All - Ireland
February 13th 2005
Kildangan 1 - 09
Saint Thomas's 0 - 07
( Galway )
All - Ireland Semi - Final
Heart and determination sees Kildangan through to All-Ireland final
St. Thomas's 0-7
All-Ireland Club Intermediate Semi-Final
St. Thomas's 0-7
By David McDonnell
Heart and determination went a long way in deciding this fixture and once again Kildangan showed they possessed both traits
in abundance as they overcame the challenge of St Thomas's in the All-Ireland semi-final of the Intermediate Club Championship.
Despite the final scoreline, Kildangan were pushed all the way by St Thomas's and this game was still in the melting pot
until a last minute goal from Dan Hackett secured the victory for the North Tipperary side, a win that sees them through to
contest their first ever All-Ireland final.
At half time, St Thomas's were in a wonderful position to triumph in this fixture as Kildangan had played with a storm
at their backs in the opening period but only led by two points. However, Kildangan emerged from the dressing room and outfought
the Connacht champions all over the field. It was a display epitomized by the outstanding half back line of Karl Hogan, Gerry
Slattery and in particular Dan Hackett who dominated throughout the second half. With 10 minutes remaining the sides were
level, and it was Kildangan that better rose to the challenge and in the end pulled away from their opponents much to the
excitement of the large Tipperary support that ventured to Birr for the contest.
Facing the breeze in the first half, it was St Thomas's that started the brighter and with four minutes of the game played,
they led by two points. Wing forward Kenneth Burke hit his first free between the posts that was then added to when Burke
picked out Ritchie Murray with a crossfield ball that the Galway senior star hit over from long range.
Kildangan opened their account on the scoreboard when Pat Lynch caught an outcoming clearance and hit over first time
from along the right touchline. Lynch followed this up with two successive frees to edge Kildangan in front for the first
time but five minutes later Kenneth Burke was fouled and got up himself to point the resultant free.
Kildangan had the greater of the first half possession but were finding scores difficult to come by. The Kildangan management
then made the call to introduce Darragh Egan, who had started the game from the bench after picking up an ankle injury in
a recent college game. At the time, St Thomas's were playing corner forward Noel Burke as an extra defender against the wind
and the tactical substitution saw corner back Michael Ryan leave the field as Kildangan took the risk to introduce Egan while
they hurled with the advantage of the wind.
Four minutes later, referee Brian Gavin penalised St Thomas's goalkeeper Adrian Burke for timewasting. The throw-in on
the 21-yard line ended up with Egan feeding Hugh Flannery who hit over. Tommy Connors then made room for himself and his strike
raised a white flag to increase their lead to two. Soon after Kildangan had two chances for a goal.
First, Egan blocked down keeper Burke and upon gathering shot first time, but the backtracking Robert Murray cleared his
effort off the line. Moments later, Egan shot for goal from a 21-yard free which Burke saved before the St Thomas's defenders
on the line whipped in out to safety.
In first half injury time, Maurice Headd hit over a superb point in the right corner to close the gap to a point but a
third pointed free along the left touchline from Lynch restored the two-point margin between the sides at the break.
At the time, victory looked more likely for that Galway side as they had yet to hurl with the aid of the strong wind and
two points didn't seem like a big enough lead to defend against the elements. However, St Thomas's were met by a motivated
Kildangan side, who brought Michael Ryan back on at the break.
Within six minutes of the restart, St Thomas's hit five wides, which seemed to further strengthen Kildangan's resolve.
During this time, Burke cut the gap to a point, but Pat Lynch responded by hitting over an excellent point from the right
corner of the field. It took five minutes for the Galway champions to reply through Ritchie Murray.
However, Kildanagn were winning copious amounts of possession and seemed the side more ready to fight for the victory.
With 10 minutes remaining, a fourth pointed free from Burke leveled the scores and the game was left to be won by either
side.In the end two long-range efforts against the wind from placed ball by Egan and a second point from Connors put the North
Tipperary parish ahead. Than, at the death Pat Lynch did well to keep a Brian Kelly shot in play by batting the sliotar across
the goalmouth and a limping Hackett, who had moved from his centre back berth into full forward, was on hand to sweep to the
net from 10 yards to secure the victory for the North Tipperary parish.
On a day when heart and determination won out, this courageous Kildangan side left victorious.
P Lynch (0-5,3f), D Hackett (1-0) T Connors (0-2), D Egan (0-2,1f, 1&'65), H Flannery (0-1).
K Burke (0-4,4f), R Murray (0-2), M Headd (0-1).
D Hogan; B Lawlor, L Kelly, M Ryan; K Hogan, D Hackett, G Slattery; B Kelly, T Connors, P Lynch, J Slattery, J Maher;
E Nolan, H Flannery, C Hayes. Sub: D Egan for M Ryan (12 min), M Ryan for E Nolan (h/t), S Gleeson for J Slattery (50 min),
B McLaughlin for C Hayes (56 min).
A Burke; E Keely, R Murray, S Burke; J Kelly, R Murray, S Forde; E Tannian, A Callanan; B Burke, A Linnane, K Burke; M
Headd, J Conroy, N Burke. Sub: C Burke for A Callanan (47-min), J Lynskey for N Burke (58 min).
Referee: Brian Gavin (Offaly).