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Seamus O’Riain Cup Relegation - Knockavilla Kickhams 1-19 Moycarkey-Borris 1-16

posted 15 Oct 2017, 11:20 by Michelle Donnelly
Report by Ed Donnelly
Moycarkey-Borris lost out to Knockavilla Kickhams by three points in the last round of the Seamus O’Riain Cup Relegation competition on Saturday in Boherlahan. However, thanks to their two big wins over Borrisokane and Ballingarry, Moycarkey-Borris survive and Knockavilla Kickhams will join Borrisokane in the Intermediate ranks for 2018.

With Knockavilla needing at least a 12-point victory, the odds of them surviving were remote as the game started. Kickhams played with the aid of the strong wind in the opening half and raced into a two-point lead in the opening stages following points by Ger Browne and Eoin Carew. Moycarkey-Borris responded with points from play by Phil Kelly and Pat Carey. Kickhams were playing the better hurling at this stage and a long range free by Eoin Carew dropped to Davy Butler who’s shot from close range hit the back of the net. Kickhams followed this up with three quick points to lead by six points after ten minutes.

Pat Carey added a point from play in the tenth minute but Kickhams continued to dominate and stretched their lead to 8 points after the first quarter, 1-8 to 0-3. At this stage, with Kickhams in dominant form, the 12-point winning margin required didn’t look impossible. Moycarkey-Borris received a further set-back when centre-back David Morris was forced off with a head injury in the 24th minute to be replaced by Kieran Cummins. While Moycarkey’s play didn’t improve significantly in the closing stages of the first half, the Kickhams scoring rate slowed down and by the interval, Moycarkey had reduced the deficit to 1-10 to 0-6.

Anthony McKelvey replaced Paul Dempsey for Moycarkey-Borris for the second half as the Mid side looked to get back in to the game with wind advantage. Moycarkey scored early points from Rory Ryan, McKelvey (free) and Pat Carey before Kickhams replied with two pointed frees. In the 41st minute, Anthony McKelvey gathered a long ball in to the danger area before being fouled at the expense of a penalty which was expertly converted for a goal by the same player. Further points by Pat Carey and Phil Kelly brought the sides level after 43 minutes, 1-12 to 1-12.

Moycarkey-Borris continued to play well and after 50 minutes, had taken the lead for the first time after points by Phil Kelly and McKelvey (free) to leave the scoreline 1-14 to 1-13. To their credit, Kickhams continued to put on the pressure and managed to dominate the closing stages. Goals were required for the West side and while they didn’t arrive, the Kickhams did manage to outscore Moycarkey by 0-6 to 0-2 in the last ten minutes to record a three-point victory, 1-19 to 1-16.

Moycarkey-Borris: Bill McCormack; Niall O’Sullivan, James Power, Kevin Moran; Conor Hayes, David Morris, Pat Molloy; Rory Ryan (0-1), Phil Kelly (0-5); Niall Heffernan, Pat Carey (0-4), Tom Hayes; Kieran Morris (0-3 frees), Paul Dempsey, Mossy Bracken
Subs: Kieran Cummins for David Morris (24m, injured), Anthony McKelvey (1-2, 1-0 penalty, 0-2 frees) for Dempsey (HT), Pat Ralph (0-1) for Ryan (50m), Matty Ryan for Kieran Morris (55m)