Stylish Kilshannig prevail to overwhelm Emmets
County U-21 'B' Football Championship Final: Kilshannig 3-11 Robert Emmets 1-11
A slicker Kilshannig savoured the taste of county honours on proving sharper for Robert Emmets after an entertaining County U-21 'B' Football Championship Final at Pairc Uí Rinn last Friday evening.
At key stages, the Avondhu side looked to be the more determined and resolute side and having built up a single goal advantage at the break, they countered the best intentions of the Newmarket and Lismire combination.
The football might have left something to be desired for the opening 20 minutes yet Kilshannig grew in confidence , their strength in depth emerged a key component and it certainly made a difference to the destination of the Sean Crowley Cup.
Not the greatest of starts by either sides, both defences on top, Emmets 'keeper Josh O'Keeffe called into action early to deny a goaling opportunity. Scoring wise, Emmets shaded matters in the opening quarter, Conor O'Keeffe and Paddy Browne points helped supply a tentative 0-2 to 0-1 lead.
Once Kilshannig custodian Kevin McMahon converted a '45' their game ignited, and a great move saw Bill Curtin, Dermot Twomey and Colm O'Shea link up for Diarmuid O'Sullivan to point.
And there was better to follow, again O'Sullivan, the finisher with a green flag after a defence splitting move involving Kieran Twomey, O'Shea and Dermot Twomey. In fairness, Emmets recovered from the lapses and a spell of pressure yielded well taken points to O'Keeffe, Jack Murphy and Jack Guiney.
Coming up to the break, Kilshannig might well had goaled again, Jack Kearney's effort, brilliantly saved by Emmets 'keeper O'Keeffe only for O'Sullivan to pop over the rebound for a 1-5 to 0-5 advantage at the interval.
Emmets returned with a renewed determination under the guidance of Paddy an d Aidan Browne along with Michael Cottrell and O'Keeffe. Points from Ryan and Conor O'Keeffe clipped the arrears to the minimum.
With the standard of play continuing to rise, Kilshannig reacted on a positive note, Dermot Twomey and Cillian Murphy setting up full forward O'Sullivan for his second major. And though Murphy added on a point, Emmets broke the sequence with a goal of their own, Paddy Browne and Jack Murphy created the space for O'Keeffe to embark on a run and jink inside the Kilshannig cover to net and cut the leeway 2-6 to 1-7.
However Kilshannig wrestled back the initiative through the commanding play of Joe Cronin, Brian Guerin, Jack Twomey and Cillian Murphy with O'Sullivan and Kearney highly effective in attack.
And Kilshannig got back on track with telling scores, typified in the 47th minute, Darragh O'Sullivan and Dermot Twomey placed Kearney to goal.
In fairness, Emmets refused to buckle and they were back in business after O'Keeffe pointed three in quick succession. That cut the deficit to just four points with 10 minutes to play but instead of trying to hold out, Kilshannig offered an aggressive offensive style partly rewarded.
However, they passed up on goaling opportunities, Diarmuid O'Sullivan ever close to a hat trick but struck wide before Emmets keeper O'Keeffe pulled off a stunning save from Kearney.
At the opposite end, Conor O'Keeffe did point to leave a goal between the pair yet the trend remained with Kilshannig, content for Conor McMahon and Kearney to shoot the insurance points.
Playing captain Joe Cronin and captain Dylan O'Callaghan accepted the Crowley Cup from Co. Board Chairman Ger Lane.
KILSHANNIG: K McMahon 0-1f; B Walsh, J Cronin, B Curtin; C O'Shea, B Guerin, C Murphy; J Twomey 0-1, C Murphy 0-1; Daire O'Sullivan 0-2, C McMahon 0-1, K Twomey; J Kearney 1-2 (0-2f), D O'Sullivan 2-3, D Twomey. Subs: C Barrow for Walsh (44), K O'Flynn for D O'Sullivan (55), E O'Sullivan for K Twomey(56), T Brennan for C O'Shea (61, bc).
ROBERT EMMETS: J O'Keeffe; J Sheehan, J Hayes, D Norton; P Browne, A Browne, E O'Connell; M Cottrell, C Browne; A O'Callaghan, C O'Keeffe 1-8 (0-2f), C Crowley; J Guiney(0-1), R O'Keeffe (0-1), J Murphy 0-1. Subs: M McSweeney for O'Callaghan (29), S McSweeney for O'Connell (44).
Referee: J Forbes (Dohenys)