CityJet Senior Football Championship Semi-Final
Tir Chonaill Gaels 2-09
St Kiernans 1-10
By Fiona O’Brien
at McGovern Park
Tir Chonaill Gaels have reached their sixth county final in a row, after two Killian Butler goals knocked out reigning champions St Kiernans.
St Kiernans will feel like they left the match behind them, and will rue not putting more scores between the sides when they dominated the first half, but full credit must go to the Gaels who never stopped pushing for the win.
Man-of-the-match Mark Gottsche gave a brilliant performance as he took the game by the horns and pushed his side on, while two moments of brilliance from Butler put the vital scores on the board.
The Kiernans opened the scoring with a pointed free in the first minute, before kicking a scoreable chance short into the hands of Gavin McEvoy.
But Mark Mullholland did well to get in front of his man and execute a quick pass to full-forward Peter Finn to double their lead two minutes later.
Shaun Burke needed to rely on his quick instincts to prevent Michael Callery running in on goal next, but a superb Mullholland ball to Cathal Og Greene in loads of space set up the Kiernans for their third point.
It was the first of a few opportunities that the Kiernans may have been better off going for goal, and they were prevented from getting one from the next run of play as captain Patrick Begley teamed up with Michael O’Donoghue in a one-two move to get through the defence, but McEvoy kicked the ball to safety.
Pick up a copy of this week’s Irish World to read the full match report
TIR CHONAILL GAELS: Gavin McEvoy, Michael McWilliams, Shaun Burke, Phil Butler, Marty McCoy, Ronan Breen, Gary McGee, Anthony McDermott, Mark Gottsche, Kevin Rafferty (0-1), Liam Gavaghan (0-3, 2f), Adam Askin, John McGrath, Ryan Elliott (0-4), Killian Butler (2-1) SUBS: Niall Garland for McGrath, Aiden McGarvey for Breen, Adrian Hanlon for Rafferty, Ryan Kearney for Elliott.
ST KIERNANS: Brendan Mulrooney, Keith Curran, Ian McGough, Geff Kingston, Patrick Begley, Shane McManus, Danny Ryan, James Moran (0-1), Cathal Og Greene (0-3), Thomas Waters, Adrian Moyles (0-4, 4f), Mark Mullholland, Michael Callery (0-1, 1f), Peter Finn (0-1), Michael O’Donoghue (1-0) SUBS: Ferdia O’Brien for Finn, Kenneth Sweeney for Ryan.