Kilcoo in mood as Burren falter

Kilcoo in mood as Burren falter

14 September 2016

THIS was a tie that enthralled from the outset and in the end it was an insatiable Kilcoo that kept their dream of five-in-a-row alive.

Burren were outfought and outthought — they simply had no answer to the guile of the Magpies.

Their big names failed to step up to the mark and the lack of cohesiveness on show severely hindered their cause.

Kilcoo were much more organised. Their work rate, intensity and sheer passion carried them over the line and then some.

The five Branagan brothers lined out in defence and their doggedness choked the life out of a Burren attack that delivered so much on promise, but failed to ignite on this occasion.

Add into the equation a man of the match display from Conor Laverty and a score-laden contribution from Darragh O’Hanlon and it was clear that Kilcoo meant business.

Having the luxury of bringing Ryan Johnston into the fold before half-time and then introducing brother Jerome late on simply showcased the riches that are at Paul McIver’s disposal.

Kilcoo drew first blood through a Darragh O’Hanlon free. Shay McArdle’s fifth minute response was definite as he sliced to Niall Kane’s net after goalkeeper Cathal Murdock’s mishit free found its way into his path.

Sean Murdock followed up with a quick fire double to give the St Mary’s men an early four point cushion. It didn’t take long for Kilcoo to get into their stride.

Eugene Branagan advanced to register with O’Hanlon and Paul Devlin stroking over frees. The lead was then assumed for the Magpies due to a piece of individual brilliance.

A quick free from Conor Laverty found Celium Doherty in space on the Burren 21’. For some reason, Burren ‘keeper Cathal Murdock advanced towards the ball before Doherty intelligently chipped the ball over his head and into the net.

Murdock settled Burren again with a third point. In the aftermath a defensive mix-up saw Jamie McGovern foul Conor Laverty to receive his second yellow card and ultimately his marching orders. Darragh O’Hanlon confidently slotted home the resultant penalty.

The game was really starting to hot up and two minutes later Daryl Branagan was wrongly dismissed by referee Kieran Trainor. The teams were now even with 14 players each.

Shay McArdle added a point for Burren in the 24th minute, but more attention was given to the introduction of Ryan Johnston from the Kilcoo bench.

Only for a goal line clearance by Conall McGovern, Johnston would have had his side home and hosed in first half stoppage time. Burren were poor in the second half as Kilcoo continued to grow in stature.

Conor Laverty was sublime, ping deep to help out his defence and then linking with the attack.

A second Darragh O’Hanlon penalty in the 37th minute effectively sealed the deal after Martin Devlin was hauled to the ground by Ciaran McGovern.

Even the appearance of Donal O’Hare couldn’t swing the tie in favour of Burren as a couple of frees was all he could muster.

The highlight was really the introduction of Jerome Johnston. On 51 minutes he bagged a point before finishing an astounding run to the net after two classy dummies sold his marker down the river.

A second minor was to follow with Burren gaining scant consolation in added time with Ryan Treanor slamming a penalty to the net.

As the game petered out, the sound of ‘UTM, UTM’ bellowed from the stand. Never ever write off Kilcoo.

Kilcoo: N Kane, E Branagan (0-1), A Branagan, N Branagan, A Branagan, D Branagan, D O’Hanlon (2-3, 2p, 3f), N McEvoy, J McClean, A Morgan, P Devlin (0-1, 1F), D Kane, C Laverty, M Devlin, C Doherty (1-0). Subs: Gary McEvoy, R Johnston, F McGreevy, S O’Hanlon, J Johnston (1-2), Gerard McEvoy.

Burren: C Murdock, G McEntee, G McGovern, J McGovern, D Rooney, Ciaran.McGovern, P Murdock, M McKay, C Toner, Conaill McGovern (0-1), D McCartan, K McKernan, S McArdle (1-1), S Murdock (0-4 ,3f), E Toner. Subs: C Foy, A McArdle, D McEntee, D O’Hare (0-2, 2f ), R Hanna, R Treanor (1-0, 1p).

Kilcoo 4-7

Burren 2-8