Shields keeps CSN spot on for title

Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh 2-10 Intermediate School Killorglin 0-10

CSN needed to win to stay in the title race while a draw would have been sufficient for ISK but both teams went for the victory and a keenly contested match ensued.

While Shields' two goals were the difference, the contribution of wing forward Ricky Kenny was also immense. He kicked eight of his side's ten points, six of them from frees, and also had a hand in the first penalty.

The contribution of Denis Crowley at full forward was also a key factor in CSN's success. Powerfully built, he was a constant thorn in the side of the ISK defence, where he used his height and strength to great effect. Minor again for the coming season, he is one to watch. Others to do well for the winners were full back Cillian O'Driscoll, centre back Michael Power, and corner forward Denis Maher.

ISK will be disappointed at not winning as it would have put them top of the group and into the quarter-finals against a runner-up team.

They started well, aided by the strong wind, with corner forward Paul Doyle shaping up well. He kicked four excellent points, all from play, but surprisingly was starved of possession in the second half as his colleagues opted for the short-passing game instead of using the long ball into him.

Apart from Doyle, ISK had excellent players in corner back Stephen Caulfield, wing back Liam O'Sullivan, and midfielders Fintan Coffey and Jimmy O'Leary, while up front Gary Sayers and Michael Hallasey threatened most.

ISK were in front after 50 seconds with a Paul Doyle point, and only a superb save by CSN 'keeper Ken O'Halloran denied Sayers a goal as the Killorglin school made the early running. With so much at stake, exchanges were keen and after ten minutes CSN won a penalty for a foul on Denis Maher. Shields sent the 'keeper the wrong way with a superb kick.

In the 20 minutes to the break, the sides were level twice with Paul Doyle and Ricky Kenny doing the bulk of the scoring for their respective teams. Just on the half-time whistle, the impressive Kenny edged the Bishopstown team in front with a point from a free and they turned over 1-4 to 0-6 to the good, with the wind to come.

Sayers levelled matters for the third time when he pointed in the 32nd minute, but at the other end Denis Crowley saw his powerful drive clip the crossbar on its way over for a point before the game turned decisively in his side's favour.

For the second time in the game, Maher was fouled going through and from the resultant penalty the outcome was the same - Shields beat ISK full-forward Michael Hallassey, who went into goal for the kick.

That goal gave CSN the impetus to go on and win the game, and with Kenny showing marvellous skill in kicking four points on the trot, they ran out comfortable winners. However, it could have all gone wrong for them had Hallassey converted a late penalty for a foul on Coffey, as a three-point win would not have been sufficient to put the Bishopstown team through to the knockout stages.

Scorers: CSN: M Shields 2-0 (penalties); R Kenny 0-8 (0-6 frees); B Nunan, D Crowley 0-1 each. ISK: P Doyle 0-4; M Hallassey (frees), P Sayers 0-3 each.

CSN: K O'Halloran; N Collins, C O'Driscoll, E. Byrne; R O'Dwyer, M Power, M O'Donovan; M. Shields, E McCann; R Kenny, B Nunan, P Fitzgerald; C O'Sullivan, D Crowley, D Maher. Subs. M Kelleher for O'Sullivan; A Seymour for Fitzgerald.

ISK: J Buckley; J O'Sullivan, P O'Reilly, S Caulfield; J. O'Keeffe, D O'Reilly, L O'Sullivan; F Coffey, J O'Leary; G Sayers, E Kelleher, C Griffin; T O'Sullivan, M Hallassey, P Doyle. Sub. D Nolan for T O'Sullivan.

Referee: P Roche (Banteer).

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