North champions Kildangan broke the trend by becoming the only divisional champion to advance to the Clean Ireland Recycling County SHC semi-finals following their impressive 3-13 to 2-13 replay victory over disappointing Clonoulty Rossmore at Dolla on Saturday.
They join Nenagh, Loughmore-Castleiney and Borris-Ileigh in the last four
While much will be made of Kildangan’s victory so much more could be said of Clonoulty Rossmore’s failure to turn up.
In fact, how they ended up only three points in arrears is a mystery and is probably testimony to their spirit and fight - traits which seemed to have been left in the dressingroom for the first half after which they trailed 2-9 to 0-6.
With ten minutes remaining they were a beaten docket and eight in arrears.
But they stormed back and had the deficit down to two points with three to go with a Fiachra O’Keefe goal providing hope and looked as though they could snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
Didn’t work though and Kildangan held on to win.
The big difference between them was that Kildangan took their chances - Clonoulty Rossmore didn’t.
The north men were 0-3 to 0-2 in front thanks to Ruairi Gleeson (2) and Tadgh Gallagher, when a long ball in from Tommy Connors in the 6th minute ended up in the Clonoulty Rossmore net. This set the tone for a very insipid display from the west men and Kildangan’s pace and energy caused them untold problems. They didn’t help their cause either by leaving a free Kildangan defender who swept all before him and helped pin point ball for the fast running attackers who enjoyed the expanses.
Kildangan should have been more comfortable considering the displays of Gleeson, Joe Gallagher, Tommy Connors, Gerry Slattery and Tadhg Gallagher. But they were made to fight all the way by a well under par Clonoulty for whom John O’Keeffe, John Devane, Fiachra O’Keeffe, Sean Maher and Padraig Heffernan were best.