Kiltimagh look to run Westport ragged

Ready to rock: Kiltimagh will be looking to Ronan Malee to kick vital scores on Saturday. Photo: Sportsfile

Ready to rock: Kiltimagh will be looking to Ronan Malee to kick vital scores on Saturday. Photo: Sportsfile

If they are going to do it tomorrow evening, then Westport are going to do it the hard way by winning their third game in seven days when they take on Kiltimagh in the Mayo Intermediate Championship final. Damien Loftus' men needed two attempts to get past Shrule-Glencorrib in the semi-final, with Wendesday night's reply win not looking like it was even a possibility with 15 minutes gone.

At that stage they trailed the south Mayo men by 0-5 to 0-0, but once Shane Scott fired home a fantastic goal to get them them up and running they never looked back as they outscored their opponents 0-9 to 0-4 over the closing 45 minutes. In truth the gap should have been much wider had Fionn McDonagh or Lewis Cawley hit the back of the net. Cawley was in deadly form kicking six of his sides points, over the hour. That game itself had more than just local interest with Conor Mortimer's return to club action in Mayo getting national attention in Mayo, the former Mayo man scored one point after his introduction, but the Westport defence were teak tough once they got over their initial shaky opening 15 minute period.

Standing in their way is a Kiltimagh side who made hard work of seeing off a tenacious Burrishoole challenge, the east Mayo men managed to miss a first half penalty and kick eight wides in the opening 30 minutes that saw them go in level at the break, but in the second half they found more of a groove and edged themselves home by a point. Up front they will be looking to David Lydon who bagged 1-4 from play last weekend along with Ronan Malee and Bryan Gallagher to push them on against the Westport defence where Kevin Keane, Keelan Dever, and Liam Ketterick will be tasked with trying to shut them down.

The Kiltimagh defence struggled under the high ball in their semifinal win and Pa McNicholas will be looking for more composure from his full back line of Mattie Cummins, Kevin Mulderig, and Donovan Cosgrove this time around to cut off the goal threat from that particular tactic. Kiltimagh like to play the ball fast and at pace and they will have to be on top of their game as Wesport will be comfortable sitting back and soaking up the pressure and breaking themselves, and with a man like Lee Keegan on hand to cover the defence and midfield area and break at pace if he gets the chance, it could cause problems for the east Mayo men's rearguard.

The Kiltimagh half back line of Conor Heneghan, Sean and Jason Forkan will be expected to cover a lot of ground, and with the knowledge that Westport had to put in another hard hour on Wednesday night, they will be expected to test the legs of the Covies early on. Both sides have plenty of quality mixed throughout and the prize of moving back up to the senior championship is a major carrot, it should be tight and entertaining on Saturday night. But the extra few days rest could swing it Kiltimagh's way.


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