Monday 17th August heralded the end of the line for Kilcullen’s juniors after an exit from the Senior C championship at quarter final stage to a well drilled Kildangan side.
In a game played in beautiful conditions in Nurney it was Kildangan who got off to the best start getting four quick points on the board before Kilcullen registered their opening score thanks to emerging minor Thomas Hennessy. That was as good as it got for the Rags in the opening half as Kildangan dominated to lead 1-07 to Kilcullen solitary point at half time.
Some second half tactical changes with the introduction of Dylan Kennedy & Sheas Lambe and the Kilcullen Juniors never say die attitude proved to be pivotal and the Rags clawed their way back into the game in the second half.
Thomas Hennessy latched on another 3 points and Dylan Kennedy got his first of the match as Kilcullen brought the fight the Kildangan. But as the old saying goes, Goals Win Games and Kildangan dealt Kilcullen a killer blow just as the rags were getting on top will a well taken goal orchestrated by a very classy full forward line.
Kilcullen did continue to push for a game changing goal of their own as the second half wore on but Kildangan soaked up the pressure and scored on the counter attack after 2 more points from Kennedy. Aaron Melinn, Luke Dowling and Wayne Condron came off the bench and made an instant impact with Condron making a vital interception to prevent another certain Kildangan goal.
In the end Kildangan ran out worthy winners 2-13 to 0-08 with the score line not really reflective of the overall competiveness of the match which was a real test for Kilcullen’s second team against the first team of Kildangan.
Afterwards the Kilcullen management had this to say about their players.
“It was a very up and down season for the lads but one thing they did was stick together even through the toughest times. At the beginning of the year we had a lot of boys starting out on this team as emerging minors and by the end of the summer they had grown into pivotal players across the whole pitch. Credit must go to the seniors lads on the team who embraced the youthful look to the team as without them these young guys would have never really had the opportunity to develop, they protected them when needed but allowed them express themselves when the opportunity arose. I think we can sleep soundly knowing that this junior team has laid a good foundation for the young lads to break into the senior team and we hope that we did our job in a fair and open manner rewarding those who dedicated themselves to training and the team as a whole.”
Kilcullen: 1. Paddy Maher, 2. Jack Dooley, 3. Colm O Brian, 4. Stephen Willis, 5. David McMahon (Luke Dowling 50 mins), 6. Kev O Brien, 7. Ben Phelan, 8. Dwayne O Connor, 9. Adam Noone (Wayne Condron 45 mins), 10. Joe Carey (Aaron Melinn 40 mins), 11. Martin Murphy (Capt) (Sheas Lambe 30 mins) , 12. Tom Hennessy, 13. Colm Sheehan (Dylan Kennedy 26 mins), 14. Tom Dixon, 15. Tim Carey. Niall McCormack.