Experience to the fore as Kiltegan defeat Dales
KILTEGAN AVONDALE 2-14 2-9
KILTEGAN’S greater experience came to the fore as they defeated a dogged Avondale in sunny Aughrim last Sunday evening.
With Kiltegan coming into the fixture after a thumping win against Bray and Avondale trying to recover after a dispiriting defeat to Rathnew, the game started very evenly.
It took eight minutes for the opening score but what a point it was, Kiltegan’s Blaine Harmon pointing a monster from 50 yards. The McGraynor brothers, Sean and Oisin, struck two frees to give the Rathdrum men a lead before Rory Finn chipped in with a typical trademark score. The county star powered forward before slamming on the breaks and clipping a delightful left-footed effort.
Anthony Furlong added another for the men from the west with a beautiful score over his shoulder to restore their lead. The next four scores were traded between the sides before the clash’s first major.
Avondale’s wing back Shane Beevor galloped forward into space, he passed inside to Oisin McGraynor and the centre forward, showing maturity beyond his years, returned across goal to Beevor to palm to an empty net. Conor McGraynor pointed his first score soon after, after Conor Byrne had an incisive run at the heart of the Kiltegan defence.
It was Trevor Doyle’s charges who never panicked and ended the half stronger. Finn, Seanie Furlong and Keith Furlong all pointed for a hard earned half time advantage.
On the resumption Finn stretched the lead and Avondale’s Dean Gahan narrowed it again. The game’s crucial moment came minutes later. Padraig O’Toole freed up Finn down the flank and as he cut in to take his point, the ball dropped fortuitously over keeper Brian Burke’s head and into the net.
Sean McGraynor and evergreen Eugene Dunne replied for Avondale.
The Rathdrum men were trying to isolate Conor McGraynor inside at this stage, but Trevor Doyle had him well marshalled with Blaine Harmon put in full-back on the tall attacker.
Experienced duo Seanie Furlong and Jacko Dalton restored the four-point cushion as Avondale were kept at arm’s length. Further scores were traded by Gahan with a Garryowen and Furlong as the game ticked into injury time.
It was here that Kiltegan produced a tremendous goal. Playing keep ball, it appeared they were running down the clock as they played around in their own half going through the motions.
Eventually they worked the ball to Aaron Byrne and he injected real pace to the move, transferring to Seanie Furlong, he fed Keith Furlong who located Byrne who had raced inside, and the pacey wing forward showed composure to roll his shot under Burke. Two minutes of possession football.
Avondale battled on and Conor McGraynor fisted home a goal in the game’s last attack.
Kiltegan’s greater experience was decisive in this battle. In Seanie Furlong, Jacko Dalton and Rory Finn they had the game’s dominant players.
For the Rathdrum men, Oisin McGraynor and Eamonn Kearns battled hardest.
Kiltegan: Fergal Harmon; Bryan Kearney, Stephen Farrell, Colm Keogh; Ronan Byrne, Adam Wynne, John Farrell; Rory Finn (1-3), Blaine Harmon (0-1); Aaron Byrne (1-0), Seanie Furlong (0-6), Padraig O’Toole; Mark Pierce, Jacko Dalton (0-2), Anthony Furlong (0-2). Sub: Geoffrey Bermingham.
Avondale: Brian Burke; Simon Cullen, Padraig Geoghegan, Shane Byrne; Liam Kinsella, Eamonn Kearns, Shane Beevor (1-0); Barry Sheehan, Saoirse Kearon; Eugene Dunne (0-1), Oisin McGraynor (0-1), Dean Gahan (0-2); Conor Byrne, Sean McGraynor (0-4), Conor McGraynor (1-1). Subs: Ryan Cahill, Cian O’hAinnain, Adam Benson Byrne, Aonghus O’Briain, Ross Ward.
Referee: John Keenan (Aughrim)