Se­nior new boys ‘Kil’ off Avon­dale by half-time

Wicklow People (Arklow) - - SPORT -

KILTEGAN got their first win of the se­nior hurl­ing cham­pi­onship un­der their belts with a com­pre­hen­sive vic­tory over Avon­dale on Sun­day morn­ing.

The reign­ing In­ter­me­di­ate cham­pi­ons are un­likely to chal­lenge the top four teams in the hurl­ing cham­pi­onship but this win has con­sol­i­dated their po­si­tion in the divi­sion and they aren’t out of their depth.

They faced a se­verely de­pleted Avon­dale side shorn of county star Ea­monn Kearns through in­jury and a num­ber of other play­ers for var­i­ous rea­sons.

They got off to a great start, lead­ing by 2-04 to a point early in the first half, and had the game sewn up by half time, 3-12 to 1-03. Wily old vet­eran Jef­frey Ber­ming­ham was pulling the strings from cen­tre for­ward, con­duct­ing his orches­tra of young and not so young play­ers around him.

All six start­ing for­wards had scored by half time, a com­bi­na­tion of space, good pass­ing and deadly ac­cu­racy run­ning up the scores. Kiltegan re­ally dom­i­nated around the mid­dle sec­tor to give their for­wards a plat­form to ex­press them­selves.

Ber­ming­ham had matched Avon­dale’s half time score by him­self, while Padraig O’Toole and Aaron Byrne got the other goals and Liam Keogh helped him­self to three points.

Avon­dale fin­ished with 1-03 in the last ten min­utes of the match, Ray Nolan, Eu­gene Dunne and Dean Ga­han each rais­ing a white flag while Eu­gene Hef­fer­nan got the goal. The Kiltegan de­fence fell asleep think­ing the ball was go­ing wide but Hef­fer­nan didn’t give up and re­gained pos­ses­sion be­fore un­leash­ing a bul­let into the top cor­ner.

Ber­ming­ham’s fi­nal point was pure bril­liance. He had just shot weakly into the goal­keeper’s hands but more than made up for it a mo­ment later by jink­ing one way and then the other to evade his marker.

Hav­ing caught the ball twice al­ready he showed great stick work to pop over his sev­enth and fi­nal point.

The sec­ond last point of the game came from Steven Coogan when he flicked the ball over the on­rush­ing Tom Finn, the slio­tar go­ing just over the cross­bar rather than un­der it. Ev­ery­body in Wick­low hurl­ing cir­cles will be de­lighted to see Coogan back hav­ing suf­fered hor­rific in­juries in a car crash just be­fore last year’s In­ter­me­di­ate hurl­ing fi­nal.

It will be a tough year for Avon­dale while Kiltegan all but guar­an­teed a quar­ter fi­nal place and de­pend­ing on the draw they could take a scalp to earn a place in the semi-fi­nals.

Scor­ers – Kiltegan: Jef­frey Ber­ming­ham 1-07; Aaron Byrne 1-02; Padraig O’Toole 1-01; Seanie Ger­maine, JJ Phe­lan, Liam Keogh 0-03 each; Rory Finn, Steven Coogan 0-01 each.

Avon­dale: Ray Nolan 1-07; Eu­gene Hef­fer­nan 1-00; Eu­gene Dunne 0-02; Dean Ga­han 0-01. KILTEGAN: Luke Byrne; Colm O’Con­nor, Bryan Kear­ney, James O’Brien; Ro­nan Byrne, An­thony Fur­long, Dan Kear­ney; Rory Finn, Padraig Byrne; JJ Phe­lan, Jef­frey Ber­ming­ham, Padraig O’Toole; Seanie Ger­maine, Liam Keogh, Aaron Byrne. Subs: Fer­gal Far­rell for Padraig O’Toole; Ciaran Doyle for An­thony Fur­long; Steven Coogan for Padraig Byrne.

AVON­DALE: Tom Finn; Sea­mus O’Shaug­nessy, James Doyle, An­thony O’Toole; Dan Owens, Eu­gene Dunne, Conor Shee­han; Keith Byrne, Dean Ga­han; Paul Ga­han, Ray Nolan, Niall Hef­fer­nan; Eoin Hef­fer­nan, Eu­gene Hef­fer­nan, Eanna Owens. Subs: Steven Lee for Sea­mus O’Shaugh­nessy.

REF­EREE: Ciaran O’Shea.

Avon­dale’s Dean Ga­han is beaten to the ball by Kiltegan’s Seanie Ger­maine dur­ing the SHC in Pearse’s Park. Pic­ture: Garry O’Neill

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