Saturday 4th October 2003
Midfields Superiority sees holders Fethard into Final
South Intermediate Hurling Championship Semi-Final
Fethard 1-13, Kilsheelan/Kilcash 1-11
- Holders Fethard remained on course in their bid to put two South Intermediate Hurling titles back to back by defeating their keen rivals Kilsheelan/Kilcash in a well contested semi-final at Monroe on Saturday 27th September.
Whilst the challengers bagged the first score courtesy of an Adrian Walsh point in the second minute this proved the only period that The Blues were headed as they showed the better balance through the field and were well worth their two point success which will see them oppose Ballybacon/Grange or St. Marys in the final of the Martin's Fruit & Veg sponsored championship.
Michael Spillane with a fifth minute point gave Fethard the lead after Ciaran Treacy had equalised a minute earlier and when Treacy goaled in the seventh minute Kilsheelan looked in trouble.
Fethard continued to dominate and Spillarie with a fine point extended the lead. Martin Larkin and Michael Dillon exchanged points before Tomas Keane added another Fethard point from a 65.
Aidan Fitzgerald's 29th minute point left it 1-6 to 0-3 but Kilsheelan responded with two badly needed points from play from Adrian Walsh to reduce the interval deficit to four points a margin that would have been less had not Kilsheelan squandered several good scoring chances in the second quarter.
Kilsheelan began the second period in more determined vein and a Sean Nugent point from a free boosted their hopes. At the other end it took a fine save from goalie Liam Robinson to deny Fethard a goal.
The challengers were keeping up their new found momentum however and points from Tomas Ryan and John Roche left just a point between the sides after 40 minutes. Fethard's response was immediate with Tomas Keane and Aidan Fitzgerald notching good scores to restore their side's cushion.
Tomas Ryan and Miceál Spillane exchanged points and once again goalie Robinson saved Kilsheelan with a great double save at the expense of a 65 which Tomas Keane pointed.
Both sides were now contesting everything with great determination and with ten minutes remaining a Tom Shields point left just three between them.
Fethard stepped up a gear and three unanswered points from Michael Spillane Cian Maher and Brian Coen looked enough to secure victory.
With time running out Kilsheelan threw everything in to attack and a Sean Nugent point was followed by a Pakie Larkin goal but unfortunately for a gallant Kilsheelan it proved too little too late and the final whistle sounded to leave Fethard successful by a two point margin which on the run of play was richly deserved.
One of the main factors that contributed to Fethard's success was their total superiority in midfield where P.J. Ahearne and Tomas Keane held sway all through.
Michael Ahearne, Shay Ryan, Michael Ryan and Stephen O'Donnell were impressive in defence whilst Miceál Spillane Ciarán Treacy and Aidan Fitzgerald were the leading marksmen.
Kilsheelan were handicapped by injuries to some prominent players but they had reason to be satisfied with a plucky performance that gave much promise for the future in the light of solid displays from many of their younger panelists. Over the hour they were best served by goalie Liam Robinson William Ryan who gave an outstanding display at centre-back Bill Larkin Adrian Walsh and Tomas Ryan.
Fethard: Miceál Spillane 0-4, Ciarán Treacy 1-1, Tomas Keane 0-3, Aidan Fitzgerald 0-2, Michael Dillon, Cian Maher, Brian Coen 0-1 each.
Kilsheelan/Kilcash: Adrian Walsh 0-4, Pakie Larkin 1 -0, Sean Nugent 0-2, Tomas Ryan 0-2, Martin Larkin, John Roche, Tom Shields 0-1 each.
Fethard: Paul Fitzgerald, Stephen O'Donnell, Shay Ryan, Michael Ahearne, John Paul Looby, Michael Quinlan, Michael Ryan, Tomas Keane, PJ Ahearne, Cian Maher, Micheál Spilane, Ciarán Treacy, Michael Dillon, Brian Coen and Aidan Fitzgerald.
Substitutes: Jamie McCormack and Shane Walsh
Kilsheelan/Kilcash: Liam Robinson, Michael Ryan, Dan O'Connor, Noel Ryan, Bill Larkin, William Ryan, Martin Larkin, John Roche, Tony Walsh, Tomas Ryan, Adrian Walsh, Niall Cloona, Jimmy Ryan, Tom Shields and Joe Ryan.
Substitutes: Eoin Ryan, Sean Nugent, Pakie Larkin and Keith Condon.
Ref: Andy Moloney (Cahir).