Saturday 24 August 2019

Furlong on fire

Group 1 of the Boom & Platform Hire Senior Football Championship:

Kiltegan’s Padraig O’Toole gallops away from Newtown’s Shane Mooney
Kiltegan’s Padraig O’Toole gallops away from Newtown’s Shane Mooney

Brendan Lawrence

An impressive 2-6 from Kiltegan's Seanie Furlong that included a contender for goal of the season from the former Wicklow star helped Geoffrey Bermingham's side to a much-needed victory in Group 1 of the Boom & Platform Hire Senior Football Championship.

There will be serious concern among the Kiltegan faithful at how they allowed a 2-12 to 1-6 gap in the 38th minute be closed to 2-13 to 1-13 by the 55th minute but they managed to hold off a late surge from a depleted Newtown side to bag the win that could transform what has been a chronic season for the West side.

Newtown's start was electric. Damien Gilligan's outfit romped out to a 0-4 to 0-1 lead thanks to points from Declan Doyle, named at full-forward but lining out in midfield, Sean Gregory, and Ross Davis (2) to which Kiltegan replied with a point from Wicklow star Rory Finn.

There was no Dean Odlum for the Magpies and his attacking threat was most certainly missed and midfielder Paul O'Riordan didn't start with Conor Odlum and Darragh Callan taking their places. Newtown employed Robert Greennan as a sweeper in front of Seanie Furlong.

Kiltegan rallied with Seanie Furlong showing that class that has provided entertainment to Kiltegan and Wicklow football fans.

The full-forward took a pass from Mickey Foley before splitting the posts, corner-forward Derek Daly profited from a ball from Podge O'Toole before raising a white flag and then Seanie Furlong brought a fine save out of Ken Turner that saw the ball deflect up and over the crossbar to level matters after 11 minutes.

Geoffrey Bermingham's side took the lead moments later through Ferghal Farrell who enjoyed an excellent game and they extended that through a Cathal Fitzgerald effort shortly afterwards after a superb Podge O'Toole mark from a Ken Turner kick-out. Fitzgerald might have had a goal had he continued on his run but perhaps wisely he lashed over the bar when he had time and space.

It was all Kiltegan at this stage and their seeking of Seanie Furlong under high and diagonal balls was working well enough.

Stephen Farrell picked out Seanie in the 16th minute and the full-forward picked out Derek Daly who was pulled down by Ken Turner.

Seanie Kinsella placed the ball and walloped past the Magpie net minder for the game's opening goal.

Credit to Newtown they battled back and they were gifted a fortuitous goal when a high ball from Ross Davis flew in over the hands of Daniel Twyford Troy in the Kiltegan goal in the 19th minute to make it 1-7 to 1-4.

Kiltegan pushed on for the remainder of the first half and their surge started through a Colm Keogh point that was answered by a Sean Heffernan single for Newtown.

From here on in Kiltegan put the boot down with points from Anthony Furlong after a long burst down the field, a fine Seanie Furlong after Kiltegan had won a Newtown kick out before Seanie dropped over two frees to leave them 1-11 to 1-5 ahead at the break.

Kiltegan suffered a blow on the restart when Podge O'Toole picked up a black card from referee John Keenan for a foul on Declan Doyle.

Karl Carthy reduced the deficit to five before Seanie Furlong resumed the Kiltegan scoring from a free won by Shane Mooney.

Seanie Furlong then produced what can only be described as a moment of magic when he exchanged a pass with Rory Finn before selling a sexy dummy and showing dazzling feet to waltz around Newtown's Robert Greennan before lashing home to the bottom corner of Ken Turner's net. Indeed, Turner was forced to leave the field shortly afterwards having injured his leg in the dive.

Damien Gilligan's side gathered their thoughts superbly after what seemed like a devastating blow and they charged back into this game with points from Ross Davis (four, three frees), Conor Odlum, and Sean Gregory to leave just three between the sides with five to go.

However, they also lost Neilly Martin in the 42nd minute to a second yellow.

That was as close as Newtown could get to Kiltegan. Geoffrey Bermingham's troops steadied their ship and added a fine score from Cathal Fitzgerald while also registering two wides.

The win lifts Kiltegan off the floor of Group 1 and leaves Newtown in an extremely vulnerable position. Kiltegan face Tinahely in a must-win game for both teams. Newtown face AGB next.

Kiltegan: Seanie Furlong 2-6 (1p, 2f), Rory Finn 0-2, Cathal Fitzgerald 0-2, Derek Daly 0-1, Colm Keogh 0-1, Anthony Furlong 0-1, Ferghal Farrell 0-1.

Sean Heffernan 1-6 (3f), Karl Carthy 0-2, Sean Gregory 0-2, Declan Doyle 0-1, Sean Heffernan 0-1, Conor Odlum 0-1.

Kiltegan: Daniel Twyford Troy; Bryan Kearney, Blaine Harmon, John Farrell; Aaron Byrne, Stephen Farrell, Colm Keogh; Padraig O'Toole, Rory Finn; Michael Foley, Ferghal Farrell, Cathal Fitzgerald; Anthony Furlong, Seanie Furlong, Derek Daly.

Newtown: Ken Turner; Robert Greenan, John O'Donoghue, Glenn Carthy; Lee Turner, Shane Mooney, Neil Martin; Declan Doyle, Mark Fitzsimons; Sean Gregory, Sean Heffernan, Karl Carthy; Dean Odlum, Conor Odlum, Ross Davis.

Referee: John Keenan (Aughrim)

Wicklow People