Arles-Kilcruise 0-10 Mountmellick 0-13
Intermediate Football Championship Round 1
Mountmellick booked their place in the winner’s section of the Intermediate championship following a three point victory over Arles-Kilcruise tonight.
Arles-Kilcruise were in the lead up until the third quarter before Colm Coss gave Mountmellick an advantage they would not relinquish with eight minutes remaining in the game.
It wasn’t a game for the footballing purists as both defences were on top throughout and it was a real tactical battle.
Arles-Kilcruise’s work rate and defensive shape was particularly impressive in the first half and they frustrated Mountmellick as they did not allow Colm Coss or Niall Mullen to get a foothold on the game.
As the game progressed, the spaces began to appear in the Arles-Kilcruise defense which Coss, Mullen and Eoin George exploited.
The first half was a low scoring affair as the sides traded points in the opening quarter.
Niall Mullen converted a brace of frees while David Conway and Ross Munnelly pointed to leave the sides level at the first water break – 0-2 apiece.
Patrick Feeney and Eoin George swapped points on the resumption of play before PJ Lawlor and Dermot Nolan gave Kilcruise a two point lead.
Mountmellick then had a great chance on the stroke of half time to take a one point lead at the break when they had an effort at goal saved by debutant Jamie Coogan in goal.
Finn Culleton won a high ball and turned his man to drive at goal. He squared the ball across the box to Colm Coss and his effort was expertly diverted wide by Coogan to maintain Kilcruise’s lead at the interval – 0-6 to 0-4.
It continued to be a close game in the third quarter as Mountmellick levelled the game with points from Colm Coss (two), Niall Mullen and Eoin George to 0-8 a piece at the water break – Caomhan Brennan and Ross Munnelly being Kilcruise’s scorers.
Mountmellick began to dominate the game as Kilcruise tired and Colm Coss converted a mark to give Mountmellick the lead for the first time since the opening minute of the game.
Mountmellick extended their lead to three points as Eoin George and Niall Mullen pointed before Ross Munnelly replied with a free.
Kilcruise had a late chance to take the lead as we approached injury time when Conall Brennan got through on goal with Eoghan Keogh.
But the keeper made a fantastic save to ensure Mountmellick’s progressed to the winner’s section alongside Crettyard and Park-Ratheniska.
Arles-Kilcruise go into the loser’s section alongside The Rock and Timahoe.
Portlaoise and O’Dempsey’s will clash on Saturday evening in the final Round 1 game.
SCORERS – Arles-Kilcruise: Ross Munnelly 0-3 (one free), David Conway 0-2, Patrick Feeney 0-2, PJ Lawlor, Dermot Nolan and Caomhan Brennan 0-1 each Mountmellick: Niall Mullen 0-7 (six frees), Colm Coss 0-3 (one mark), Eoin George 0-3
ARLES-KILCRUISE: Jamie Coogan; Conal Brennan, Ciaran Lawlor, Cialann Mulhall; Colm Munnelly, Mark Wall, PJ Lawlor; Kevin Meaney, Alan McLoughlin; Fran Egan, Caomhan Brennan, Patrick Feeney; Ross Munnelly, David Conway, Dermot Nolan. Subs: Shane Creed for Feeney (48), Liam Whelan for David Conway (50, inj), JP Conway for McLoughlin (58),
MOUNTMELLICK: Eoghan Keogh; Kai Byrne, Gearoid Hanrahan, Redmond McEvoy; Darren McDermott, Darren Fitzpatrick, Mark Dowling; Stephen Lynch, Ger Reddin; John Connolly, Eoin George, Niall Mullen, John Noonan, Colm Coss, Finn Culleton. Subs: Tadhg Culliton for McDermott (48), Cian Thompson for Hanrahan (50, inj)
Referee: Brendan McCann (Portarlington)