Gearoid Parkinson, Colt Gaels on the break in their SHC A clash with Shanahoe Gaels. Photo Denis Byrne
Colt Gaels progressed to the next round of Senior ‘A’ championship following a facile twenty-two point drubbing of Shanahoe Gaels in the second of the evening’s games in O’Moore Park on Saturday.
MJ Lalor registered the first score of the game after just two minutes when the Shanahoe Gaels player instinctively split the posts with his first opportunity of the day to give his side an early lead.
Colt Gaels wasted no time in wiping the slate clean through Micheal Kerr three minutes later. Colt then agonisingly missed out on a goal as Paul Ging’s flick across the square was met by Chris Murray, but the sliotar fizzed inches wide of the post.
Colm Kavanagh edged Colt Gaels into the lead from a free, but Leigh Bergin finished his run with a clear strike between the uprights to level the proceedings once again.
However, Colt Gaels took the reigns from here as they went on to notch 1-7 without reply.
A brace of points from Kavanagh and Chris Murray, were quickly followed by what was to be the first of eight goals in this sixty minute game. Kavanagh’s high ball into the square from a free was batted by Shanahoe Gaels goalkeeper, Darragh Hiney, but the ball fell directly to Cian Moffitt and the forward made no mistake with the finish for the first green flag of the day.
Points from Gearoid Parkinson, Moffitt and Kerr all followed to round off the blitz as Colt had amassed a ten point lead going into the final five minutes of the half.
Shanahoe Gaels ended their sixteen minute drought with Daire McWey’s superb point as the Ballypickas man found himself isolated and with no catch left, he struck straight from his hurl and watched on as it sailed between the posts from the under the stand.
Shanahoe Gaels were making up for lost time as brothers Leigh and Rhian Bergin combined to see the latter register his first of the day to cut the deficit to eight points with half-time approaching.
Colt brought the half to a close with Kavanagh’s fourth of the half, quickly followed by James Keyes’ first of the evening as Colt Gaels entered the dressing room ten points clear on a scoreline of 1-11 to 0-4.
Rhian Bergin looked to ignite a Shanahoe Gaels comeback with a pointed free on the resumption of the second half, but Gearoid Parkinson restored Colt Gaels’ ten point cushion a minute later.
Shanahoe Gaels were given a lifeline in the thirty-third minute when Daire McWey laid the ball off to his partner on the half-forward line, Darragh Cripps, and the Shanahoe man released a low shot into the corner of the net to make it a seven point game.
Colt Gaels replied in devastating fashion as they landed three goals in a five minute stretch to essentially end the game as a contest. Micheal Kerr added the first with a low finish past Hiney, followed by Chris Murray’s first two minutes later. Kerr then added a point before squaring the ball to Murray for his second goal in three minutes.
Leigh Bergin continued to battle forward at any opportunity as he landed his second point from long-range, but Colt went straight back on the attack and notched their fourth goal through Kerr’s rocket into the top corner.
Leigh Bergin looked to inspire his teammates with a monster point from his own half, and it had the desired effect as his long free into the box two minutes later was finished to the back of the net by Cripps.
Colt Gaels showed no sign of letting up in the final minutes as substitute Dan Dalton netted their sixth, before late points from Keyes and Murray brought the game to a close as Colt Gaels set a marker for the next round.
Scorers: Chris Murray 2-4 (0-2 free), Micheal Kerr 2-3, Cian Moffitt 1-1, Colm Kavanagh 0-4 (0-3 frees), Dan Dalton 1-0, James Keyes and Geared Parkinson 0-2 each.
Team: Stephen Sinnott; Gerard Doolan, Anthony Dunne, Shane Mullins; Darren Brennan, Mark McDonald, Niall Brennan; Colm Kavanagh, Gearoid Parkinson; Chris Murray, Paul Ging, James Keyes; Cian Moffitt, Brian McDermott, Micheal Kerr. SUBS: Dan Dalton for Cian Moffitt (51 mins); Joe McEvoy for Brian McDermott (51 mins); James Ging for Darren Brennan (57 mins).
Scorers: Darragh Cripps 2-0, Leigh Bergin 0-3, Rhian Bergin 0-2 (0-1 free), MJ Lalor and Daire McWey 0-1 each.
Team: Darragh Hiney; Tim Cass, Paddy O’Toole, Aidan Delaney; Leigh Bergin, Brian Guilfoyle, Cillian McEvoy; Gerdy Whelan, Jack Delaney; Daire McWey, MJ Lalor, Darragh Cripps; Anthony Kirwan, Jimmy Kirwan, Rhian Bergin. SUBS: Tim Carroll for Gerdy Whelan (HT); Cillian Breen for Daire McWey (35 mins); Martin Kirwan for Jimmy Kirwan (40 mins); Paddy Boggan for Rhian Bergin (44 mins); Eoin McEvoy for Tim Cass (57 mins).
Referee: Kieran Bowe (Rathdowney-Errill)
Despite the handsome tallies from Chris Murray and Micheal Kerr - their midfield general, Colm Kavanagh, was the real orchestrator of this victory. His pace, fitness, striking and relentless work ethic really were a joy to watch throughout. Simply, Kavanagh looked a cut above the rest. Having been a mainstay in midfield for Colt over the last couple years, 2017 looks like his year to shine.
Despite the absences of Henry Keyes and Owen Joyce to the US, as well as a long injury-list, Colt Gaels have really laid down a marker with this performance. While many would have predicted a Colt Gaels win, no-one predicted a twenty-two point drubbing or the fashion in which they did so.
Although Colt Gaels were already leading by seven points when they landed four goals in nine minutes, it showed all in O’Moore Park their ruthless streak. Having just slipped a goal to Shanahoe Gaels minutes earlier, they responded emphatically to put the result to bed.