Champions Glenealy set up showdown with Carnew
Glenealy 1-20, Kiltegan 1-10: Glenealy, the defending Senior hurling champions, have set up another final showdown with arch-rivals Carnew following their ten points win over Kiltegan in their semi-final game at Aughrim on Sunday.
After winning the Senior football title the previous week, Kiltegan were going in search of a Senior double in 2008 but it never really looked a possibility against a Glenealy side that led the way from pillar to post in this match.
However, Kiltegan did give it their best shot on the day, maintained a strong enough challenge for threequarters of the match, but then the after effects of the previous week’s victory celebrations kicked in and they ran out of steam.
Glenealy led by 1-12 to 0-6 at halftime after playing with a strong wind, but then Kiltegan started the second-half strongly with early points by John Keogh and Seánie Furlong and a goal by Keogh on 48 minutes to reduce the gap to 1-17 to 1-9, but their challenge faded in the final quarter.
Jonathan O’Neill, who started at midfield before switching to defence, had another mighty game for Glenealy, scoring six points, five of them from frees. He set his team on the road with two early points from frees - a speciality of his - and the reds were on the road to victory after that.
Corner-forward Alan Driver was also a lively attacker for Glenealy and he landed the first of his five smashing points after five minutes and the reds were three points up at that stage, with Kiltegan still to register on the scoreboard.
It took Kiltegan some time to grow into this contest but once they got motoring and started to shed the cobwebs and ring rust accumulated from a lack of hurling practice, they contested well for 45 minutes.
Ten minutes had elapsed before Kiltegan got off the mark, their opening point scored by their midfielder Seánie Furlong off his left hand, and thereafter Furlong caused a lot of headaches for the Glenealy defence, especially when he moved to a scoring position at full-forward.
Glenealy recognised the inherent danger posed by Seánie Furlong, just as good a predatory forward in hurling as in football, and the reds switched Jonathan O’Neill to a defensive role in the half line in an effort to close off the supply of ball to Furlong, who was supported by stalwarts Jeffrey Bermingham, Denis Hayes, Anthony Furlong and Eoin O’Neill.
Glenealy lined out without Australia-bound Leighton Glynn but his brother Enan has blossomed into a quality attacker in the past year or two.
Thanks to the work and scoring of Seánie Furlong and John Keogh, Kiltegan were only trailing by four points, 0-9 to 0-5, after 24 minutes and that despite playing against a very strong wind. But then Alan Driver picked out Enan Glynn with a great pass across the face of the Kiltegan goal and the green flag was waving. That goal set Glenealy up for a 1-12 to 0-6 lead at the break.
After Jonathan O’Neill had opened the second-half scoring with a point for Glenealy, Kiltegan’s free-taker John Keogh responded with two points from placed balls, Seánie Furlong added another, while after 48 minutes John Keogh blasted a free to the net to narrow the gap to 1-17 to 1-9, and underline that Kiltegan were still defiant if never going to challenge the winners considerable lead.
Kiltegan’s resistance faded in the closing quarter, allowing Glenealy to run out clear-cut winners as expected.
Scorers for Glenealy: Jonathan O’Neill (0-6), Alan Driver (0-5), Enan Glynn (1-3), MJ O’Neill (0-2), Philip Dunne (0-2), MA O’Neill and Thomas Doyle (0-1 each).
Kiltegan scorers: Seánie Furlong (0-4), John Keogh (1-6, four points frees).
Glenealy: Joey Driver, Colm O’Neill, Trevor McGrath, Robert Byrne, Gary Byrne, Colm Byrne, Philip Dunne, Jonathan O’Neill, MJ O’Neill, Thomas Doyle, MA O’Neill, Gavin Byrne, Enan Glynn, Anthony Driver, Alan Driver. Subs: Nigel Driver for G. Byrne, Barry O’Neill for Anthony Driver, Alan Delaney for MA O’Neill.
Kiltegan: Alister Hambidge, Barry Cremin, Jeffrey Bermingham, Denis Hayes, Anthony Furlong, Eoin O’Neill, Ciaran Doyle, Rory Finn, Seanie Furlong, Sean Byrne, John O’Toole, John Keogh, Fergal Farrell, Adrian Keogh, Ray Kelly. Subs: Dan Kearney for R. Kelly, Keith Furlong for B. Cremin, Christy O’Toole for S. Byrne, Peadar Farrell for R. Finn, Eugene Byrne for A. Keogh.
Referee: Declan Peppard (Hollywood).
Kiltegan’s Robert Byrne clears his lines.
Seánie Furlong of Kiltegan breaks free from M.J. O’Neill and Robert Byrne.
Trevor McGrath of Glenealy and Seánie Furlong battle for possession.