The Courtyard Hotel Leixlip IFC winners section
Clogherinkoe became the first team to progress to the quarter-finals of the Kildare Intermediate Football Championship as they shook off a persistent Nurney side to eventually ease over the line with five points to spare.
In a game that was low on major excitement or big talking points, it was the six-point haul of Jack Robinson that made the major difference while Mark Nolan was also superb alongside him in the full-forward line.
Clogherinkoe got off to the better start as Jack Robinson slotted over a free into the Milltown End of the ground, but a fine score from the lively Darren Byrne levelled matters for Nurney less than two minutes later.
The game's first major arrived after eight minutes as midfielder Daniel Pyke worked the ball to Mark Nolan and he made no mistake as he blasted the ball past Shaun Conway in the Nurney goal. Darren Byrne responded at the other end by slotting over a point after being fed by lively former county star Mickey Conway who was pulling the strings from centre-forward. Kevin Conway then reduced the gap to a ping with a tidy effort at the end of a lung-busting run, but Robinson soon had Clogherinkoe's two-point lead back intact as he pointed his second free of the game.
Then came Nurney's big break in the game, and though it involved a huge amount of luck they certainly deserved it due to the class of the move they strung together. A number of players were involved before Byrne worked the ball to Kevin Callan, and though Keith Wilkinson made a fine block on his powerful shot it rebounded back off the head of Callan and trickled into the back of the net. That pushed Nurney into the lead for the first time, but a score from Dan Grehan two minutes before the break had the sides level at 1-3 apiece going into the break.
Nurney immediately set about restoring their lead upon the restart as Byrne knocked over a free, but they faded badly out of the tie in the following minutes as Clogherinkoe began to exert more control. Their lead lasted less the a minute as Pyke belted over a brilliant long range point from the outside of the boot, and though it took another 10 minutes for them to bag their next score, they eventually took the lead when Robinson curled over a free from the left wing. That one point advantage soon became two as Mark Nolan won a free that was confidently converted by Ciaran Gravin, and the full-forward added another less than three minutes later. Nurney were well out of the game by this point, and though Mickey Conway struck a point from a free, they failed to make much of an impact thereafter. Robinson came to like for Ronan Heavey's side in the final quarter, and the Kildare U21 panelist struck his first from play 10 minutes from time as he jinked in from the left wing to create space and knock the ball between the posts. He added a free, while Pyke kicked over his second as Clogherinkoe surged into a five-point advantage with four minutes left on the clock.
William Heffernan and Robinson traded scores at either end in the final stages, but that made little difference to the outcome as they progressed comfortably into the last eight of the Intermediate Championship.
Scorers for Clogherinkoe: J Robinson 0-6(5f), M Nolan 1-0, C Gravin(2f) and D Pyke 0-2 each, D Grehan 0-1.
Scorers for Nurney: D Byrne 0-3(1f), K Challan 1-0, M Conway(1f), K Conway and W Heffernan 0-1 each.
K Wilkinson; C Grehan, S McEvoy, M O'Rourke; E McMonagle, J Mulreaney, D Hanley; D Pyke, D Grehan; G Bassett(E Lynch 50mins), R Dunne(D Kane 44mins), G Scanlon; J Robinson, C Gravin, M Nolan.
S Conway; D Conway, J Merrins, T Burke; E Fitzpatrick(K Callan 22mins), C Callan, N Whelan; W Heffernan, K Conway; M Conway, D Byrne, S Conway; B Cahill, N Donnelly (B Behan 23mins), C Hagney.
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