Kilmeena 1 - 11 0 - 12 Ballintubber
Match report - Michael O'Grady:
Kilmeena travelled to Clogher to take on Ballintubber in this 3rd Round of the completion. Conditions were perfect for football - dry, sunny with just a very light breeze.
Having been outclassed in the first round two weeks earlier, Kilmeena produced a much better performance against Westport last week. So, could this 3rd round contest against the Abbeysiders be ‘third time lucky’ and give the men in Black and White a much needed win?
Well, the Kilmeena Minors got the win but luck played little part in this victory. Indeed, downright bad luck early in the second half came in the form of a significant injury to Harry Sheridan – who prior to this was dominating at corner back. Harry was stretchered off and taken by ambulance to Hospital.
We all wish Harry well in his recovery.
So to the game.........
Ballintubber settled best into the early exchanges and accounted for the first couple points of the contest. Kilmeena did create some early chances but failed to convert under pressure from the Tubber defence. However, the men in Black & White began to settle, held possession and created chances and they were rewarded with points from open play and a number of frees converted by the trusty boot of Darragh Slattery. Ballintubber kept their score line ticking over too, with points from play and converted frees. The first half ebbed and flowed for both teams with some passages of very good football mixed on occasions with poorer fare.
Only the minimum separated the teams at half time; with Kilmeena leading 7 points to 6.
The early stages of the second half continued along the same lines with both sides endeavouring to gain some dominance. At 6 minutes in, it was all square at 8 points apiece, when what seemed like a very simple passage of play resulted in a bad injury to Kilmeena’s No.2. Play was suspended for approximately 40 minutes whilst Harry Sheridan received medical attention.
Play then resumed and Ciaran Kilcoyne was introduced from the injured Harry Sheridan.
Ballintubber hit a bit of a purple patch and notched up 3 points without reply. Kilmeena regrouped and hit back with two points leaving it 10 points to 11 in favour of the home side going into the final 10 minutes of the contest.
Ballintubber got the next point to edge 2 clear. Kilmeena replied with a point to cut the gap to one but time was running out.
The game was now in the melting pot and Kilmeena really needed to produce something special to get over the line.
And they did. Kilmeena played the ball forward, Chris McGlynn took possession, laid off to Cillian O’Grady who popped the ball to the right man in the right place at the right time and Ian Murphy made no mistake, firing the ball into the back of the Ballintubber net.
There were about 3 minutes remaining and Kilmeena dug deep defensively to retain this 2 point cushion and record a win against the Abbeysiders on their home turf.
This was a gritty performance from the Kilmeena Minors but most importantly it was a team performance on the night with everyone from 1 to 15 plus subs (Ciaran Kilcoyne, Daniel O’Malley and Jack Walsh), giving their all. There were very few goal chances created by either side but credit must go to Cathal Cawley for his excellent goal-line save in the first half which kept Kilmeena in the game at a very important juncture of the contest.
The panel present this evening comprised of the following:
Cathal Cawley, Harry Sheridan, Adam Sheridan, Tom Smythe, Robbie Staunton, Ronan O’Donnell, Chris McGlynn, Kian Moore, Mark Hastings, Ian Murphy, Darragh Slattery, Liam Moore, Ben Lennon, Cillian O’Grady, Jason McGlynn, Ciaran Kilcoyne, Daniel O’Malley, Jack Walsh, Rory Nolan.
Well done lads!