Kiltegan take crown after close encounter
Kiltegan 0-8, Newcastle 0-5: The scoring was low, the determination of the two teams and the missed chances were high as Kiltegan claimed the first of a notable championship double at the weekend by claiming a narrow three points victory over Newcastle in the Junior ‘A’ Football final at Arklow on Saturday.
In the championship campaign up to this point Newcastle has carved out a reputation for themselves as coming from behind with a second half surge to secure victory at the death.
This time they set themselves up as a pot-shot by building up a small 0-4 to 0-2 lead in the first half, providing Kiltegan with a target to aim at in an improve second half display that saw corner-forward Keith Furlong find his shooting boots during the interval.
After a poor first half in which he fritted away several good scoring chances, including missing a gilt edged goal opportunity, Furlong came good after the restart and he set Kiltegan on the road to victory with some splendid scores.
Newcastle managed to add just one point to their half time lead of 0-4 to 0-2 in the second half – that came from hyperactive corner forward Paddy Kavanagh shortly after the restart, while in contrast Kiltegan responded with six matching winning points in a dominant second half display, two thirds of the scores coming from the refocused boot of Furlong.
Wing-forward Seán Byrne opened for Kiltegan with a point in the second minute, after taking a pass from Lorcan Byrne, but thereafter their shooting for scores was way off the mark in the first half.
Newcastle’s winger JP Kelly had a very promising start for his side with two rapid fire points after five minutes, but he did not maintain the momentum and cornerforward Paddy Kavanagh was their most visible attacker along with Richard Merriman at full-forward.
Paddy Kavanagh stretched the Newcastle lead to 0-3 to 0-1 after eight minutes but thereafter the sides registered only another point apiece, underlining the poor rate of return we had from the respective forwards.
Keith Furlong spurned three excellent chances of scores for Kiltegan, including one where he was through for what looked a certain goal but he pulled his shot wide of Ian Lucey’s left-hand post.
Newcastle’s Robbie O’Gara, a wholehearted and class player, the centre-field engine propelling his team forward, also caught the bug and failed to find the target with a number of attempts, including frees.
Full-forward Darren Hobson opened the second half scoring for Kiltegan with an early point and moments later Paddy Kavanagh recorded Newcastle’s last score of the match when he had an answering point.
Kiltegan did up their performance and scoring rate on the change-over, mainly due to Keith Furlong finding his form, but even so eighteen minutes were to elapse before they drew level at 0-5 each. Stephen Farrell drew a good save from Newcastle keeper Ian Lucey while it was two more smart points from Furlong that fired Kiltegan ahead after 54 minutes.
Fergal Farrell replaced Dan Kearney on the Kiltegan team and got his name on the scoreboard and now the title and trophy were firmly in their grasp following the stronger second half performance of the two teams.
The Kiltegan team who defeated Newcastle in the Junior ‘A’ football final on Sunday.