We continue our look back at Kildare Championship 2020 and our Sports Team, this time led by Robert Cribbin, has completed the hard work to provide us with the Kildare Nationalist Intermediate Team of the Year.
Let’s have your thoughts.
By Robert Cribbin
AS per usual the Pittman Traffic Equipment Intermediate Football Championship proved to be extremely competitive this year with Clogherinkoe eventually landing the Hugh Campion Cup.
The Cloghs achieved their first ever title by a single point in the decider and they lead the team of the year with seven participants while Kilcock, Leixlip, Ballymore Eustace and Two Mile House are also represented.
Brothers, Elian and Gavin Scanlon are onthe Intermediate Team of the Year Photo: Sean Brilly
- Tommy Archbold (Ballymore Eustace) Tommy Archbold was once noted as the great white hope of Kildare football for his exploits outfield during his underage career but now he’s better known as a goalkeeper and he was in inspired form throughout the Championship for Ballymore Eustace. The veteran made three brilliant saves in the semi-final defeat against Clogherinkoe and that type of display edges him ahead of the likes of Didier Cordonnier and Kyle Costello.
- Luke Sheridan (Kilcock). The diminutive corner back was a revelation in the Kilcock full back line and not only did he do the job spec of a defender but he also got forward with success including scoring a point in the County Final.
- Elian Scanlon (Clogherinkoe). Elian is the younger of the Scanlon brothers in Clogherinkoe and he gave the Cloghs a solid look all year. Still a young man as he only captained Balyna to a Minor B Final two years ago but looks to have a very bright future ahead of himself.
- Ciaran Fadian (Leixlip). Whether it was corner or wing back Ciaran Fadian played in the mould of his club in refusing to give in and leaving everything on the field. Like Sheridan on the other side he got forward on numerous occasions and kicked a couple of great points throughout the campaign. A big part of a side who rather unluckily lost out at the semi-final stage.
- Killian Galligan (Clogherinkoe) Like the full back recipient Galligan has come through the recent underage ranks in Balyna and while he has been previously known as a forward the move to wing back worked a treat and he was a roaring success. Kicked a huge point in the County Final victory when the game was in the melting pot and like Scanlon the only way seems to be up.
- Gavin Scanlon (Clogherinkoe) After a tough couple of years with injury the Clogherinkoe captain led his team in style from the centre of defence. Marshalled key men in Chris Healy and Niall Murphy on the run to the final and he again played his part in the decider with a couple of important interceptions that helped his team over the line.
- Jason Gibbons (Kilcock). The All Ireland Under 20 winner is normally found at the heart of the Kilcock defence but with Paul O’Brien occupying the sweeper role, Gibbons found himself everywhere and anywhere and he thrived on it if anything. When Kilcock looked in big trouble against Clogherinkoe, he was the driving force and helped create a few scores. On this form he may be worth another look at for Kildare.
- Darren McDermott (Leixlip). The Kildare Under 20 star produced a real breakthrough year at Senior level with himself and Tommy Moolick forming a formidable midfield partnership. The Highlight of his championship was a superb individual goal which forced extra-time against Kilcock in the semi-finals.
- Daniel Grehan (Clogherinkoe). It was a toss-up between the Grehan brothers really and the more experienced Daniel gets the nod. Experience being the apt word as he led a pretty young Clogherinkoe outfit from the middle of the pitch. Always good to pop up with a point or two as well.
- Daragh McArdle (Kilcock). Injury seemed to curtail the industrious wing forward at the latter end of the campaign but he was probably Kilcock’s best player up to that point. Particularly good when kicking eight points against Ballymore Eustace in the group stages. Probably no coincidence that Kilcock struggled in the final with McArdle carrying a knock.
- Ciaran Gravin (Clogherinkoe). The Clogherinkoe centre forward rolled back the years with a superb championship. As usual he was super accurate on the frees but he also produced great periods of play including kicking crucial points in all the games. Was a big outlet to the likes of Jack Robinson, Cein McMonagle and Mark Nolan which allowed them to prosper as a result.
- Tony O’Connor (Two Mile House). In a year where Two Mile House failed to reach the heights of their maiden Championship success in 2018 it was Tony O’Connor that proved to be their leading light. The long-distance runner proved invaluable around the middle third for the House and drove them forward consistently. The impact he had on his team just gets him the nod ahead of Dean Hanley and Daniel Courtney.
- Jack Robinson (Clogherinkoe). Possibly a controversial choice seen as Robinson didn’t take part in the final but his impact prior to being injured was such that it was impossible to leave him out. Quality defenders like Mark Barrett and Gavin Burke really struggled on the Maynooth University student with his elusiveness and pace allowing him to score heavily in every game. The jewel in the Clogherinkoe winning machine.
- Cein McMonagle (Clogherinkoe). After being away travelling and nursing a couple of injuries McMonagle looked like he was returning to the type of form that showed him as a leading star on the Kildare Leinster Minor winning team back in 2013. He was brilliant for the Cloghs and in Robinson’s absence in the final he kicked a couple of cracking winning points that settled the victory for Clogherinkoe 15. Shane O’Rourke (Kilcock). The corner forward sat out the start of the campaign with injury but once over that he showed all his class in being the main score getter for the North Kildare side. He notched four points from the play in the final and looked at a point that he’d single handedly get Kilcock the win but while that didn’t occur O’Rourke still showed all his class.