County stars boost Kil­te­gan fire­power

West team will now face Mount­mel­lick

Bray People - - SPORT - PETER KEOGH At Kil­te­gan

KIL­TE­GAN qual­i­fied for the Di­vi­sion 4 fi­nal of the Le­in­ster Hurl­ing League with an easy win over West­meath side, Cul­lion, at Kil­te­gan on Satur­day.

With county hurlers, Ge­of­frey Ber­ming­ham and Ro­nan Byrne avail­able hopes were high in the home camp.

How­ever, they were miss­ing top scorer Keith Fur­long who was out in­jured and he was to prove a big loss.

Johnny Ke­hoe broke his thumb in the quar­ter­fi­nal and he was also out. The home side were in con­trol right through­out but man­ager Peter Byrne was any­thing but pleased with the first half dis­play.

The home side had a fairly stiff wind at their backs but shot wide af­ter wide they wasted chance af­ter chance.

Ten min­utes had passed be­fore vet­eran John O'Toole, play­ing in his first match of the year sent over a point.

An­other 10 had passed be­fore O'Toole blasted home a goal to lift the gloom.

Ge­of­frey Ber­ming­ham sent over a long range point and Jame­sie O'Brien added an­other but they still had only 1-3 on the board at half time and that looked slen­der in the ex­treme.

How­ever, the man­ager was lucky to have the county foot­ballers also avail­able on this oc­ca­sion. The in­tro­duc­tion of Rory Finn and Seanie Fur­long brought the side to life in the sec­ond half and saw them lift their game. An early goal by Seanie Fur­long got the show on the road; Ge­of­frey Ber­ming­ham and Anthony Fur­long also stormed into the game and sent over good points.

Ten min­utes of the sec­ond half had passed be­fore the vis­it­ing West­meath men, an Intermediate team from out­side Mullingar, got their first point.

Ro­nan Byrne and John O'Toole sent over good points and even though the vis­i­tors got through for a late goal it was a case of too lit­tle too late.

Kil­te­gan can thank their de­fence for keep­ing them in it in the first half. Padraig Kear­ney and Barry Cremin were the an­chor men and left no open­ings; Ciaran Doyle had a stormer and the ‘Kicker’ was sound in goal. Dan Kear­ney had a very good game at mid­field.

Eoin O'Neill and Adrian Keogh worked hard but got lit­tle re­ward. Mark Pierce was do­ing well in the first half and was missed for the line balls and Michael Man­gan also made a big dif­fer­ence when he came on. In the end Kil­te­gan ran out con­vinc­ing win­ners.

Kil­te­gan - Ciaran O'Toole; Gavin Keogh, Padraig Kear­ney, Patrick Keogh; Anthony Fur­long (0-2), Barry Cremin, Ciaran Doyle; Dan Kear­ney, Ro­nan Byrne (0-1); Eoin O'Neill, Adrian Keogh, Mark Pierce; James O'Brien (0-1), Jef­frey Ber­ming­han (0-2), John O'Toole (1-2).

Subs - Seanie Fur­long (2-1), Rory Finn, Michael Man­gan, John O'Keeffe and Eoin Coogan.

Scor­ers for Cul­lion - James Kelly 1-0; James Clarke 0-2; Damien Golden 0-1

Kil­te­gan now meet Mount­mel­lic of Laois in the fi­nal at a venue still to be named. Mount­mel­lic beat an­other Wick­low team, Kil­coole, in the other semi-fi­nal.

John O'Toole, Kil­te­gan pre­pares to at­tack as Cul­lion’s Stephen Burke ap­proaches. Pic: Joe Byrne.

Kil­te­gan’s Anthony Fur­long com­petes with Cul­lion’s Shane O’Con­nor in Kil­te­gan.

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