Fu­ture is bright for Shil­le­lagh/Cool­boy

Amal­ga­mated side see off Ash­ford

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT - LIAM O’LOUGH­LIN at Aughrim

AF­TER fin­ish­ing level on points on top of the SFL Di­vi­sion 3, Ash­ford and Shil­le­lagh/Cool­boy met in the county grounds in Aughrim last Wednesday in a play-off to de­cide the win­ners of the league and to dis­cover who would be the holders of the Johnny Fox Cup for 2019.

Fol­low­ing a great bat­tle, the team from Coolat­tin coun­try came out on top by two points and re­turned home as win­ners of the Johnny Fox Cup.

The early stages of the first half swung both ways with both sides alternatin­g be­tween pe­ri­ods of dom­i­nance and find­ing them­selves on the de­fence mo­ments later.

Shile­lagh/Cool­boy made the stronger start and were two points ahead af­ter three min­utes through points scored by Bren­dan Be­han at corner-for­ward and full-for­ward Wayne Kin­sella.

Both these play­ers were prom­i­nent all through and were de­ci­sive about their chances, shoot­ing when the op­por­tu­ni­ties arose. Three pointed frees in a row by Bren­dan Man­ning had the black and am­ber side from Ash­ford in the lead by nine min­utes.

Cal Con­nolly be­came the first Ash­ford player to score from play when he put his side 0-4 to 0-2 ahead in the tenth minute.

Mid­fielder Dan Nolan pulled back the lead when he scored a badly needed point from out­side the 45-me­tre line.

The pat­tern of con­ced­ing need­less frees con­tin­ued for the south side and Bren­dan Man­ning duly pun­ished them again with an­other point from his trusted left boot.

How­ever, in the space of two min­utes Shile­lagh/Cool­boy had brought the game level. Corner-for­ward Bren­dan Be­han got pos­ses­sion of an intercepte­d Wil­liam Hen­der Phillip’s pass to a de­fender and quickly scored a point.

Within a minute Be­han was back again to score a great point from the right wing. It was 0-5 apiece at this stage but the men from the south were mov­ing well.

Wayne Kin­sella pointed a great free kick from the45-me­tre line and added an­other point off his left foot to quickly put his side two points up.

Bren­dan Man­ning re­duced the gap again with yet an­other pointed free on 20 min­utes. How­ever, Bren­dan Be­han came back with an­other great point from a very nar­row an­gle which went over off the up­right and cross­bar.

Wayne Kin­sella quickly added an­other point to leave his side a goal ahead. Back came Ash­ford. With five min­utes to go to the break they were awarded a penalty. Lau­rie Cullen de­nied Bren­dan Man­ning with a great save at the expense of a 45.

When the 45 dropped in, the en­su­ing play brought an­other penalty. This time Dean Mooney beat the goalie and the game was level again. Gavin Weir put the black and am­ber side ahead just be­fore the half-time with a shot that was tipped over by Lau­rie Nolan. Ash­ford were ahead by 1-8 to 0-9

They went two points ahead when David Nolan added a point in the open­ing minute of the sec­ond half.

Ash­ford were not to score again for 20 min­utes and that score was their only other score of the sec­ond half. How­ever, this half was played at a higher level of in­ten­sity and pro­vided great ex­cite­ment for the loyal band of fol­low­ers both sides brought to Aughrim on a lovely sum­mer’s evening.

Shil­le­lagh/Cool­boy slowly got the up­per hand but they took a while to reg­is­ter this dom­i­nance on the score­board.

Bren­dan Be­han pointed af­ter five min­utes when he got on the end of a pass­ing move­ment which might have yielded a goal. Com­ing up to ten min­utes Wayne Kin­sella brought the sides level with an­other point.

Ash­ford were still putting up stiff re­sis­tance in de­fence but were find­ing it dif­fi­cult to get past the half back line of Aaron Kin­sella, Daire Fo­ley and Jonathan Smyth.

Over a three-minute pe­riod from 14 min­utes on, Wayne Kin­sella (2) and Jonathan Smyth put the men from Coolat­tin coun­try three points to the good.

It looked like they might pull away now but, in fact, they were not to score again. Bren­dan Man­ning fin­ished as he be­gan the game by point­ing a free with ten min­utes to go.

Ash­ford tried man­fully to save the game over the last ten min­utes, but they could not break the grip Shile­lagh/Cool­boy had es­tab­lished in the mid­dle third of the field.

Un­for­tu­nately for Ash­ford, they lost Gavin Weir to a straight red card with five min­utes left. They bat­tled to the end, but it was to be a night of cel­e­bra­tion for the Coolat­tin men.

The fi­nal score saw them vic­tors by 0-14 to 1-9.

Af­ter the game the Johnny Fox Cup was pre­sented to the win­ning captain Daniel Nolan by Muire­ann Tighe, grand­daugh­ter of Johnny Fox. She was ac­com­pa­nied by her grand­mother, Su­san Fox.

Scor­ers - Shil­le­lagh/Cool­boy: Wayne Kin­sella 0-7, Bren­dan Be­han 0-5, Dan Nolan and Jonathon Smyth 0-1 each.

Ash­ford: Bren­dan Man­ning 0-6, Dean Mooney 1-0, Cal Con­nolly, Gavin Weir, David Nolan 0-1 each.

SHIL­LE­LAGH/COOL­BOY: Lau­rie Cullen; James Gre­gan, Sean Car­roll, Enda Fo­ley; Aaron Kin­sella, Daire Fo­ley, Jonathan Smyth; Daniel Nolan, Ray Murphy; PJ O’Ke­effe, Cathal Murphy, Johnny Wil­loughby; Bren­dan Be­han, Wayne Kin­sella, Michael Gre­gan. Subs: Daniel Be­han, Jack De­whirst.

ASH­FORD: Wil­liam Hen­der Phillips; Rian O’Dwyer, Michael Dick­en­son, Robert Clarkson; Robert Keenan, Danny Ka­vanagh, James Cof­fey; Ross Quinn, Dean Mooney; David Nolan, Gavin Weir, Joseph Doyle; Cal Con­nolly, Bren­dan Man­ning, Colm Doyle. Subs: David Dowl­ing, Graham Mooney, Cian Marah, Brian Shan­non, Joe Doyle and Daniel Rooney.

REF­EREE: Ciaran Fleming (Balt­in­glass)

Pho­tos: Joe Byrne

The Shil­le­lagh/Cool­boy foot­ballers and sup­port­ers af­ter their Johnny Fox Cup win over Ash­ford in Aughrim.

Shil­le­lagh/Cool­boy’s Daire Fo­ley and Jonathan Smyth make Ash­ford’s Colm Doyle the fill­ing in their sand­wich.

Johnny Wil­loughby charges away from Ash­ford’s Cal Con­nolly.

Shil­le­lagh/Cool­boy’s Shaun Car­roll closes in on Bren­dan Man­ning.

Shil­le­lagh/Cool­boy joint cap­tains Daniel Nolan and Bren­dan Be­han re­ceive the Johnny Fox Cup from Su­san Fox and Miriam Tighe with County Chair­man Martin Fitzger­ald along­side.

Shil­le­lagh/Cool­boy’s Lau­rie Cullen saves the first of two penal­ties. He would be ebaten by the sec­ond.

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