Furlong on fire as Kiltegan demolish Bray challenge
THINGS are good for Kiltegan, not so good for Bray Emmets. Seanie Furlong was on fire, bouncing around with a lightness and energy and making the game look like fun, showing why he’s the best forward in the county.
For Bray, they face into the Keating Trophy following a group campaign in which they were decimated by injury and travel.
Five players started against Kiltegan who also started the county semi-final last year against Baltinglass. Conor Flannery started on Sunday while he came on last year. Missing two-thirds of a team would be difficult for any club. Some of their players are due back in August and they may be able to stave off relegation.
And yet with all that in the background, they led by four points to one by the 6th minute. Bryan Cullen got Kiltegan’s first point after 20 seconds with the goal at his mercy, but after that the ball was camped inside the Kiltegan half, the western club unable to gain possession at all and get a foothold in the game.
Ishmael Mnensa started very well with good tackles, though his influence waned as Jacko Dalton stepped up.
Peter Quinlan scored Bray’s opening point and Conor Flannery added the other three points from frees but for the next 54 minutes Bray would only score three more points, all frees from Flannery and only one of them coming in the second half.
Kiltegan were level at four points each by the ninth minute, and had the game as good as won by half time, 2-09 to 0-06. Read on, however, or else you’ll miss out on the Seanie Show.
Situated in around the square, or sometimes in the goalmouth itself when he wanted a drink, he was part of only three Kiltegan players inside the Bray half at times, Kiltegan playing with a very defensive setup. Furlong, Derek Daly and either Jacko Dalton or Bryan Cullen were never isolated however.
The numbers back meant possession was turned over more often than not and then Kiltegan brought the ball forward at pace and with numbers. The likes of Rory Finn and Padraig O’Toole amongst others had the physical power and pace to break past any would be tackler and set up attacks.
Finn scored Kilegan’s second point of the game, one of those difficult shots he likes to take from 30m which split the post.
Furlong then took it upon himself to kick Kiltegan’s next four points and beautifully set up Jacko Dalton for their first goal.
Two of his points were from play, the first when he looped around a teammate in possession and only needed a postage stamp worth of space to raise a white flag. His second point was a classy effort.
In the eighteenth minute Dalton got the afternoon’s first goal.
Dalton picked up possession from his left wing forward position and passed to Furlong while galloping into the space vacated by Furlong.
To see that an ocean of space has opened up and the ball should be passed into that space from a distance is easy enough, to do so in the heat of battle with his marker for company is very good.
To make that pass a 20-yard hand pass with your weaker hand, well now, that’s different gravy.
Furlong got his goal five minutes later to make it 2-07 to 6 points. Stephen Farrell launched a high ball in and rather than compete with the two Bray men in front of him, Furlong let them jump together and he reaped the rewards, calmly slotting the ball past Paul O’Keeffe. He should never have won the ball.
He added two more frees before half time for a 2-09 to 6 point lead and the teams played out the second half without too much going on, referee Pat Dunne never had the trouble of dishing out a card of any colour.
Kiltegan march on where they will face a much tougher opposition in Arklow Geraldines Ballymoney next time out.
Scorers – Sean Furlong (6f) 1-08; Jacko Dalton 1-00; Rory Finn, Bryan Cullen 0-02 each; Ronan Byrne, Aaron Byrne 0-01 each.
Bray Emmets: Conor Flannery (6f) 0-06; Peter Quinlan 0-01.
Kiltegan: Fergal Harmon; Jeffrey Bermingham, Blaine Harmon, John Farrell; Cathal Fitzgerald, Ronan Byrne, Adam Wynne; Stephen Farrell, Rory Finn; Padraig O’Toole, Bryan Cullen, Michael Foley; Derek Daly, Seanie Furlong, Jacko Dalton. Subs: Aaron Byrne for Cathal Fitzgerald (18 mins, inj.); Jim Bob Dalton for John Farrell (42 mins); Barry Dalton for Jacko Dalton (46 mins); John Farrell for Seanie Furlong (56 mins).
Bray Emmets: Paul O’Keeffe; Mark Linehan, Adam Benson, Philip Haughton; Ishmael Mnensa, Diarmuid Masterson, Conor O’Doherty; Niall Gaffney, Liam Benville; Des Kelly, Ben McCormack, Peter Quinlan; Gavin Dowling, Marc Lennon, Conor Flannery. Subs: Conn Benville for Adam Benson (13 mins, inj.); Ross McAnespie for Peter Quinlan (HT); Peter Quinlan for Ishmael Mnensa (60 mins, inj.).
Referee: Pat Dunne (Hollywood)