AGB fin­ish sea­son off with league crown

Im­pres­sive show­ing puts Ti­na­hely to the sword

Bray People - - SPORT -

THIS SFL Di­vi­sion 1A fi­nal, played at Bal­li­nakill on Fri­day night last Novem­ber 16, brought to­gether two teams who were com­ing to the end of a very suc­cess­ful year for them both.

Ti­na­hely cap­tured the In­ter­me­di­ate foot­ball cham­pi­onship and will re­turn to Se­nior ranks for 2019. AGB re­ally lit up the Se­nior foot­ball cham­pi­onship and were prob­a­bly un­lucky not to reach the fi­nal.

They were both anx­ious to cap­ture some sil­ver­ware to crown an ex­cel­lent year. It was a lovely balmy night and, un­usu­ally for Bal­li­nakill, hardly a puff of breeze was blow­ing. Ground con­di­tions were ex­cel­lent, and the stage was set for a great bat­tle.

Phil Healy got the Ark­low men off the mark when he pointed a free after four min­utes. Alan Dil­lon lev­elled mat­ters on six min­utes when his at­tempted chip over the head of the ad­vanc­ing Mervyn Travers just car­ried over the cross­bar.

The game set­tled down into an even con­test ter­ri­to­ri­ally. AGB were play­ing a short pass­ing, pos­ses­sion game but they were tak­ing their chances when­ever they arose. They led by 0-5 to 0-1 by 20 min­utes and had recorded no wides.

In di­rect con­trast, Ti­na­hely had left their shoot­ing boots at home. They en­joyed as much pos­ses­sion as the Ark­low men, but they recorded no less than ten wides by half-time.

Rory Stokes got their sec­ond point after 25 min­utes to leave just a goal be­tween the sides as we ap­proached the break.

Two in­ci­dents in the fi­nal two min­utes of the first half had a huge bear­ing on the fi­nal out­come of the game. Ti­na­hely had a glo­ri­ous chance of scor­ing the lev­el­ling goal but the ball broke just out­side the goal­post.

From the kick-out AGB worked the ball down­field and cor­ner-for­ward Dar­ragh Cul­leton was in the right place to ram the ball home with his left foot.

In the space of a minute the game went from be­ing pos­si­bly level to leave the half-time score stand­ing at 1-5 to 0-2 in favour of AGB – a turn­around of six points in a minute. This left Ti­na­hely with a bit of a hill to climb in the sec­ond half.

AGB be­gan the sec­ond pe­riod play­ing a more di­rect game. Full-for­ward Chris O’Brien moved out­field and the ball was be­ing kicked di­rectly into the space in front of the Ti­na­hely goal.

They in­creased their score to 1-10 by ten min­utes with points from Phil Healy (2), Chris O’Brien (2) and Stephen Hur­ley.

Ti­na­hely’s only re­sponse came with a pointed free from Tony Darcy. He pointed two more frees by the three-quar­ter stage but AGB got back on top and were lead­ing by 1-14 to 0-5 as the game ap­proached full-time.

Cormac O’Shea, Stephen Hur­ley, Andy Ma­her and Chris O’Brien had points.

A brief flurry from the In­ter­me­di­ate cham­pi­ons brought 1-1 from sub­sti­tute David Dil­lon and an­other pointed free from Tony Darcy to bring the Ti­na­hely to­tal to a re­spectable 1-7. None­the­less, AGB ran out con­vinc­ing win­ners on a score line of 1-14 to 1-7.

County Cathaoir­leach Mar­tin Fitzger­ald pre­sented the AGB cap­tain Karl Kir­wan with the Corn na Sa­gart (Priest’s Cup) and thanked both sides and the ref­eree and his of­fi­cials.

Scor­ers: Ark­low Geraldines Bal­ly­money (AGB) – Phil Healy 0-4, Cormac O’Shea 0-2, Dar­ragh Cul­leton 1-1, Dar­ragh Fitzger­ald 0-1, Chris O’Brien 0-3, Stephen Hur­ley 0-2, Andy Ma­her 0-1.

Ti­na­hely – Alan Dil­lon 0-1, Rory Stokes 0-1, Tony Darcy 0-4, David Dil­lon 1-1.

AGB: Mervyn Travers; Jack Hamil­ton, Tom Ma­her, Carl Kir­wan; Tier­nan McBride, Ciaran O’Shea, Andy Ma­her; Stephen Hur­ley, JP Hur­ley; Cathal Kelle­her, Cormac O’Shea, Dar­ragh Fitzger­ald; Dar­ragh Cul­leton, Chris O’Brien, Phil Healy. Subs: Shane O’Donoghue, Dar­ragh McBride, Shane McBride, Gar­ret Kenny.

TI­NA­HELY: Alan Nolan; James Gil­bert, Michael Byrne, Conor Hat­ton; Noel Mul­hall, Cur­tis Keat­ing, John Blake; Rory Stokes, Brian Walsh; Stephen Dil­lon, Ja­son Cush, Kevin Mul­hall; Alan Dil­lon, Tony Darcy, Daniel Ging. Subs: Niall Byrne, Brian Hickey, Larry Keat­ing, Wil­lie Quaile, David Dil­lon, Roy McG­lynn.

REF­EREE: Dar­ragh Byrne (Bal­ly­manus)

AGB, who de­feated Ti­na­hely in the Ark­low Bay Ho­tel Di­vi­sion 1A fi­nal re­play in Bal­li­nakill on Fri­day night last. Pho­tos: Joe Byrne

Wick­low GAA Chair­man Mar­tin Fitzger­ald presents AGB cap­tain Karl Kir­wan with the Corn an Sa­gart after the Di­vi­sion 1A fi­nal re­play.

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