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2006 Kildare Intermediate Football Champions

Confey: new kids on senior block

Sunday 12th November 2006

Joe Fox Plant & Tool 

2006 Kildare Intermediate Football Championship Final 

Confey 0-14 v 1-9 St. Kevin's

By Robert Catterson of Leinster Leader.

CONFEY footballers finally made the move to Senior status at Newbridge on Sunday after they were pushed all the way by a determined St. Kevin's side, which experienced the heart break of a second straight Intermediate final loss in succession.

Confey had been well regarded to go all the way since betting started on this year's championship at the beginning of the season but those arriving late for this game on Sunday would have wondered what they had missed as within the opening seven minutes, St. Kevin's led by seven points at 1-4 to 0-0.

Just 80 seconds were on the clock when Eoghan Carew sent over the first of many fine points in this match from a tight angle with a 26 meters free and not long after, Brian Dunne doubled Kevin's' lead.

It was to be all Kevin's in the opening exchanges and after Confey's first attack of the afternoon broke down, they were caught on the back foot as Barry Noone broke from midfield and he slipped a pass to Antoin Carew, who blasted over to extend the Staplestown's side advantage.

Not the start that Confey were hoping for but it got much worse on five minutes when the inspiring Brian Dunne sent a superb long ball from midfield into the path of Kevin Cahill and the corner forward controlled the ball with his feet en route to goal before finishing to the top left corner – A goal any Premiership player would have been proud of.

In as many minutes, Kevin's moved into that seven points lead through Brian Dunne's second point of the game and it looked at this stage as though Confey were going to fail to live up to the high expectations held of them.

But how a game can change as from dominating in such superior fashion, Kevin's appeared to lose control of this match and from building up such a commanding advantage so early in this match, it was hard to believe that they would only be on level terms come half time.

Confey's first score arrived on eight minutes through Hugh Lynch, who was a tower of strength as his side tried desperately to get back into this contest, and on the quarter hour mark Brian Corscadden followed that up when sending over a straight forward free.

The north Kildare outfit were gradually finding their rhythm and they so nearly found a goal on 19 minutes when Corscadden sent a clever ball into Daragh Nolan, who managed to turn and shoot from close range but Kevin's 'keeper John Grehan pulled off a fine block.

Joe Kehoe's only point of the game saw the gap reduced to four points on 21 minutes before Colm Quinn showed just why he is invaluable to this Confey side with a 30 meters surge forward before pointing in very good style.

It was all Confey at this stage and they so nearly found the net again on 25 minutes when a glorious passing move involving Frankie Barry, Ger Donnelly, Nolan and Eoin Fitzpatrick resulted in the latter with only the Kevin's stopper to beat from five meters out put he pulled his shot wide.

By the 28th minute of this game, Confey had kicked five bad wides in succession but that didn't stop them dominating and Hugh Lynch kicked a wonderful 35 meters free from practically on the left sideline before Frankie Barry was on target to bridge the gap to the minimum with three minutes of injury time played.

Due to two lengthy hold ups earlier in this half, nearly five minutes of injury time were played and that allowed Confey the time to draw level as Barry kicked his second point in as many minutes to leave the half time scoreboard reading 1-4 to 0-7.

While the sides were level coming back out on to the field for the second half, it was definitely advantage Confey and 21 seconds into the second period, they took the lead for the first time when Nolan opted for a point when a goal looked on the cards.

Confey went two points to the good then one minute later through the livewire Nolan, who's pace was causing the Kevin's defence continuous problems and as Confey's danger men in the likes of Nolan, Lynch and Barry were all having their say in this game, Kevin's shining knight Mark Fitzharris had yet to have any input.

Kevin's ended their barren spell of 31 minutes plus without a score with a much needed point compliments of Barry Noone and within a minute, they were back on level terms as Fitzharris finally got amongst the scorers with a 25 meters free.

This set the stage for a tense final 20 minutes to this Intermediate decider and as soon as Confey nudged back ahead through Colm Quinn, Kevin's cancelled that out immediately as Antoin Carew fired over from a difficult position.

It was nip and tuck from here on in and while Confey did again go in front with 44 minutes played through another mighty Hugh Lynch free, Fitzharris appeared to be just finding his touch in time as he levelled for Kevin's with a 28 meters kick.

That left it 1-8 to 0-11 with the final quarter of an hour to be played and just like before, Confey again went ahead through a third Frankie Barry point only for Eoghan Carew to hit back with an excellent free from very near the left sideline.

It was a hard call to pick a winner never mind a man of the match selection at this stage and the draw looked an increasingly likely outcome with four minutes of action remaining.

As it told in the closing stages however, Confey looked the more determined outfit in this clash and as soon as Man of the Match Daragh Nolan kicked the crucial point to put them back in front with just two minutes left, Barry followed that up with a very good 30 meters effort which stamped Confey's name on this year's Intermediate cup.

A fine Intermediate Football Final and just the battle that any GAA fanatic would hope for in a championship decider. Confey will feel that it is time enough they join the Senior ranks and on Sunday's performance, they should hold their own next year while for Kevin's, one just hopes that they can make it third time lucky in 2007.

CONFEY: Keith O'Sullivan, John Quigley, Paddy Nolan, Roger Quinn, Robbie McMahon, Ciaran Ganley, Frank Ryder, Hugh Lynch (0-3), Colm Quinn (0-2), Brian Corscadden (0-1), Joe Kehoe (0-1), Ger Donnelly, Daragh Nolan (0-3), Frankie Barry (0-4), Eoin Fitzpatrick. 

Subs: Conor Hughes for Corscadden (40 mins), Donal McClean for Donnelly (49 mins), Mark Lundy for Barry (59 mins), Alan O'Sullivan for Fitzpatrick (60 mins).

ST. KEVIN'S: John Grehan, Paddy Walsh, Jason Brosnan, David O'Connor, Pat Cox, Gordon Kearney, Damien Reilly, Eoghan Carew (0-2), Brian Dunne (0-2), Barry Noone (0-1), Pakie Curtin, Mark Fitzharris (0-2), Aneas Murphy, Antoin Carew (0-2), Kevin Cahill (1-0). 

Subs: Mick Kenny for Cox (HT),

REFEREE: Liam Herbert.