Shil­le­lagh hold out

Cullen thwarts Kil­bride surge af­ter a stop-start af­fair

Wicklow People (Arklow) - - SPORT -

SHIL­LE­LAGH picked up the points in the open­ing round of Group 3 in the Boom Plat­form Ju­nior ‘ A’ Foot­ball Cham­pi­onship in a sun­drenched Balt­in­glass on Fri­day evening last.

Each side traded a num­ber of bad wides be­fore Eoin Keogh pointed for Kil­bride in the ninth minute for the open­ing score of the game.

Bren­dan Be­han got Shil­le­lagh off the mark in the 14th minute with a point af­ter a great pass in from Cathal Mur­phy to level things up.

Shil­le­lagh were ap­ply­ing a lot of pres­sure on the Kil­bride de­fence but could not con­vert their frees into scores as they in­creased their wide stats.

It was scrappy through­out the game with the ref­eree ap­ply­ing the rules to the let­ter of the law. Each side col­lected a cou­ple of yel­low cards for per­sis­tant foul­ing to close out the open­ing quar­ter.

Cen­tre-back Martin Dono­hoe pointed a free in the 20th minute for only the third score of the game.Shil­le­lagh had a goal chance put Pat Dono­hoe cleared the ball to safety.

The next pe­riod was lit­tered with frees and chances go­ing abbe­g­ing from both sides.

Kil­bride lost a player to a black card and Niall Keogh was in­tro­duced as a re­place­ment.

In the 28th minute, the in­dus­tri­ous Bren­dan Be­han burst through the heart of the Kil­bride de­fence and un­leashed a bul­let which can­noned back out off Si­mon Creighton’s cross­bar, how­ever the alert Cathal Mur­phy was on hand to fin­ish the re­bound to the net for the only ma­jor of the match.

Again both sides traded a cou­ple of wide’s to close out a low scor­ing first half with Shil­le­lagh lead­ing 1-02 to 0-02 for Kil­bride.

Both sets of sup­port­ers were hop­ing for better fare in the sec­ond half and Kil­bride mid­fielder Dennis Car­ri­gan tapped over a point for on the restart be­fore Niall Keogh lev­elled pro­ceed­ings with an­other in the 36th minute.

Both sets of for­wards were win­ning lots of ball but were not con­vert­ing them into scores.

Stephen Byrne pointed a free to put Shil­le­lagh ahead mo­ments later but Kil­bride then suf­fered a blow when they lost Hughie Walsh to a sec­ond yel­low and Cathal Mur­phy tagged on an­other pointed free as Shil­le­lagh found mo­men­tum.

Stephen Byrne broke through two heavy tack­les and pointed an in­spi­ra­tional point for Shil­le­lagh be­fore Martin Dono­hoe set­tled things down with an­other pointed free for Kil­bride go­ing into the fi­nal 10 min­utes of the game to leave three points in it.

Each side traded points go­ing into the fi­nal five min­utes be­fore De­clan Nolan pointed and then man of the match Bren­dan Be­han landed the score of the match with a mon­ster from 56 me­tres out on the side­line for Shil­le­lagh’s fi­nal score of the game in the 59th minute.

How­ever, Shil­le­lagh lost David Cullen to a sec­ond yel­low in the 62nd minute.

Kil­bride lit­er­ally threw the kitchen sink at Shil­le­lagh in ad­di­tional time with Dennis Car­ri­gan draw­ing a sen­sa­tional dou­ble save from Lau­rie Cullen, who firstly dived down to his right and par­ried the ball back out and then from Car­ri­gan’s fol­low up, some­how di­verted the ball over the bar with his feet for the fi­nal score of the match in the 65th minute.

Un­for­tu­nately, there were more cards and wides than scores in the match.

The cards came as a re­sult of per­sis­tant foul­ing and not from mal­ice and the ob­vi­ous mes­sage from the stats is that both teams need to se­ri­ously tidy up on their tack­ling.

Shil­le­lagh will be de­lighted with their win while Kil­bride will need to re­group for the next round.

Scor­ers - Shil­le­lagh: Cathal Mur­phy 1-02 (1f), Bren­dan Be­han 0-02, Stephen Byrne 0-02 (1f), De­clan Nolan 0-01, Daire Fo­ley 0-01.

Kil­bride: Martin Dono­hoe 0-03 (3f), Finn Craul 0-01, De­nis Corri- gan 0-01, Eoin Keogh 0-01, Niall Keogh 0-01. SHIL­LE­LAGH: Lau­rie Cullen; Daniel Be­han, Sean Car­roll, Enda Fo­ley; Ger O’Brien, Daire Fo­ley, Jim O’Brien; Bren­dan Be­han, Paddy Hen­nessey; De­clan Nolan, Stephen Byrne, Rob El­liot; Cathal Mur­phy, Noel Mur­phy, Fran­cis Simp­son. Subs: Owen Byrne, David Cullen. KIL­BRIDE: Si­mon Creighton; Diar­muid Haugh­ian, Pat Dono­hoe, Conor Dil­lon; Richard Ward, Martin Dono­hoe, Niall Dono­hoe; Finn Craul, De­nis Cor­ri­gan; Mic Rut­tle, Hugh Walsh, Keith Mor; Liam McGee, Niall Too­lis, Eoin Keogh.Subs: Andy O Brien, Niall Keogh.

REF­EREE: Stephen Fa­gan (Balt­in­glass)

Finn Craul of Kil­bride is tracked by Bren­dan Be­han of Shil­le­lagh.

De­clan Nolan of Shil­le­lagh can feel Neil Dono­hue of Kil­bride breath­ing down his neck.

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