Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Kane’s save is key for Kilcoo

After over sixty year of waiting Kilcoo will be back in Down county final for the first time since 1948 when they meet Loughlinisland in the Down decider on the first Sunday in October.

They reached the final when by finishing two points better off than Burren a Pairc Esler last night.

Burren might rue the missing of a first-half penalty when James Kane saved from James McGovern after eight minutes and they might have thought they should have had a second spot kick before they break, but in between they had several let offs as Kilcoo created goal chances and twice hit the woodwork.

Burren, without Kevin McKiernan, were without leadership on the field where every Kilcoo man was a leader on the night.

They were the hungrier side and on the bases of their first-half performance they deserved to win a game which restored some faith in Down football. It was hard hitting, but fair with some fine fielding,, long kicking and excellent scores taken and would have given the members of the newly appointed Down management team some food for thought.

Paudie Poland opened the scoring with a point from a Burren free, but with points from Paul Devlin (2) and Paul Greenan Kilcoo had the better of the opening exchanges and went in front.

Burren might have got a breakthrough with that penalty following a foul on Poland, but Kane in the Kilcoo goal was equal to the test saving from James McGovern an the ball was cleared.

Kilcoo controlled the second quarter, but the woodwork denied Paul Devlin a goal and only a despairing lounge by Paddy

Mohan denied Anthony Devlin, however, their efforts were rewarded with points from Paul Devlin (3) and Barry Kane to send them in at the beak leading 0-08 to 0-4.

Burren were the better side in the third quarter as they took the game to their opponents and early points from James and Chris McGovern reduced the deficit to two points.

Kilcoo picked off points in isolated attacks, Paul Devlin and Barry Kane finding the target.

Still Burren drive forward with Declan Rooney at midfield very much in the game and with points from substitute P J McAlinden and Ryan McGovern they cut the margin to a single point with nine minutes remaining.

The Kilcoo defence held firm and it was Anthony Devlin who had the final score when he pointed in stoppage time to ensure Kilcoo their place in the final.

In the other semi-final played at Pairc Esler on Friday goals from Mark Valentine Ryan Stranney and Seamus O’Hare saw Loughlinisland emerge as victors over a disappointing Clonduff side on a 3-06 to 1-07 to qualify for the county final for the second year in succession.

Darragh Cross and Ballymartin will contest the final of the Around a Pound Intermediate football championship after emerging winners over Kilclief and Ardglass respectively.

Favourites Glenn will now play Teconnaught in the final of the Junior Football championship after both were winners on Sunday over St Pauls and Dromara respectively.