Kilmeena put in a solid semi final performance against Galway representatives, Athenry, to book their place in the Connaught Club Junior Football Final to be played early in the new year.
This semi final was played at the impressive Connaught Center of Excellence grounds in Bekan. Kilmeena dominated the opening few minutes with three unanswered points from the boot of Jack Carney, Johnny McGlynn and Neily Duffy. However, Athenry settled and got themselves back in the game with some well taken points. Conor Madden and Darragh Keaveney raised the white flag again for kilmeena leaving it five points a piece at the end of the first quarter.
After the water break, Kilmeena's Keith Joyce and Darragh Keaveney tagged on additional points in quick succession. With kilmeena in the ascendancy Sean Ryder got his hands on the ball and using all his strength ploughed through a wall of Athenry defenders to bury the ball past Damien Sheridan in the Athenry goal. The halftime score read 1-08 to 0-05 at halftime.
Kimeena pushed on in the second half with points from Darragh Keaveney, Johnny McGlynn, John keane and Neill Ryan to outscore Athenry by six points to two, finishing the match with a ten point advantage. The winning margin could have been closer but for the heroics of Kilmeena goalkeeper Paul Groden. Paul pulled off a brilliant penalty save and followed up with another when Athenry pounced on the initial rebound.
The game was by-in-large played in good spirits. However, one unsavoury incident towards the end of the second half resulted in Kilmeena man Stephen Staunton getting red carded for his involvement in trying to separate two entangled players on the ground.
Final score from the Connaught Junior Club Championship semi final was Kilmeena 1-14 to Athenry 0-07.
Match report and photos by Ollie Mulchrone
Click on the below link to view more photos from the match.