Cara Stationery Collins Cup Final
Robert Emmetts: 2-18
Kilburn Gaels: 0-13
Last year’s county champions threw down the gauntlet in their quest for three-in-a-row, as they pulled off a convincing win over the fancied Kilburn Gaels last week.
Kilburn had been touted as the early hot favourites for this year after a series of strong results and old faces returning to the club, but the Emmetts beat them in every area at a sun-drenched McGovern Park.
Kilburn looked a bit slacker than in previous rounds, but that is not to take away from the Emmetts performance, with some great defensive play as well as some superb scores from across the pitch as a marker is set a month before the senior championship starts.
Stephen Lambert became the first senior hurler to point at the new McGovern Park with a score from a free, before man-of-the-match Richie Murphy made up for his miss from the set play as he set up Ruari Costello for the Emmetts’ opening point in the fourth minute.
Eoin Chawke would score the next free before Emmetts began to run clear as they got their first goal just moments afterwards as Costello battled well to get the ball away to Martin Fitzpatrick to give them a 1-2 to 0-1 lead.
Lambert would get the next free, but some great work in the centre from Tadgh Healy and new signing Gary Hill meant that the men in blue and yellow were winning most of the ball from the puck outs, and keeping vital possession.
Lambert would score again from the set play, before some good work by Fergal Collins set him up for his first score from play to leave just a point between the sides. Some more fine work from Murphy set up Cathal Keogh immediately, before Chawke teamed up nicely with Costello to make it 1-4 for the Emmetts with 17 minutes gone.
Murphy switched play well from the centre to free Eoin Kiely in space on the right for a well-taken score, before Chawke added another free, as Kilburn were conceding fouls as they struggled to deal with the threat of the Emmetts’ forwards.
A superb ball to Daryl Roberts in acres of space saw him run in on goal, and he maybe should have went for it himself but decided instead to lay off to Conor Campion whose shot was saved well by Kieran Reid. But Emmetts reacted fastest to the block and ended up winning a penalty, which Chawke made no hesitation about sticking in the back of the net.
Murphy would had another free, and Lambert two more in between a really impressive point from Costello who had to take his shot quickly after great passes from Murphy and Roberts. Collins would close the scoring at half-time, leaving it 2-8 to 0-7 in the Emmetts favour at the break.
Kilburn shot two wides in a row from the set play in the opening stages of the second half, which could have narrowed the gap to just five points, before Lambert shot a well needed free from a more difficult position on his third attempt. But Hill responded immediately with the point of the game, from a sideline cut straight over the bar, before Murphy added another free from inside his own half.
Lambert would slot over a free through the middle of the park next, and some great defensive work by Healy snuffed out Kilburn’s effort on goal, before Fitzpatrick tapped over the next score from mid-range, and at this stage everything seemed to be going right for the Emmetts who were winning ball and using it well all over the pitch.
Some good play from Kehoe set up Murphy on the right wing for the next Emmetts score, and his side would win the resultant puck out as he claimed his second point in a matter of seconds.
They won the next puck out too, as Chawke slotted it over from the half-way line, and a good run in from Healy won his side a free which Chawke again took with ease. Lambert, the Gaels’ only scoring threat really from the set play, would slot over their tenth point from a free next before Kehoe scored a superb point off his right.
Kilburn’s first real pronounced attack on goal came from Sean Conlon, but the Emmetts defence dealt with it well before Collins scored Kilburn’s third point from play.
Two more frees from Lambert left their final tally at 0-13, while substitute (22) and Costello rounded off the scoring for Robert Emmetts.
ROBERT EMMETTS: Sean Ryan, Mark Conroy, Stephen Griffey, Conor Walsh, Paddy McNaughton, Tadgh Healy, Eoin Kiely (0-1), Garry Hill (0-1, 1f), Daryl Roberts, Cathal Kehoe (0- 2), Richie Murphy (0-4, 2f), Eoin Chawke (1-5, 3f, 1 pen), Conor Campion, Martin Fitzpatrick (1- 1), Ruari Costello (0-3)
KILBURN GAELS: Kieran Reid, Aidan O’Leary, Niall Coen, Kevin Campion, Keith Kennedy, Brian Regan, Cian O’Neill, Willie Campion, Conor Hickey, Sean Conlon, Stephen Lambert (0- 11, 9f), Fergal Collins (0-2), Adam Murphy, Seamus Carey, Kieran Lambert
Preview: Robert Emmetts take on St Brigids Cloughmills in the All-Ireland Intermediate Hurling Club Championship quarter-final this weekend