Knockmore leave Connaught silverware behind them
TYNAN'S TAKE: By Stuart Tynan
You couldn’t help but shake the feeling after the whistle had been blown in James Stephens Park that this is a match that Knockmore left behind them.
A quick glance at the scoring opportunities created tells its own story: 27 shots for Knockmore, scored 12. Padraig Pearses had 17, converted 14. That is an incredible conversion rate for the Roscommon and newly-crowned Connaught senior club champions. But for the back-to-back Mayo senior club champions, the head will ache with what-ifs.
When you consider that Pearses had a green flag raised in the opening three minutes through Hubert Darcy’s penalty and Knockmore struggling to get anything going in the opening quarter, it was a contest that Pearses should have been in control until the finish.
But when Pearses goalkeeper Paul Whelan was shown a black card for a cynical trip on Aidan Orme, who can hold his head high following a wonderful display, the opening was there for Knockmore to take advantage.
Yet they didn’t, and it would be a scenario that would repeat itself time after time in the second half. Each time Knockmore would get close, they failed to take a number of scoreable chances while at the other end Pearses, with Paul Carey in inspired form, would hit them again and again.
So Knockmore’s journey comes to an end before the national stages. But we cannot forget this is still a young Knockmore team and their best days are ahead of them. Next time they arrive here, they won’t repeat the same mistakes.
KILMEENA’S BIG WIN
The day before, Markievicz Park saw a rather one-sided affair but a thrilling one for all concerned with Mayo football as Kilmeena cruised to the Connaught junior title.
While a neutral would’ve liked a more competitive affair, Kilmeena were absolutely awesome and it must rank up there as one of their best ever on the big stage. John McGlynn, Jack Carney, Darragh Keaveney, Niall Feehan and Niall Ryan lit up the Sligo champions as St. Patrick’s had no response.
I have had the chance to watch them in person a couple of times and from top to bottom, they have the players and depth to hurt anyone who left standing. Either the Offaly or Kildare champions now await them in the All-Ireland semi-finals. Kilmeena will not fear them or anyone else left.
*You can read Stuart's full column every Tuesday in our print edition.