Wednesday 20 March 2019

Perfect timing for Kilrush

Kilrush 1-7 Craanford 1-5

Oliver Doran of Craanford in the thick of the battle with Tom Hayden (Kilrush)
Oliver Doran of Craanford in the thick of the battle with Tom Hayden (Kilrush)
The Kilrush players celebrate their success in Camolin on Friday

Brian Carty

As far as timing victory charges go, Kilrush couldn't have asked for better as two injury-time points saw them secure the Enniscorthy Farm Systems Gorey District Junior 'B' football championship title at the expense of Craanford by 1-7 to 1-5 in Friday's intriguing final in Camolin.

By no means a free-flowing classic, it was still entertaining in its own way, particularly in the last ten minutes when the excitement reached fever pitch as Craanford were clinging onto the lead, and Kilrush were drastically playing catch up.

Craanford hadn't kicked a wide until the 36th minute, but followed with four more miscues as they only added one more point to their half-time lead of 1-4 to 1-1.

In contrast, the introduction of Garry Doran had a huge bearing on proceedings, as he slotted in at centre-forward on the resumption and was central to most of the Ballyroebuck men's best work.

Kevin Kenny had thumped over two frees to make it 1-5 to 1-4 on 50 minutes, while captain Frank Boggan sold his marker a dummy before lofting over an equaliser two minutes before the end of regulation time.

Prior to that Boggan leveller, Craanford almost found the net as a bout of pinball around the Kilrush square saw Shane Greene's fisted effort deflected behind.

But it looked like Craanford had repelled another attack from their neighbours when some solid defending led to them being awarded a free-out as the clock ticked into injury-time.

However, some miscommunication saw the free fall into the grateful arms of the alert Doran, who took one touch to compose himself before firing over the lead point.

Craanford pushed forward en masse for parity, but were caught on the counter-attack five minutes into injury-time as Kenny knocked over an insurance free to secure the trophy.

The victors forged an early lead on three minutes when the wily John Harte ghosted in at the back post to punch home Boggan's hanging ball.

But Craanford battled back to develop that three-point cushion at the interval, as two frees from Martin Wadding and efforts from play from Stuart Lancaster and Michael Shortle sandwiched a tenth-minute goal.

Shane Kavanagh made the decisive break before off-loading to Greene, who quickly transferred to Wadding to tuck away with conviction. But fate ultimately transpired to favour Kilrush in that dramatic finish.

Kilrush: Alan Owens; Raymond Lancaster, Tomás Kenny, Eoin Carton; Garrett O'Connor, Paul Browne, Tom Hayden; Jamie Quinn (0-1), Eoin Murphy; Jack Quinn, Stephen Ryan (0-1 free), Martin Hayden; Kevin Kenny (0-3 frees), Frank Boggan (capt., 0-1), John Harte (1-0). Subs. - Garry Doran (0-1) for Quinn (HT), Ciarán Lancaster for Ryan, inj. (44), Quinn for Harte (53).

Craanford: Derek Finn; Paddy Lancaster, Gary Keating, Jack Keogh; Eoin Doyle, James Byrne, Stuart Lancaster (0-1); Michael Shortle (0-2), Ollie Doran; James Redmond (capt.), Shane Kavanagh, John Lancaster; Calvin O'Toole, Shane Greene, Martin Wadding (1-2, 0-2 frees). Subs. - Luke Byrne for O'Toole (18), Thomas Furlong for Kavanagh, black card (46), Andrew Tighe for Keating, black card (60+5).

Referee: Shane Quinn (Réalt na Mara).

Gorey Guardian