Pearses 1-14 Killimordaly 0-15: Like last year’s meeting of these two teams, which went to a replay, this Junior ‘B’ Quarter-Final played this evening in Duggan Park looked to be heading for the same outcome. A late Niall Skehill free seen Pearses edge through to the semi-finals by the minimum margin.
Pearses were slow to get going in this game and were behind 0-5 to 0-1 after ten minutes. Niall Skehill opened the scoring, but Killimordaly reeled off the next five points. Then arrived the game’s only goal on the 11th minute. Paul Lally breaking through the Killimordaly cover to finish to the town-end net. This seemed to spark Pearses to life and Skehill and Kealan Beckett points seen them hit the front, 1-3 to 0-5. There was little between the sides for remainder of the half as they exchanged five points. Highlights were a long range free by Pearses goalkeeper Paul O’Brien and a super point on the run, along the left sideline, by Paul Lally. Half-time 1-5 to 0-8.
The momentum shifted back and forth in the second half, with the sides level on five occasions. Three Niall Skehill points either side of two for Killimordaly had Pearses ahead by one, six minutes into the half, 1-8 to 0-10. Killimordaly then hit a purple patch to score four of the next five points and take a two point lead, heading into the final quarter. Aidan Kilkenny, Ronan Skehill and Robbie Donnellan came off the bench for Pearses and would all make important contributions in the closing stages.
Niall Skehill continued his accuracy, with a pointed free and then Damien Wynne landed a long range point from play. Killimordaly hit back, 0-15 to 1-11. A point from Ronan Skehill levelled the game again, before a scuffle on the Killimordaly ’45 led to Pearses being reduced to 14 men, with five minutes of normal time remaining. Advantage now seemed to be with Killimordaly. It would come down to a shootout between the freetakers in the dying minutes.
Killimordaly missed a couple of scoreable chances, while Niall Skehill made no mistake with his two efforts. The second one would be the winning score, after Aidan Kilkenny had earned the free 45 yards from goal. It was not over yet and the Pearses defence came under some late pressure. Thomas Broderick however had to make a super catch on the edge of the square at the end to stop Killimordaly’s last attack.
Pearses: P O’Brien (0-1); P Raftery, J Jenkins, R Carr; L Morrissey, T McDonagh, T Broderick; K Beckett (0-1), E Lawless; N Skehill (0-8), D Wynne (0-1), C O’Neill; P Lally (1-1), K Connell, C O’Grady (0-1). Subs used: A Kilkenny, R Skehill (0-1), R Donnellan. Referee: Seán Moran.