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Kildangan Fight Hard to Claim Final Victory

posted 13 Sep 2015, 06:59 by Kildangan PRO   [ updated 14 Sep 2015, 16:14 by rúnaí Cill Daingin ]
Long threatening came at last for Kildangan in the final of the Junior B Championship on Saturday when they prevailed against a dogged and determined Ballymore side. The game was filled with intensity, hard hitting and flashes of skill. 

The Kildangan team were a mixture of youth and experience, featuring six minors who came up through the clubs underage structure, along with a number of players who contested Kildangan’s previous Championship final, back in 2005.
 
Kildangan led from the start and were always in front, eventually winning 2-9 to 1-8. Tenacious defending by Kildangan ensured that Ballymore never got a clean shot on goal, a Ballymore goal in the dying minutes was the result of a free kick which many would have thought should have gone the other way. 


Due to a clash of colours, both sides were forced change jerseys, Ballymore wore their blue away, while Kildangan played the game in the white and red of local hurling club Ros Glas.

The opening few minutes gave an idea of how intense the game would be for both teams, with Tom Moran of Kildangan and Ballymore's Gerry Fennell taking hard hits. Nevertheless, both players were keen to keep going.

It took ten minutes before the scoring opened, courtesy of a Stephen Quigley point. Paul Browne registered Ballymore's first minutes later. Shane Fitzpatrick attempted to follow suit, but was unlucky to send it wide. Ryan Moran then gave Kildangan the lead in the fourteenth minute with a well taken point.

Gabriel Murtagh, Kildangan's right corner back, made a jinking run in the his own half that eventually led to Robert Hanley's first score of the game. 
A foul on Tom Moran led to a free sent over by Robert Hanley. Enda Stewart Byrne had a chance hit the post, before Mark McCarville sent a rocket of a shot straight into the hands of Colin Christie in the Kildangan goal. Kildangan ended the half three points in front, the score 0-4 to 0-1. However, they still needed a big game in the second half to keep victory in sight.

Kildangan were awarded a penalty in the opening two minutes of the second half for a foul on Tom Moran. Robert Hanley stepped up to the penalty spot, and sent the ball past Ballymore's Kevin McNally. McCarville then scored a point from play, only Ballymore's second of the game. Hanley added two more points through frees, before Keith Murphy of Ballymore scored one of his own.

The east Kildare side began to look threatening (not for the first time this season) as Keith Murphy, Enda Stewart Byrne and Mark Slevin took their chances. Padraig Casey eased Kildangan nerves with a point, sending Kildangan into a 1-6 to 0-5 lead. An Andrew Mahon point ensured that there was only three points between the teams, and as Ballymore had proven to Kildangan earlier in the season, they wouldn't give in.

Following some interplay in midfield Pauric Casey gave an inch perfect pass to  Stephen Quigley, who sent a rocket of a shot to the Ballymore net, pushing the KIldangan  lead to six. Keith Murphy pulled it back to five. Kildangan were given a bit of security when Dermot Hickey and Ryan Moran added a point each.  

Once  again, Ballymore made every effort to get within reach of Kildangan, with Paul Browne getting a gift of  a goal in the last two minutes after the Referee deemed that Kildangan had touched the ball on the ground. A nervous few minutes followed as Ballymore dropped a number of high balls on top of the Kildangan square. The defence, led by David Christie was up to the task, clearing with some aplomb. 

The Ballymore goal was to be the final score of the game, as referee Alan Smullen blew the final whistle to joyous scenes as Kildangan claimed  their first championship title in eleven years. Kildangan captain, Padraig Casey, accept the trophy on behalf of his team.
 
A true championship encounter, neither team left anything behind. In the end Kildangan were worthy winners as they were undefeated throughout the championship campaign. Kildangan now progress to the Junior A Grade. Ballymore can be confident in their ability at this level, as they held Kildangan to four points in the first half and showed true grit in the second half to keep fighting back until the end. 


Kildangan: Colin Christie; Gabriel Murtagh, David Christie, Jordan Kaye; Bryan Adams, Luke Barry, Ruaidhri Jacob; Padraig Casey (0-1), Dara Gilbert; Dermot Hickey (0-1), Stephen Quigley (1-1), Eric O'Hara; Ryan Moran (0-1), Tom Moran, Robert Hanley (1-4, 1F).
Substitutes: Richard Morgan, John Miller (for Stephen Quigley (black card), 19th minute), Eoin Madigan, Willie Lawlor, Declan McGrath, Andrew Wilson.

Ballymore: Kevin McNally; Patrick Langan, Alan Gilroy, Stephen Fisher; Shane Fitzpatrick, Kieran Doyle, Sean O'Sullivan; Mark McCarville (0-1), Alan Rooney; Keith Murphy (0-3), Gerry Fennell, Enda Stewart-Byrne (0-1); Chris Dowling, Paul Browne (1-1), Mark Slevin (0-1).
Substitutes: Conor Nolan, Andrew Mahon (0-1), David McAtamney, Ollie O'Neill, Ciaran Kelleher, Ciaran Conway, Paul Darby, Joshua Burke Hayes, Adam Murphy, Mark Daly.

By Andrew Wilson
Thanks to Gillian Murphy, the Ballymore Eustace PRO, for the opposition team sheet and scorers.
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