A day out in UPMC Nowlan Park is always a joy for GAA supporters, however for Glenmore and St. Lachtains, this was the biggest game all year. An Intermediate final has the possibility of bringing hope, elation, sadness, anxiety and much more.
The scoring was opened by Freshford with James Maher putting the points on the board but all eyes were on Ger Aylward who opened Glenmores account with a goal inside two minutes.
It was a seriously lively opening few minutes with Alexander Rafter grabbing a point and James Maher started asking questions of Eoin Murphy grabbing his second point to draw the game.
Great free from Alan Murphy with Glenmore looking quite dangerous dangerous with a two man full forward line to make the game 1-01 to 3 points.
The hunger was clear for all to see in Stephen Farrells St. Lachtains and they were reward for their hard work with a goal from Cian Dawson
Glenmore looked truly frazzled and St. Lachtains capitalized on their defensive woes with another quickfire goal, this time from Shane Donnelly. Alan Murphy slightly eased Glenmores woes with a point but that seem nullified as St. Lachtains followed that up with successive unanswered points from Ian Byrne and Liam Hickey.
Glenmore were no where near their performance against Thomastown and fans in attendence seemed uneasy. Noel McGree unfortunately went down injured which was a blow to Freshford with Cathal O’Leary coming on but any fear they had seemed uncall for as Liam Hickey, Shane Donnelly and James Maher were in flying form.
Declan Walls men went six points down when Liam Hickey grabbed another point from play, leaving the manager wondering how to stop the ascendancy of the North Kilkenny side.
Whatever he decided to do worked though as Glemore scored five unanswered points in ten minutes which included a possible score of the game from Eoin Murphy. The period was topped off by Liam Hennessey and brought the game to a a two point game. Alexander Rafter took advantage of a referee decision not being called to make it a three point game and that was the end of the first half Glenmore 1-07 St. Lachtains 2 – 7
Whatever was said at halftime by Declan Wall worked as Glemore game out firing in the second half and drew first blood with Ger Aylward. The man was on fire by scoring immediately after again to bring the score to a one point game.
Alan Murphy finally got Glenmore level with a brilliant score, leaving Freshford scratching their head. The switch of Murphy went back in midfield improve Glenmore tremendously with the man winning a dirty ball and starting a play that ended up with the ball in Liam Hennessey hands who duly converted it to put Glenmore ahead. Liam Hickey put it over the bar to try and put a hiccup in Glenmore new found swagger.
It was truly end to end stuff though as Glenmore got point from play Mark Aylward. Glenmore fans travelling from voices were starting to be heard as Alan Murphy but them two points clear after 12 minutes in the second half.
Ian Byrne and Liam Hennessey help strecthed their lead, with the whole team appearing to have moved up the field provided more support for the forwards.
Then what proved to be a huge turning point in the game as a penalty was was awarded to Glenmore. Alan Murphy convinced everyone he was going to take the point before hitting the back of the net. This was followed up by Ian Byrne grabbing a point, to make the scoring in the second half Glenmore 1-08 to St. Lachtains 1 point as we got to the water break.
Then disaster for St. Lachtains as Mark Aylwards work rate was rewarded with another goal for Glenmore rendering the game pretty much over at 3-17 to 2-08.
The last ten minutes results in Glenmore grabbing another three points with St. Lachtains only managing one, leaving their second half scoring at just two points.
Glenmore now move onto Leinster and of course the senior championship in Kilkenny. Congratulations to Glenmore and commiserations to St. Lachtains.