The Intermediate footballers of Kilcock get their championship campaign up and running tomorrow against 2016 Junior A champions Kilcullen at 2pm in Hawkfield.
It is expected that manager Declan Gibbons will field a youthful looking side as the club continues to go through something of a transitional period. Many of these lads were part of the 2016 minor league winning team so are no strangers to success but it is all about been able to make that step up to the adult ranks.
Fearghal O’Brien and Shane O’Rourke are definitely on the absentees list as they spend the summer Stateside but Daniel Courtney is expected to feature.
Kilcock should have too much for the team known as ‘The Rags’ but they cannot take anything for granted as the men in black and white look to write another chapter in their rags to riches story!!
Kilcock were last night drawn to face Kilcullen in round one of the 2017 Kildare Intermediate Football Championship.
Declan Gibbons’ men will face off against last years Junior A champions on the weekend of May 5th-7th.
Kilcock will once again be amongst the 3 or 4 teams that will be fancied to go all the way but they know all too well how difficult this rank can be, having failed to make it to the quarter finals in 2016 under the guidance of Willie Hughes.
Since the arrival of Gibbons, the landscape of the team has changed somewhat, with many of last years minors been given an opportunity to cement their place in the starting fifteen, while former county player Ciaran Fitzpatrick has moved onto pastures new with St. Judes in Dublin.
Gibbons and his management team will be looking for the likes of his son Jason, Daniel Courtney, Shane O’Rourke, David Duke and recent addition Conor Caufield from Cavan to help his side progress to the business end of the competition later in the year.
Check out the full 1st round draw below:
Cappagh: Elsewhere neighbours Cappagh have been drawn in Group A of the Tom Cross Junior A Football Championship alongside Rathcoffey, Caragh, Ballykelly and Rheban.
The men in red and white will strongly fancy their chances of progressing from this group and begin their quest to do so against Caragh.
Kilcock Intermediate footballers hit six of the last seven points to capture a famous 0-11 to 0-9 victory over their Senior neighbours Johnstownbridge at Kilcock Gaa on Tuesday night April 4th.
Trailing by three points (8-5) with fifteen minutes remaining Declan Gibbons’ men slowly began to gain control of the game but it took some Shane O’Rourke magic to really turn the tide, with the corner forward hitting three points in a row in a five minute blitz.
With his side back to within two points, the mecurial O’Rourke tapped over a straight forward free to leave the minimum between the sides before bringing the game level off his right foot and kicking his side into the lead off his left foot. It truly was an amazing individual five minutes for O’Rourke.
The Duke brothers David and Cian insured victory with a point each from similar angles and despite a late onslaught from JTB in an effort to summon the goal that would have levelled the game, (they managed a late consolation point) Kilcock held on for a massive win by two points, (11-9) much to the delight of the large home support in attendance.
Ist Half With a near full strength panel at their disposal, Kilcock started like a team that meant business and one that wanted to put their disappointing round one loss to Straffan behind them but it was the visitors who took their chances early on to go two points up after thirteen minutes with a brace from former county player Sean Hurley.
It took Kilcock fourteen minutes to turn their hard work into scores, with the hosts hitting three unanswered points through O’Rourke, Ciaran Murray and Eoin McArdle. Hurley hit his 3rd before McArdle recaptured Kilcock’s lead on 28 minutes. JTB hit a point late on to leave the sides level at 4 points apiece at the break.
2nd Half JTB controlled the opening exchanges of the 2nd half and heading into the final quarter it looked as if their experience at senior level was going to be the difference as they went into a 8-5 lead with 15 minutes left on the clock but Kilcock had other ideas.
Eoin McArdle and Willie Bright had kept them in touch during JTB’s period of dominance with a point each which allowed O’Rourke to turn on the class in a scintillating 5 minute spell that JTB failed to recover from. And with that Kilcock held on for the crucial two league points and bragging rights over their rivals for the forseeable future with an 11 points to 9 victory.
O’Rourke may take all the plaudits for kicking the crucial scores but the passionate performance from the whole panel was one this reporter hasn’t seen in green and gold in a long time. Mark Durkan played like a man possessed at the back while Daniel Courtney, David Duke, Jason Gibbons and Conor Sheridan didn’t give their men an inch.
Eoin McArdle kept the scoreboard ticking over uptfront but his brother Daragh’s workrate was phenomonal all night. He showed during every attack and made the ball stick to him, bringing others into play with a cleverness beyond his years.
Strange The only question mark on the night was the decision to substitute goalie Shane Stone for the 2nd league game running, despite the no.1 not conceding a goal in either game. Replacement Fionn Talbot did do well when he came on but it’s rarely you’ll see it. Kilcock wont mind they took home the spoils and will now look forward to their next game v Allenwood.
Kilcock Scorers: Shane O’Rourke 0-4, Eoin McArdle 0-3, Willie Bright 0-1, Ciaran Murray 0-1, Cian Duke 0-1, David Duke 0-1