St Colmcille's take down the Towers
St Colmcille's can start preparing for the Leinster Club IFC final against Westmeath side Rosemount after they defeated Round Towers from Kildare 1-9 to 1-7 in this semi-final clash in Kildare town today.
This turned out to be a highly entertaining encounter full of attacking play with the Meath IFC champions showing plenty of true grit and spirit to edge out the home side.
The Kildare side, who are managed by former Kildare star Glenn Ryan, wear black and amber and they have a fine stadium to boast of including a new stand that was full to the rafters including many sporting the light blue of the visitors.
St Colmcille's played some clever football and took their scores well including an early penalty tucked away by Jack Reynolds - after Reynolds himself was fouled - to lead 1-3 to 0-4 at the interval.
However, with a help of a goal of their own from Stuart Murphy on 41 minutes Round Towers came back strongly.
The resurgent home side edged ahead by a point on 49 minutes and looked poised to push on to victory but St Colmcille's showed plenty of spirit and determination. They hit back with three unanswered points from Ciaran Kelly, Graham Reilly and Eoin Woods to seal a tremendous victory.
Still the Meath side were fortunate that Round Towers left their scoring boots at home. They missed a string of good scoring opportunities clocking up 12 wides compared to just five from the Saints.
St Colmcille's could hardly have asked for a better start than the goal from Reynolds with the player's initial spot-kick saved by Towers' goalkeeper James Robinson.
However the rebound fell kindly for Reynolds who left-footed the ball to the net.
St Colmcille's defended in numbers and often James Conlon was the only player in the opposition half yet they attacked at pace to eke out scores.
Reilly, Conlon, Kelly, Niall Ronan and Eoin Woods all fired over points to help Colm Nally's side get over what was a very formidable challenge. Neil Scanlon was a big handful for the St Colmcille's defence but they held firm in the closing stages much to the delight of their big support.
Next up for St Colmcille's is a A FL Div 1/Div 2 play-off against Blackhall Gaels next weekend although that may now be changed as the Leinster final is due to be played on the weekend of the 26th/27th November.
Rosemount booked their place in the final with a 1-13 to 1-11 victory over Dublin side Fingallian's also today.
St Colmcille's - Jordan Brown; Adam Lynch, Jamie McDonnell, Ciaran Ward; Eoin Woods (0-1), Ian Mullen, Joe Sweeney; Niall Ronan (0-1), Robbie McCloskey; Ciaran Kelly (0-3 frees), David Sheeran, David O'Byrne; Jack Reynolds (1-0), Graham Reilly (0-2), James Conlon (0-2). Subs - Jeff Kavanagh for Lynch 36 mins, Ruairi O'Grady for Reynolds 43m, Conor O'Byrne for David O'Byrne 51m, John McKenna for McDonnell, Sean Collier for Kelly, Daragh Brodigan for Ward all 55m.
Round Towers - James Robinson; Davy O'Neill, Mikey Kelly, Michael Joyce; Mark Scanlon, Niall Fleming, Stephen Comerford (0-1); Mark Watters, Jamie Flynn; Mark Byrne, Jason Dunne, Barry Watters; Matthew Kelly (0-1), Stuart Murphy (1-1), Neil Scanlon (0-3). Subs - Jason O'Brien (0-1) for M Byrne 26 mins, Dean Houlihan for Dunne half-time, Aaron McConville for Matthew Kelly 47m, Cathal Daffy for B Watters.