AGB overcome brave Kilcoole
AGB 6-03 - Kilcoole 2-03
Arklow Geraldines held off a spirited challenge from Kilcoole to take the Under-13 'C' football crown in Ballinakill on a dry, but altogether chilly Sunday afternoon.
It was a fast tempo game with brilliant skills in both attacking and defending on show.
Arklow were quickest into gear as Tiernan Gahan registered an early goal and AGB built up an eight-point lead midway through the first half.
Kilcoole had some brilliant footballers on show themselves and battled back into the game. Goals from Charlie Frawley and Alec Dutton had them right in it with just 15 minutes to go. But in the end it was Arklow who finished the strongest and three late goals gave them a deserved victory, albeit with a somewhat flattering scoreline.
The game started at a frenetic pace. Neither side was giving up an inch. There were hard but fair challenges right from the get go.
Conor Gahan dispossessed a Kilcoole counterpart and from the resultant attack the ball was swiftly worked to wing-forward Tiernan Gahan.
The tricky number 10 stepped inside and buried the leather low to the net, giving AGB the perfect start.
Arklow were strong in defence, and despite some good Kilcoole play they couldn't seem to get past the half forward line early on as the likes of Jack Flusk and Paul Moore were meeting them with stern resistance.
This allowed AGB build up early pressure and scoring opportunities.
The first point of the game came with 12 minutes on the clock. Brian Hurley and Adam O'Leary exchanged passes around the 45, before the latter took off and darted towards goal.
O'Leary looked like he was about to get penned in but did well to turn and fist back to the waiting Patrick Shaw, who duly curled over from 25 yards.
Arklow soon extended their lead with another major as Aaron O'Brien finished brilliantly to the top corner after being expertly picked out by Brian Hurley.
Hurley was having a big influence on the game. He was finding space around the 45 and unlocking the Kilcoole defence some exquisite passing or taking on their backs himself.
If Kilcoole were to get back in it they would have to limit his supply.
Slowly but surely, Kilcoole clawed their way into the game. Craig Davies made a lung-bursting solo run up the left wing before delivering a high ball towards goal. The ball found Charlie Frawley. His effort was top corner bound but denied by an acrobatic Denis O'Reilly save.
O'Reilly was again called upon soon after as he tipped away a Louis Thomas shot.
Kilcoole finally got the goal their play deserved on 20 minutes though, as Alec Dutton found the bottom right corner after good work from Sam Butler.
Charlie Frawley added a second, to leave just two points separating the sides, with a ball rifled in from the right which deceived everyone.
Brian Hurley had the final say of the half however. He brilliantly finished to the top right corner to leave five points between the sides at half time.
The start of the second half proved to be somewhat of a stalemate with neither side registering a score in the opening 12 minutes upon the restart.
You got the sense that if Kilcoole could get the first goal or string a couple of scores together it could go down to the wire.
Conor Healy thought he had the first point for AGB but his effort was waved wide after some discussion.
Kilcoole did register the first score of the second half after 42 minutes as Charlie Frawley converted a free off the ground from inside the D.
Kilcoole came close to getting a goal a couple of times with Frawley, Davies and Micheal Shannon lofting in dangerous balls but each time Arklow managed to clear their lines and, despite their dominance in the second half's opening Kilcoole could only muster a single point.
That proved costly, and when AGB's purple patch came they made them pay in full. Brian Hurley finished off a flowing move past the helpless Ben Campbell and from the resultant kick-out Arklow won a free, which Hurley converted and all of a sudden a four point lead became eight.
Conor Gahan delivered a sumptuous low ball, which found Adam O'Leary and the corner-forward made no mistake to goal from close range. Arklow sealed the victory with a well taken goal from substitute Fionn Henry, who had a fine game when introduced, and despite some late Kilcoole pressure the gap was too wide to make up with not enough time.
A deserved victory for Arklow but the score line didn't do Kilcoole justice and if they had taken their chances at certain times it could have been a very different game.
Best for Kilcoole were Craig Davies, Seán Byrne and Charlie Frawley while the whole AGB back line, along with goalkeeper O'Reilly were hugely impressive while Brian Hurley was the star man up front.
Scorers - AGB: Brian Hurley 2-2 (0-2 F), Adam O'Leary 1-0, Aaron O'Brien 1-0, Tiernan Gahan 1-0, Fionn Henry 1-0, Patrick Shaw 0-1.
Kilcoole: Charlie Frawley 1-1 (0-1 F), Alec Dutton 1-0, Sam Butler 0-1, Jack Collier 0-1.
AGB: Denis O'Reilly, Oisín Wood, Gordon Prestige, Killian Brehony, Jack Flusk, Conor Gahan, Paul Moore, Paidí Kavanagh, Niall O'Donovan, Tiernan Gahan, Aaron O'Brien, Brian Hurley, Adam O'Leary, Conor Healy, Patrick Shaw. Subs: Micheal Gough, Fionn Henry, Padraig Kelly, Jos Rafferty, Tomas O'Reilly
Kilcoole: Ben Campbell, Jude Fleming, Seán Byrne, Evan Cooke, Ryan Curran, Luke Frawley, Craig Davies, Jack Collier, Sam Butler, Louis Thomas, Charlie Frawley, Oisín Taggert, Jack Pistoor, Alec Dutton, Micheal Shannon. Subs: Seán Kruger, Christian Moran, John Pionix.