up in a relegation play off.

SCORERS – COURTWOOD: Matt Kelly 1-5 (0-3 frees), Alan Kinsella 0-2 (0-1 free), Niall Donoher 0-2, Rory Doyle and Brian Hogan 0-1 each THE ROCK: Aaron Dowling 0-5 (0-3 frees), Thomas McDonald and Shane O’Connell 0-2 each, Stephen McDonald, Kieran Carroll and Danny McRedmond 0-1 each

COURTWOOD: Eoin O’Neill; Conor Hogan, Andrew Mulhare, Matt Malone; Mark O’Halloran, Rob Flynn, Colm Wilson; Paddy Wilson, David O’Connell; Brian Hogan, Niall Donoher, Tom O’Connell; Alan Kinsella, Matt Kelly, Rory Doyle. Subs: Liam Duffy for T. O’Connell (52mins), Luke Doyle for B. Hogan (55mins)

THE ROCK: Conor Allen; Paul Allen, Brendan Murphy, Conor Flynn; Anavil Storey, Kieran Conroy, Kieran Carroll; Phillip Peake, Diarmuid Dooley; Brian Conlon, Shane O’Connell, Daniel McRedmond; Stephen Conlon, Thomas McDonald, Aaron Dowling. Subs: Johnny Allen for Conroy (ht), Fionn Kirwan for Dooley (38mins), Stephen McDonald for McRedmond (40mins), Kieran Conroy for Conlon (55mins)

Referee: Pat Moran (Graiguecullen)

SEE ALSO – All tonight’s results

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.