Despite not scoring for 22 minutes, Killeshin finally saw off the challenge of St Joseph’s to set up an intriguing quarter-final with neighbours Graiguecullen in a fortnight’s time.
Captain Gavin Brennan scored both the goals on night with his second late in the game finally putting an end to a brave fight-back from St Joseph’s that had seen them come back from seven points down to draw level midway through the second-half.
As important as Brennan’s two goals were two stunning early saves from Killeshin ‘keeper Shane Coakley. In the opening minutes he deflected a close range pile driver from Liam Kealy over the bar and with just ten minute elapsed he saved from point blank range from James Doyle. Had one or both of those efforts found the back of the net, it would have put a very different look on score-line.
As it was Killeshin were 1-5 to 0-1 ahead after 21 minutes and looked to be cruising to victory.
Liam Kealy opened the scoring for St Joseph’s when his shot was brilliantly palmed over the bar by Shane Coakley. By the time they scored again, they had kicked five wides while Killeshin were far more accurate scoring 1-5.
Eoin Lowry opened their account with a well struck ‘45 with Eoin Brennan putting them ahead after seven minutes after good work from Damien Lowry. St Joseph’s again came close to a goal after nine minutes but James Doyle was again denied by Coakley.
Killeshin gradually built their with points from Cathal Brennan, Stephen Attride and Damien Lowry before Gavin Brennan struck for his first goal after a breakdown in the St Joseph’s defence. James Doyle picked out Brennan unmarked close to the goal and he rounded the advancing Tommy Knowles before calmly placing the ball into the empty net.
St Joseph’s finally added a second point after 22 minutes but that was quickly cancelled out by Stephen Attride.
That still left seven points between the teams but before half-time St Joseph’s got back into the game with a goal from James Doyle and a point from Matthew Campion. Doyle’s goal came from a route one ball and he made no mistake with his finish past Shane Coakley from close range.
Three points down at the break, St Joseph’s were level midway through the half thanks to two points from Brian Brennan and one from a free from Matthew Campion.
Defensively St Joseph’s were much tighter in the second-half thanks largely to some tactical switches with the telling one being the switch of Dan Dunne from centre-back to full-back to keep tabs on the impressive Damien Lowry.
After 22 minutes without a score, Killeshin finally added to their half-time total with three points in as many minutes from Barry Ryan, Eoin Lowry (free) and Damien Lowry. St Joseph’s came back again with points from Matthew Campion and Jason Campion to reduce the gap to the minimum.
Alan Brennan put two between the sides again before Gavin Brennan struck for the decisive second goal at the end of the best move of the game.
Arnie Mahon, Damien Lowry and Alan Brennan were all involved in a flowing build up down the left wing before the ball was eventually moved to Gavin Brennan close to goal and the captain made no mistake with the finish to the bottom left corner of the net.
Eoin Lowry tacked on a point to put six between the sides with Michael Keogh putting over the final score for St Joseph’s to leave the final gap between the sides at five points.
Scorers: Gavin Brennan 2-0; Eoin Lowry 0-3 (0-2f, 0-1 ‘45); Stephen Attride 0-2; Damien Lowry 0-2; Alan Brennan 0-1; Eoin Brennan 0-1; Cathal Brennan 0-1f; Barry Ryan 0-1. St Joseph’s: James Doyle 1-1; Matthew Campion 0-3 (0-2f); Brian Brennan 0-2; Liam Kealy 0-1; Jason Campion 0-1; Michael Keogh 0-1
Killeshin: Shane Coakley; Simon Attride, Jeremy Mahon, David McDermott; James Davis, Kevin Ryan, Jeff McDermott; Gavin Brennan, Eoin Brennan; Alan Brennan, Stephen Attride, Eoin Lowry; Ruairi Mannion, Damien Lowry, Cathal Brennan. Subs: Barry Ryan for Ruairi Mannion (38mins), Arnie Mahon for Cathal Brennan (56mins), Aidan O’Rourke for David McDermott (60mins)
St Joseph’s: Tommy Knowles; Adam Campion, Kevin Campion, PJ Rowan; Colin Campion, Dan Dunne, Donal Ramsbottom; Matthew Campion, Cathal George; Brian Brennan, Liam Kealy, Jason Campion; David Brennan, Noel Garvan, James Doyle. Subs: Michael Keogh for David Brennan (54mins), Ian Donnelly for Donal Ramsbottom (59mins)
Referee: Maurice Deegan (Stradbally)