Kerry's Kilcummin claim All-Ireland Intermediate title

Kerry's Kilcummin claim All-Ireland Intermediate title
Kilcummin's Sean O'Leary, Noel Duggan and Damien O'Leary celebrate after the game. Picture: ©INPHO/Oisin Keniry

Kilcummin 5-13 - 2-9 Naomh Eanna

Kilcummin have become the fifth Kerry club to claim the AIB All-Ireland Intermediate football title, courtesy of an ultimately convincing defeat of the Antrim and Ulster champions at Croke Park on Saturday evening.

Willie Maher's men were made work for their reward but they played some beautiful football in ideal conditions and were spearheaded by the sensational Kevin McCarthy who struck 3-7 on the evening – every one of his scores coming from open play.

The GAA calendar is awash with fixtures at all levels right now but the first-half here may well have been the most entertaining period of football seen yet this calendar year and it ended with the Kerry side ahead on a score of 3-6 to 2-4.

Those figures only hint at the fun that unfolded, the one low point coming two-thirds of the way through when the game was delayed for eight minutes while Naomh Eanna defender Conor McAuley received attention before being carted off.

McAuley was collateral damage in an illegal challenge from his own goalkeeper Paddy Flood on Kilcummin's Noel Duggan which earned the Munster champions a penalty that was ultimately dispatched to the net by midfielder Kieran Murphy.

Flood was shown a black card for that misdemeanour and replaced by Naomh Eanna's third-choice goalkeeper – their second-choice had apparently played Irish League football for Larne against Portadown earlier in the day and was thus unavailable.

What were the chances, eh?

Kilcummin's Ciaran Thompson scores a goal. Picture: ©INPHO/Oisin Keniry.
Kilcummin's Ciaran Thompson scores a goal. Picture: ©INPHO/Oisin Keniry.

Kilcummin had exploded out of the blocks with an unanswered 2-3 inside the opening seven minutes, their goals coming from corner-forward Matt Keane and man-of-the-match McCarthy who played here despite a recent hand injury.

McCarthy was unmarkable. Three men tried it in the opening half alone and all of them failed. Lucky then that their forwards found their feet further north with Eoin Nagle and Ruari Scott dragging them back up the mountain with a goal apiece.

Kilcummin went about shutting down the party with some keep-ball towards the end of the half and then killed the competitive vibe completely with first four points after the interval.

McCarthy, again, was superb every time he touched the ball. He claimed another 2-3 after the restart, while former Kerry stopper Brendan Kealy did his bit in keeping everything under wraps with a pair of saves at the other end from Naomh Eanna wing-forward Kristian Healy.

Scorers for Kilcummin: K McCarthy (3-7); K Murphy (1-1, 1-0 penalty); G O'Leary (0-2); J McCarthy and I Devane (0-1 each); N Duggan (0-1 free).

Scorers for Naomh Eanna: O Eastwood (0-7, 5 frees); R Scott (1-2); E Nagle (1-0).

Kilcummin: B Kealy; P Casey, D Maher, S O'Leary; C O'Leary, D Moynihan, W Maher; K Murphy, K Gorman; S McSweeney, G O'Leary, P Nagle; N Duggan, K McCarthy, M Keane. Subs: M McCarthy for P Nagle and D O'Leary for W Maher (both 44); I Devane for Duggan (54); D O'Leary for G O'Leary (55); K Teahan for Murphy (58); M O'Shea for Keane (61).

Naomh Eanna: P Flood; K Jennings, D Gault, M McNamee; C Lyttle, J McAuley, C McAuley; P Curran, J Maskey; P Healy, R Scott, K Healy; E Gibson, E Nagle, O Eastwood. Subs: C O'Neill for Curran (20); M Morgan for Flood (23); C Thompson for C McCauley (25); C Eastwood for Gault (43); N McKeown for Gibson (54); R Kennedy for Scott (58); D Walsh for Healy (60).

Referee: J Molloy (Galway).

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