Sheehan’s last ditch point secures title for St Johns
St Johns 1-9 Kilmurry 1-8
ST. John’s discovered some late inspiration from match winner Kevin Sheehan to claim a dramatic victory over Kilmurry in the County JBFL Final played at Ovens.
The winners wrote their name into the history books to claim a first time county title. Having endured some hard knocks over recent seasons on a run of defeats in county finals, the Duhallow side were intent on making up for previous reversals and fittingly, man of the match Sheehan delivered the match winning score.
From a low scoring second half with opportunities hard to come by, St. Johns made an all out assault to divide the sides and it duly arrived late to a closely contested encounter. Ultimately St. Johns consistent form of late continued into the county after completing a league and championship double within Duhallow.
Two evenly matched sides were content to trade early points, three from St. Johns Jamie Kelleher cancelled out by Michael John O’Mahony and Michael Kelleher for Kilmurry. Steadily, St Johns play gathered traction, boosted by the imput of Sheehan, Pa Rohan, David Barrett and Kelleher.
With momentum behind them, St. Johns turned possession into scores, highlighted on Eoin Barrett spread-eagling the Kilmurry defence to blast home a goal. Trailing by four points, Kilmurry reacted to a precarious situation, helped by the splendid play of Liam O’Sullivan and Colm Crowley at midfield, well supported by Liam Buckley and William Barrett.
Indeed Kilmurry’s hopes brightened with a fine goal from Paudie O’Connell to ensure parity at 1-6 apiece at the interval. Compared to the opening 30 minutes, the standard of fare dropped on the turnover.
At times, both sides over indulged on their approach play and it saw well earned possession go to waste. Kilmurry did register points from David O’Halloran and O’Connell to nudge ahead.
St. Johns responded to end a barren 17 minutes without a score when Kelleher pointed a free. That set up a rousing finish, St. John’s delivered the all imporant winner from the outstanding Sheehan to swing the issue.
ST JOHNS: H Sheehan; C Lane, D O’Keeffe, P O’Keeffe; S Kelleher 0-1, K Sheehan 0-1, P Rohan; DBarrett, Eoin Barrett 1-0, B Kelleher, J O’Mahony 0-1, A Sheehan; P O’Sullivan, Eric Barrett 0-1, J Kelleher 0-5 (3f). Subs: N Corkery for B Kelleher, A Sheehan for A T Sheehan, D Corkery for P O’Sullivan, T Sheehan for D Corkery.
KILMURRY: K Crowley; M Dromey, E Barrett, L Buckley; C Kearney, W Barrett, P Hinchion; L O’Sullivan, C Crowley; M J O’Mahony 0-3, D O’Halloran 0-2, J Berchanu; M Kelleher 0-1, F Crowley, P O’Connell 1-2. Sub: J Burke for M Kelleher.
REFEREE: T Lyons