Second-half goals prove crucial in intermediate football final
GREATER finishing power proved to be the difference between St. Mary's of Caherciveen and Hollymount-Carramore in the All-Ireland intermediate club footbal final.
The Kerry and Munster champions had two goals to spare at the end of a pulsating decider in Croke Park, winning by 2-10 to 0-10 against the south Mayo men.
Both goals came in the second half, the first scored by Daniel Daly after an intricate passing move and the second from Anthony Cournane, who got a vital touch to a high, hanging delivery. There was suspicion that he was in the square before the ball but the goal stood, and it put St. Mary's into a 2-8 to 0-6 lead with just a quarter of the game to play.
Hollymount-Carramore hadn't scored anything in the second half by that stage but four points in succession by Robert Molloy, Darren Coen (free), Kevin Costello and Coen again gave them a glimmer of hope.
They needed goals, though, and the St. Mary's defence was in no mood to even let a chance be created, never mind allow the ball to find the net.
It was level at 0-6 each at half-time, Hollymount-Carramore looking the better side for large parts of the first half against the favourites. There were some great points in that tally, notably an Ian Costello effort from tight on the right-hand side, but the Mayo men also missed a number of chances.
There were misses in the second half too, and ultimately the difference between the sides was St. Mary's greater ability to find the target, both goals coming at crucial times.
The win for St. Mary's, managed by former Kerry great Maurice Fitzgerald, completed a double for the Kingdom over Mayo as Templenoe, home club of Pat Spillane, earlier accounted for Ardnaree in the junior final.