The Swinford senior team won their first round encounter with local rivals, Kiltimagh in the Intermediate championship last night.
Both sides traded points early in the first half, until a good move involving Stephen Henry, Darren Campbell and a fisted finish from Colin Dempsey, notched up the first goal of the game and forcing some daylight between the teams for the first time.
Shortly thereafter, Swinford suffered an injury blow when Kevin Kane went off with a broken collar bone and was replaced by Conor Horan.
After another exchange of scores, with two particularly fine frees from distance from Kiltimagh, meant the goal was the difference between the sides at half time, 1-05 to 0-05.
Kiltimagh had a favourable wind and scored the first point of the second half. Swinford were in no mood to relinquish their lead and returned with a point.
Kiltimagh scored another fine point from play only for Swinford to reply with their second goal of the game. Swinford worked the ball quickly out of defence and found Tom Horkan around the forty. His shot fell short which Eoin Gallagher caught high on the end line and laid off to the on rushing Conor Horan, who finished superbly through a packed square.
The score was 2-06 to 0-07 and it looked like Swinford would cruise to victory, but Kiltimagh showed their steel and rallied well. Kiltimagh narrowed the score to within 2 points and with 5 minutes to play, the finally got the goal chance they had threatened so long. Damien Geraghty in Swinford’s goal made an excellent save however to deny the visitors.
Swinford held out for the win and maintained their unbeaten run for this season.
Another excellent performance from Darren Campbell on his championship debut, Colin Dempsey and substitute Conor Horan in the forwards and the tireless work of Jason Carney and Paul McDonagh in defence, will give Swinford a lot of confidence when they face Ballyhaunis in the next round on the 30th June.
Swinford are due to play Garrymore in the Mayo Senior League 1B tomorrow afternoon at 1pm in Garrymore. There may be some tired legs but Paul Cunney’s Swinford are proving a difficult side to beat and will face this difficult challenge head on.
Damien Geraghty, Jason Carney, Barry McShea, Paul McDonagh, Stephen Henry, Kevin Kane, Paul McNicholas, Joe Kelly, Kevin Doyle, Colin Davey, Eoin Gallagher, Tom Horkan, Darren Campbell, Colin Dempsey, John Carney Subs: Fergal Harte and Conor Horan