Stylish Shillelagh show goal-den touch
Shillelagh 4-10; Coolkenno 1-8: Shillelagh gave neighbours Coolkenno, and anyone else that were watching a lesson in the art of goalscoring in the second Keating Trophy match, played in Arklow on Saturday, writes Peter Keogh.
Keith Byrne, the only member of the famed goalscoring family to figure in the attack on the day, had the ball in John Corcoran’s net in a little over 20 seconds and the former county player went on to give a mighty display of point kicking in the firsthalf to see his side lead by 1-8 to 0-4 at halftime.
Another veteran Graham Carroll and Declan Nolan were the only other Shillelagh scorers in that half. Two of Byrne’s points were scored from over 40 metres out on the sideline and must rank with the best points of the year.
It took Coolkenno ten minutes to get their first point but then Eamonn Rossiter, Conor Walker, Seamus Kenny and Walker again landed first-half points.
Coolkenno would have the wind behind them in the second-half and were not out of contention at that stage. However, they certainly were within a minute of the restart. Darren Kavanagh rattled the Coolkenno net again inside 30 seconds and before the first minute had passed Graham Carroll had the ball back in the onion sack again, his shot taking a deflection off a Coolkenno boot.
While Coolkenno staged a strong comeback and got a goal of their own in the 40th minute they never had a realistic chance of closing the gap. When Michael Furlong’s men got fairly well on top in the closing stages of this ‘local derby’ their shooting let them down and they kicked eight wides, most of them from favourable enough positions.
So it’s Shillelagh that go through to the semi-finals while Coolkenno, who lost their Senior status in the league last year will have a fight on their hands to stay in the Senior Championship Football.
Man of the match was Keith Byrne who finished with a personal total of 1-8.