Friday 19 October 2018

Meehan goal lays the early groundwork for Kiskeam final triumph

Duhallow Junior B Football League (Group 1) Final: Kiskeam 1-9 Knocknagree 0-9

The Kiskeam team that won the Duhallow Junior B Football League title. Photo by John Tarrant
The Kiskeam team that won the Duhallow Junior B Football League title. Photo by John Tarrant

John Tarrant

Kiskeam brought the curtain down on the old year by overcoming Knocknagree in a highly entertaining Duhallow Junior B Football League (Group 1) Final at Kiskeam.

The victors regained the title after a four year lapse thanks to producing an early ace with 2017 county minor Seán Meehan stepping forward to shoot the game's only goal that ultimately divided the sides. Two determined teams battled it out to the last whistle and provided faithful followers with a hugely entertaining tussle despite the lateness of the season.

Knocknagree contributed enormously to the contest, striving to get back into the contest in a second half comeback but they were forced to yield to a sharper and hungrier Kiskeam outfit. The home side could scarcely had hoped for a more favourable start, Kiskeam won possession from the throw in and attacking wing back Meehan blasted home for a tonic boost.

Indeed Kiskeam showed the greater urgency in the opening spell, Kieran O'Connor, Seán Linehan and Meehan performed exceptionally well in defence, Adrian Carroll and Mike Casey thrived at midfield. Wing backs Jeremiah McAulliffe and Meehan stormed forward to add points with Anthony Dennehy also on target.

Knocknagree attempted to pick up the pace with David O'Connor and Tadhg Long pointing to narrow the arrears 1-6 to 0-3 at the break.

A revitalised Knocknagree took the field for the second half through the encouraging input of Paul O'Connor, Padraig Collins, Long and Chris White. With Long in fine shooting form from frees, it allowed Knocknagree trigger a response. There remained impetus to Kiskeam's game, Carroll and Dennehy on target with well worked points to regain control.

To their credit, Knocknagree stemmed the flow, Long and substitute Richard Dilworth bisected the uprights to leave the outcome up for grabs. With the clock ticking down, Knocknagree battled with typical tenacity to mount a series of raids in a bid to save the game.

It was real nailbiting fare in those closing minutes, Knocknagree tried valiantly to create an equalising goal on peppering the Kiskeam rearguard. Still Kiskeam held their three point lead doggedly all the way to the finish and on doing so, they saw their task to a successful conclusion.

KISKEAM: J Sheahan; D Fitzgerald, K O'Connor, D Murphy; J McAulliffe 0-1, S Linehan, S Meehan 1-2; A Carroll 0-3 (2f, 1 '45'), M Casey; P Mahony, D Hallissey, M Casey; S O'Sullivan, T O'Sullivan, A Dennehy 0-3.

KNOCKNAGREE: D Leader; C O'Leary , S Daly, M Mahony; L Sugrue, P O'Connor, K Daly; T Cooper, P Collins; J Dennehy, T Long 0-6 (5f), C White; D Murphy 0-1, D O'Connor 0-1, S Twomey. Subs: S O'Connor, T O'Connor, R Dilworth 0-1, G Vaughan.

Referee: E Walsh (Freemount).