Kilcock duo Daniel Courtney and Eoin Powderly both lined out for the Kildare senior footballers today in a 1-19 to 1-11 victory over Westmeath in Kilcullen.
After being called up to the panel in October, the pair got their first few minutes of action in the Kildare jersey this year, ahead of the 2018 season.
The Lilywhites were playing the Midlanders to mark the turning on of Kilcullen’s new floodlights. Courtney started at wing-back and put in a fine display, bombing forward at every available opportunity, chipping in with a point from play in the process. Manager Cian O’Neill will be looking to unearth a few new faces over the coming months and Courtney could well be the answer to his call.
Powderly, who was part of Cian O’Neill’s plans in 2016 before he suffered a cruciate injury, was brought on at half-time at corner back and also put in a impressive performance.
Kildare start their O’Byrne Cup campaign in three weeks and we wish the lads all the best. We will have updates on the lads throughout the 2018 season.
Kilcullen were promoted to the intermediate ranks after overcoming Milltown in a replay of last year’s junior final, before going on an impressive run through the Leinster Championship that saw them lose at the semi-final stage to Bracknagh. They have a team that is well set up to keep their heads above water in this year’s campaign, and Sunday’s tie against Kilcock presented the perfect opportunity to settle into their new surroundings.
From the get go this was an intriguing encounter in which neither side ever looked destined to pull away from the other, and it remained that way right through.
The first half finished all square, with Kilcullen hitting the major score of the half through Brian Bell as he rustled the net in the 22nd minute. That goal came at an important time for the Rags as they had conceded four points in a row as Kilcock powered into a 0-6 to 0-2 lead, with Eoin McArdle striking three points from play during that period for the leaders.
Points from Darragh Timolin and Paul Jones before the interval helped Kilcullen to go in level as the scores stood 1-4 to 0-7 at the break.
The second half was every bit as even as both sides traded blows continuosly, with David Marshall landing two for the Rags while Daragh McArdle and Willie Bright were on target for Kilcock. Outside of the excellent Marshall, Paul Bell was Kilcullen’s only other scorer before the end of the game as he floated over a beautiful long range point, and at the other end Eoin and Daragh McArdle pointed frees either side of an excellent score from Bright as Kilcock led by one with 10 minutes to go.
Marshall levelled matters with a free from the right wing in the 53rd minute, and it looked like anyone’s game by this stage.
A frantic final 10 minutes ensued in which both sides squandered gilt-edged chances to find a winner in almost comical fashion, but a draw was probably a fair outcome and these two sides will meet again on Thursday night to determine a winner.
Scorers for Kilcock: E McArdle 0-5(1f), D McArdle 0-3 (1f) and W Bright 0-3(1f), D Courtney 0-1.
Scorers for Kilcullen: D Marshall 0-5(2f), B Bell 1-0, P Bell 0-2, P Jones and D Timolin 0-1 each