St Kevin’s rejoice
Superb ‘B’ final enjoyed by big crowd in Baltinglass
ST KEVIN’S showed huge heart and bottle on Sunday morning last after they battled through a thrilling Under-17 ‘B’ football final against near neighbours and rivals Blessington in a packed Baltinglass.
There wasn’t a kick of a ball between either side throughout this action-packed blockbuster. Blessington got off to a flying start in the opening half but the super Saints dug their way back into the game in the second period.
Blessington rallied late on, but some super displays in the art of blocking and defending laid the platform for this inspirational win.
Kevin Quinn pointed in the second minute to get Blessington up and running. Jake O’Kelly followed up with a mighty point in the next attack. Daniel Cooney registered another point after good work by James Mulligan for Blessington to get off to a fine start.
Ryan Mulvey got St. Kevin’s on the scoreboard with a well-executed point in the seventh minute. Daniel Silke Fetherson crashed his effort off the crossbar to let Kevin’s of the hook with the next chance.
Eoin Kavanagh pointed to close out the first quarter with Blessington leading 0-4 to 0-1.
St Kevin’s never looked too flustered early on, and Eoin Clarke pointed from an acute angle, which was followed by another from a beast of a free from 50m out by Keith Burke to reduce the lead now down to a single point.
Thomas Fisher added a brace of points as Blessington upped a gear after good work by Cormac Roe. Conor Reid intercepted a ball from Kevin Quinn, who looked in for a certain score in the next attack. Padraic Keogh made a darting run up the field and was fouled, Rob Miley hit the target from the resultant free.
Blessington won a 45 moments later, Thomas Fisher took the shot which sailed into the Kevin’s net for a fortuitous score in this crucial point of the game just before half-time.
Luke O’Brien launched over another point as St Kevin’s were somewhat shell-shocked. Blessington landed a couple of bad wides which gave Kevin’s a lifeline, and that lifeline did come when a penalty was called for after a foot block by a Blessington defender.
Padraic Keogh put the ball on the spot, took two steps back and drilled the ball high into the roof of the net as the stand in Baltinglass shook with the roars of approval by the vocal Kevin’s faithful.
As the half-time whistle sounded, it was game back on.
There was a frantic start to the second period, with both defences soaking up lots of pressure early on. Ben O’Keefe was hit late with a shoulder and Ryan Mulvey pointed the resultant free as the gap went down to two.
Kevin’s missed a couple of chances to cut the deficit from a pair of frees and then Keith Burke crashed the ball of the crossbar to let Blessington of the hook.
Rob Miley pointed another free as Kevin’s found a new lease of life, buoyed on by a vocal following. Rob Miley tagged on another brace of mighty points for his side to hit the front, for the first time in the game, going into the final quarter. Blessington rallied again in the next play with James Williamson bombing over a point, levelling the game, (amazingly this would be their only score in the second half) as it was the Blessington faithful who now spurred on their side.
Blessington applied a lot of pressure, but Kevin’s were defending like lions. A match-saving block by Eoin Clarke prevented Jake O’Kelly a certain goal going into the final ten minutes.
Rob Miley added another brace of points after great work by Ben O’Keeffe and Brian Keogh who were driving forward with abandon, for Kevin’s to hit the front again.
Blessington threw the kitchen sink and more at St. Kevin’s in search of another score. Wave after wave, were blocked and cleared by the combined side as the fought to hold of the blue tsunami.
The tension rose tenfold and was unbearable, with a two-point lead to hold onto.
Christy Mooney broke up the field and put Rob Miley in for a point to chalk up his seventh to up the lead to three going into injury time. Again it was all hands on deck for St Kevin’s as Blessington went in search of a levelling goal, but some unbelievable resolute defending by the super saints, they held on, as Blessington ran out of road and their challenge derailed.
Ryan Mulvey pointed the final score of the day for St. Kevin’s as the full-time whistled sounded.
Coiste na nÓg Chairman, Pat Dunne complimented both teams on a powerful match, thanked the referee and thanked Hugh Kenny for organising all the fixtures.
Pat then presented the cup to winning captain Dubhaltach McSweeney.
The decision for the man of the match was one of the hardest ever made, with Blessington’s Kevin Quinn and Thomas Fisher in the hunt along with St. Kevin’s Rob Miley, who landed seven points, along with the whole defence, who were immense.
Pat Dunne presented the Man of the Match award to St Kevin’s Brian Keogh to spark off wild celebrations.
Scorers - St. Kevin’s: Robbie Miley 0-7, Padraic Keogh 1-0 (p), Ryan Mulvey 0-3, Éoin Clarke 0-1, Keith Burke 0-1.
Blessington: Thomas Fisher 1-2, Eoin Kavanagh 0-1, Daniel Cooney 0-1, Kevin Quinn 0-1, Luke O’Brien 0-1, Jake O’Kelly 0-1,
James Williamson 0-1.
St. Kevin’s: Ryan Willoughby; Christy Mooney, Donnacha Halpin, Conor Reid; Robert Coyne, Tadgh Miley, Brian Keogh; Luka Harney, Dubhaltach McSweeney; Ben O’Keeffe, Robbie Miley, Keith Burke; Ryan Mulvey, Paraic Keogh, Éoin Clarke. Subs: Eoghan Daly, Jean Luc Morris, Ben Burke, Shane Allen, Eoin Harkin.
Blessington: Micheal O’Toole; Claude Touno, Oísin Brogan, Sean Lambe; Niall O’Gailchobair, Craig Maguire, Cormac Roe; Thomas Fisher, Daniel Cooney; James Mulligan, Kevin Quinn, Luke O’Brien; Eoin Kavanagh, Jake O’Kelly, Danny Silke Fetherson. Subs: James Williamson.
Referee: John Whyte (Donard-The Glen)
St Kevin’s, who claimed the Under-17 ‘B’ football crown by beating Blessington in Baltinglass last Sunday morning.
The Blessington side who fell to St Kevin’s in the county final last sunday.
Pat Dunne presents Dubhaltach McSeeney with the cup.
Brian Keogh accepts the Wicklow People Man of the Match award from Pat Dunne.