Thursday 22 February 2018

Superb Kiernan's sink champions

St Kiernan's 0-12 Tír Chonaill Gaels 0-5

St Kiernan's defeated Tír Chonaill by seven points Stock photo: Sportsfile
St Kiernan's defeated Tír Chonaill by seven points Stock photo: Sportsfile Newsdesk Newsdesk

St Kiernan's landed the London SFC for the first time in their 31-year history with a seven-point win over defending champions Tír Chonaill Gaels.

The Gaels were bidding for a record 17th title and a third in a row but the London heavyweights were out-punched from start to finish.

Michael Callery was instrumental in the first half, scoring two sublime points from play, backed up by scores from James Moran, captain Adrian Moyles, Liam O'Donoghue and Michael O'Donoghue.

John McGrath (free) and Stuart Johnson kept the Gaels in it but at 0-6 to 0-2 down at half-time, they never looked like taking control, especially with the breeze against them in the second half.

The Gaels - managed by Wexford native Lloyd Colfer, in his first year in charge - desperately needed a second-half goal but it never looked like coming, even after the impressive Mark Gottsche entered the fray on 36 minutes.

Kiernan's preserved their energy well, cleverly keeping possession, and 20 minutes after the restart their lead had been extended to seven points, with Michael O'Donoghue (two), Moyles and Mark Mullholland strengthening their position.

By stoppage time they boasted a nine-point lead - courtesy of Thomas Waters and a third point from Moyles - before Adrian Hanlon and substitute Dillon Ward somewhat spared Gaels' blushes with two late scores.

SCORERS - St Kiernan's: A Moyles and M O'Donoghue 0-3 each, M Callery 0-2, M Mullholland, J Moran, T Waters, L O'Donoghue 0-1 each. Tir Chonaill Gaels: A Hanlon 0-2, S Johnston, J McGrath (f), D Ward 0-1 each.

St Kiernan's - B Mulrooney; K Curran, I McGough, D Quinn; P Begley, S Curran, M Hulholland; J Moran, C Og Greene; T Waters, A Moyles, L O'Donoghue; M Callery, P Finn, M O'Donoghue. Subs: T Moriarty for L O'Donoghue (46), C Carville for M Callery (53), D Ryan for P Finn (56), C Healy for K Curran (black card, 57), D McHugh for M O'Donoghue (60).

Tir Chonaill Gaels - E Higgins; B McAtarsney, P Butler, M McWilliams; S Johnston, G Magee, M McCoy; R Breen, A McDermott; S Murney, A Hanlon, A Askin; J McGrath, L Gavaghan, K Butler. Subs: B Collins for K Butler (36), M Gottsche for S Murney (36), E Mageean for J McGrath (52), D Ward for A McDermott (55), K Clarke for S Johnston( 56).

REF: C Conneely.

Irish Independent

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