Cooley Kickhams finally end 32-year championship drought
CTI Business Solutions Intermediate Football Championship Final
St. Kevins 0-12
Cooley Kickhams 1-13
This year’s intermediate final will be forever known as the Brian White final. The former Louth maestro came off the bench to single handedly turn the game in his side’s favour against an excellent St Kevin’s side.
Six points, Kevin’s in complete disarray, everything White touched turned to gold. A point for every final loss he suffered in green and gold. It was the manner and the swagger of ones from play that everyone in attendance in Ardee marvelled at.
The mark he caught from Michael Carron’s ball in even had a split second of hang time that allowed those there on the day to take White in at full flight. It was a stunning display and there would be no second guessing the man of the match.
In truth Cooley needed something special from White to get the job done. It looked like another painful day was on the cards when Thomas MacNamee’s side came out and read off his script verbatim.
Men behind the ball, punishing counter attacks, denying Kickhams space. St Kevin’s were full value for their four-point lead going in at half time. Perhaps they maybe should have and needed to be further ahead.
It proved that way, but Lee Crosbie was kicking outrageous scores that had him finger wagging too, when he launched over two points in the first few minutes. Seanie, the brother, danced by Fearghal Malone to get in on the act too.
Cooley had to really work on their attacks and Malone and Michael Rafferty typified that with well taken scores that had to be crafted with numerous runs and both perfect timing and execution.
Those points would prove costly to the Kevin’s down the stretch as Kickhams were fighting to just stay in the game at that early stage. Tom Matthews showing early signs of a man of the match performance with a brace of scores in a row.
Patrick Johnston was Cooley’s most consistent performer over the hour but when he lashed over a goal chance you would be forgiven if you were from the peninsula and thinking there was no way back for Colm Nally’s troops, as they headed towards the dressing rooms for half time.
Enter Brian White. Midfielder Richard Brennan made way, while Peter Thornton went to the middle of the field too.
That reshuffle compliments what White is about to bring. The intensity and scoring rate goes up and the scrum for ball under Evan Maher and Seanie Crosbie is suddenly bouncing kindly to Cooley men.
White slotted over a free to set himself off and ignite an unanswered 1-6 scoring run. The Philipstown men could not halt nor break that momentum and suddenly had to chase a substantial lead for the first time this season in the final.
Cian Connor actually intercepted the ball around the centre to start the move for Michael Rafferty’s pivotal goal. Connor continued up the field and supplied Rafferty a sumptuous hand pass that Rafferty ran onto. It easily past by Danny Crosbie to blast to an open net.
White kicked the next four scores of the showpiece. Dummies, outside of the boot and high fielded mark’s, White was really in his groove and Philipstown had simply no answer.
So Cooley ended their 32 year championship famine with one of their best ever players aptly leading them to glory. All while getting his hands on silverware for the very first time in his career, along with a lifetime of Kickhams men.
COOLEY KICKHAMS: Neil Gallagher; Patrick Hanlon, Dean McGreehan, Ronan McBride; James O’Reilly, Fearghal Malone (0-1), Gerry Malone; Darren Marks, Richard Brennan; Michael Carron, Michael Rafferty (1-3, 0-1 mark), Cian Connor (0-1, 0-1 free); Patrick Johnston (0-2), Enda O’Neill, Peter Thornton. SUBS: Brian White (0-6, 0-3 free, 0-1 mark) for Brennan (HT), Gerard Hanlon for Johnston (61).
ST KEVIN’S: Danny Crosbie; Eoin McKenna, Shane Meade, Finbarr Lynch; Darren McMullen, Cameron Maher (0-2 frees), Dylan Maher; Seán Crosbie (0-1), Evan Maher; Karl Martin, TJ Doheny (0-2, 0-1 free), Patrick Clarke; Tom Matthews (0-3, 0-1 mark), Lee Crosbie (0-4, 0-1 free), Keelan Maher. SUBS: Cian Callan for K Maher (55).
REFEREE: Colm McCullough (Naomh Fionnbarra).
Photo Credit: Louth GAA
Photo Credit: Louth GAA