Epic clash between Kilmeena and Eastern Gaels in U-16 Championship "C" County Semi Final.
U16 Boys Gaelic Football Championship – ‘C’ Semi-Final.
Thursday 25th July, 2019
Kilmeena vs Eastern Gaels
Having finished top in their group, Kilmeena were at home to Eastern Gaels, for a place in the C-final.
The ball was thrown in 7.05pm, and other than a stiff diagonal breeze, weather conditions were ideal for the contest.
The first half was dominated by goals, with three majors scored by each team in the first 30 minutes of football. Finley Gibbons (twice) and Darragh Slattery netted for Kilmeena. Had it not been for some loose play and a lack of urgency by the men in black and white, the home side should probably have held the advantage at the half time. Instead, the men from east Mayo found themselves ahead by the narrowest of margins at the small whistle.
Half time score: Kilmeena; 3 – 5 Eastern Gaels; 3 – 6
Kilmeena opened the second half scoring, with a point to level matters. The teams then exchanged a point and then Eastern Gaels hit a purple patch and during a ten minute spell of effectively hemming Kilmeena into their own half, the east Mayo men notched up 4 points (2 from frees) on the trot. Much of this dominance by the visitors derived from unforced errors and disjointed play by the Kilmeena lads.
Then, sensing the urgency of their plight, the men in black & white began to play with a bit more cohesion. In so doing, they reeled the visitors in and with only seconds left (on the referees watch....!!), Ben Lennon got on the end of a good passing manoeuvre and pointed to level the game.
Score at the end of normal time: Kilmeena; 3 – 13 Eastern Gaels; 3 - 13
So, extra time it would be then.
Playing into the wind for the first 10 minutes of Extra time, Kilmeena notched up a good score of 1 – 4, with the goal coming from the boot of Finley Gibbons. With Eastern Gaels scoring just 3 points during this period, it appeared that Kilmeena were in a good position going into the second period of Extra time.
Well the men in Black & White almost contrived to beat themselves during this final 10 minutes of action. Eastern Gaels (now playing into the stiff breeze) scored two points to narrow the gap to two. Kilmeena just couldn’t string a move to generate a score and then with less than 2 minutes of time left, the men from east Mayo landed the ball in the Kilmeena net.
The Gaels were now one point ahead and with time not on the side of Kilmeena, it was ‘do or die’.
Thankfully ‘do’ prevailed and out of somewhere, the men in Black & White summoned the energy and desire to land the final two points of this enthralling contest – Oisin Grimley levelled the contest and Darragh Slattery (with what was effectively the last play of the game) hit a fine point to edge it for Kilmeena at the death.
Relief..........all round. And a place in the final.
Final Score (AET): Kilmeena; 4 – 19, Eastern Gaels; 4 - 18
Well done to both teams and management.
The panel present this evening comprised of the following:
Oisin Grimley (Capt.), Cillian O’Grady, Sean Prenty, Ben Lennon, Jack Walsh, Harry Sheridan, Colin Hastings, Conal Gill, Darragh Slattery, Liam Moore, Brian Durkan, Jack Mulchrone, Adam O’Grady, Finley Gibbons, Conor Feehan, Gavin Mulchrone, Sean Gallagher Cormac Feehan.
Match report by Michael O Grady.
Click HERE for images from the match.