Kiltale advanced to the Leinster Club IHC semi-final with this stirring win over Naomh Eanna (Wexford) at Trim on Sunday.
Naomh Eanna 1-13
The Meath SHC winners were never headed but outcome was in doubt to the end of a stirring contest. Boosted by a six-point start Kiltale battled well to keep the Wexford IHC champions at bay.
Anthony Forde's 39th minute goal fended off one Naomh Eanna rallly that left the scores tied for the only time when Conor McDonald pointed from play and the board read 1-7 to 0-10.
The top scorers for the respective sides, McDonald and Kiltale's Jack Regan, were part of the Ireland Under 21 side that beat Scotland at Inverness on Saturday.
A magnificent Kevin Ryan effort left five points in it, 2-11 to 0-12, in the 54th minute. Conor McDonald's close range goal set up a grandstand finish.
The Kiltale rearguard was more than equal to the challenge and deservedly secured a semi-final meeting with Portlaoise on November 8.
Stephen Donoghue and sub Padraig Donoghue were to the fore as Kiltale fended off the Gorey men. Goalkeeper Shane McGann deserves a mention for turning a late McDonald goal attempt from a close range free over his own bar for what proved to be Naomh Eanna's final score.
Regan brought his tally to nine points with a pointed free in the last action of the hour.
Defending the town goal, Kiltale opened brightly, posting 1-3 without reply in the opening 13 minutes. The Meath SHC winners led by six points on two further occasions in the first half.
Cathal McCabe's goal arrived in the eighth minute, with James Kelly's run creating the opening for the number 11. That score was sandwiched by two Regan pointed frees.
A Padraig Kelly point left it 1-3 to 0-0 after nine minutes. There was a similar margin in it when Eamon Ryan made it 1-5 to 0-2 in the 20th minute.
Naomh Eanna outscored Kiltale by 0-4 to 0-1 in the final 10 minutes of the half. By half-time Kiltale led by 1-6 to 0-6.
The Wexford men rallied from the restart outscoring Kiltale by 0-4 to 0-1 inside six second-half minutes to level matters.
Kiltale responded with a Jack Regan pointed free. The scorer started the move that led to the second goal with Peter Durnin breaking the sliotar down to Forde.
That scoring spurt secured Kiltale some leeway against the next Naomh Eanna charge that just feel short of overcoming the Meath SHC Champions.
Kiltale - Shane McGann; Anthony Donnelly (C), David Donoghue, Ciaran Ennis; Stephen Donoghue, Ronan Ryan, Eamon Ryan (0-1); Anthony Forde, Padraig Kelly (0-1); James Kelly, Cathal McCabe (1-0), Jack Regan (0-8, 2 65s, 5fs); Peter Durnin (0-2), Ross Ryan, Kevin Ryan (0-1). Subs - Padraig Donoghue for D Donoghue (43), Chris Reilly for Ross Ryan (49, Shane Lenehan for Durnin (59).
Naomh Eanna - Barry Kinsella; Pedro Travers, Brendan Travers (C), Tom Stafford; Sean Doyle, Lee Kinsella, Gary Molloy; Eoin Conroy, Dara McDonald; Gearoid Cullen, Padraig Doyle (0-6, 3fs 2 65), Conor Hughes; William Cullen (0-2), Conor McDonald (1-5, 0-3fs), Aodhan Doyle. Subs - John O'Brien for McDonald (41), David O'Brien for Hughes (41), Joseph O'Connor for Cullen (49).
Referee - Mick Murtagh (Westmeath)