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Saturday 7 December 2019

Ging on fire for Kilaveney

U20 ‘A’ Football Championship Semi-finals: Kilaveney 4-12 Shamrocks 0-9

The Kilaveney football team who defeated Shamrocks in the under-20‘A’ semi-final
The Kilaveney football team who defeated Shamrocks in the under-20‘A’ semi-final

Martin O'Brien at Tinahely

In this eagerly awaited under-20 'A' football championship semi-final, we had some future stars of Wicklow football on show.

Both teams were littered with players from the two previous years successful minor county teams, along with plenty of players with experience in senior club football. 

Names like Eoin Darcy, Matthew Ging, Gearoid Murphy, Cillian McDonald, Rory Stokes, Johnny Keogh, Sean Doody, Padraig O'Toole and Jordan Deans all on show in this game. Kilaveney had the easier of the championship so far, with convincing wins all round on their way to this game. Shamrocks had wins against Rathnew and St Nicholas as they made their way to this semi-final.

The opening minutes of this game was teak tough, with neither team giving an inch to the other. The tight pitch in Tinahely was made tighter by the large crowd in attendance at the game. Kilaveney opened the scoring with Matthew Ging kicking a monster free, only to be answered by Johnny Keogh of the Shamrocks.

Eoin Darcy slotted a free for Kilaveney, before Pauric Murray landed a peach from his right boot. Keogh responded for the Shamrocks.

The game was tight and both teams were trying to stamp their own mark. Ging lashed a score from play, before Murray added his second of the half. Shamrocks responded again through Padraig O'Toole, as he went old school, claiming a long ball, holding off the defender and bang it over the bar on 18 minutes. Close game.

From here, Kilaveney kicked into gear and pushed on. Shamrocks looked to invite them on to them as they funneled back to protect their goal. Kilaveney didn't panic and moved the ball with patience.

In the 23rd minute, Gearoid Murphy looked to chip a point over the bar for Kilaveney, his kick was short, the ball dropping under the crossbar and a bundle of bodies rise to meet it. Eoin Darcy challenges Shamrocks goalkeeper William Rogers, the ball breaks, a goa mouth scramble, Darcy pokes home. A goal for Kilaveney.

Not to be out done, Matthew Ging landed three more points before the end of the half. Two frees clipped over, and he followed through with an exceptional score from 50 yards. The sideward lean, outside of the boot, mark it down. Kilaveney with 1-3 in the final 10 minutes of the half.

Johnny Keogh responded for Shamrocks, as they tried to cling on. Kilaveney looking the stronger at half-time, as the score line read: Kilaveney 1-8, Shamrocks 0-4.

Kilaveney started the second half as they finished the first, with a frenzy of scores. In the first 10 minutes of the second half, they outscored the Shamrocks four points to one. A pair of points each from Matthew Ging and Gearoid Murphy for the men in red. Keogh, again, the answer for Shamrocks from a placed ball.

Credit is due to the Shamrocks, as they took over the majority of proceedings for the next 10 minutes. They threw off the shackles and ran at the Kilaveney defence. The introduction of Arun Daly Danne improved their running game, with Padraig O'Toole and Paddy Whelan ably assisting. Whelan grabbed a point, before Rogers kicked a monster free.

Kilaveney responded, with aplomb. On 20 minutes Rory Stokes rises highest and grabs a kick out, he turns and delivers towards Ging. Ging lets it beat him, into the corner, he backheels it inside the defender, chips it up into his hand and boom back of the net. A classy finish.

The Shamrocks respond through Keogh's placed ball. Kilaveney come again, and its Eoin Darcy who latched on to a ball on the 45. He takes off, stepping in and out of tackles. He beats two defenders, heads for the goal with intent. Last minutes, pops it to Ging again, who drops it to the left boot again, back of the net. Matthew Ging with 2-7 to his name, not bad day at the office.

The Shamrocks stayed on and battled to the end. Perhaps the most telling indicator of how their day had gone was with three minutes left on the clock. Substitute, Tadhg O'Toole, was foot tripped in the Kilaveney box and a penalty was awarded. Johnny Keogh steps up, he shoots, it rolls left and wide.

There was one last kick in Kilaveney, as Cian O'Neill sees his shot sneak to the net for their fourth goal of the day. Final score: Kilaveney 4-12, Shamrocks 0-9.

Overall, Kilaveney looked the stronger team throughout and managed the game well. The had strong performers all over the field. Curtis Keating, Gearoid Murphy, Rory Stokes and Matthew Ging, just to name a few, were top performers.

Shamrocks worked hard, with Padriag O'Toole, Johnny Keogh and Cian Lee leaving it all out on the field. Kilaveney will now look forward to the final and will face Éire Óg Greystones in the decider, where they will most likely be favourites to take the honours.

Scorers - Kilaveney: Matthew Ging 2-7, Eoin Darcy 1-1, Cian O'Neill 1-0, Pauric Murray 0-2, Gearoid Murphy 0-2. Shamrocks: Johnny Keogh 0-6, Padraig O'Toole 0-1, Paddy Whelan 0-1, William Rogers 0-1.

Kilaveney: Alan Lillis: James Tyrell, Fionn Furlong, Bradley Hickey; Adam Hadden, Curtis Keating, Daniel Hedderman; James Hedderman, Gearoid Murphy; Pauric Murray, Rory Stokes, Cillian McDonald; Matthew Ging, Eoin Darcy, Daniel Ging. Subs: Anthony Phelan for James Hedderman, Ruairi Tompkins, Cian O'Neill for Pauric Murray, Cormac Kenny for Adam Hadden, Jack Murray for Bradley Hickey.

Shamrocks: William Rogers; Jason Steed, Darragh Doyle, Paddy Kirwan; Karl Furlong, Paddy Whelan, Cian Lee; Sean Doody, Padraig O'Toole; Aaron Byrne, Johnny Keogh, Wesley Balfe; Cillian Gilligan, Jordan Deans, Alan Barrett. Subs: Arun Daly Danne for Aaron Byrne, Colm Keogh for Wesley Balfe, Tadhg O'Toole for Cillian Gilligan, Liam Fisher for Alan Barrett.

Referee: Eddie Leonard (St Patrick's)

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