Kilcullen lost out narrowly to a determined St.Kevin’s side in this championship encounter. However, the Rags will definitely feel that this was a game that they left behind. Kilcullen did reasonably well against the wind in the first half, with a late couple of points giving St.Kevin’s a 0-5 to 0-2 half-time lead. The Rags would have been happy enough to start the second half with only a three point deifcit and a very strong wind at their backs. The visitors did stretch their lead to 0-6 to 0-2 at the start of the half, but a Shay Pembroke goal following an excellent John Keatley pass, brought the sides level. It then seemed set up for the home side to kick on and take a victory. A third pointed free from Adam Phelan gave the Rags the lead, but after that, the Rags seemed to lose their way. David Hickey did well with any ball that came his way at full forward, and with the conditions, this seemed a tactic that the Rags should have used more often, but he became increasingly isolated as the Rags dropped deeper and deeper. St. Kevin’s outscored the Rags by 3 points to 1 in the remainder of the game. Kilcullen will feel they should have at least taken the game to extra time, but instead St.Kevin’s took a single point win. Best for Kilcullen were Danny Fisher, Franny Shortt and David Hickey.
Kilcullen Line-Up: R.Kiely; Johnny Caples, S.O’Connor; R.Toft, D.Fisher, D.Neill; H.Peacocke, F.Shortt(0-1); P.Bell, Aaron Phelan, J.Keatley; Adam Phelan(0-3f), S.Pembroke(1-0), D.Hickey(0-1).
Subs Used: J.D.Lavin, D.Keane.
by Ger McNally.
Kilcullen strolled into the Under 21 B Championship quarter-finals after they completely dominated against a Grange side missing a number of players. Grange deserve credit for breaking away from the amalgamated Geraldines club and competing on their own in this championship but their young side just couldn’t cope with a rampant Kilcullen.
Keith Leigh’s 14th minute dismissal hardly helped their cause but even by that stage their backs were against the wall. The home team made an ideal start when Ben Foran lashed to the back of the net with just 19 seconds on the clock. By the time Shay Pembroke converted a third minute penalty the game was as good as over.
Foran grabbed a terrific third in the ninth minute and Paul Bell and Franny Shortt were also beginning to get into their groove in front of the posts. Leigh’s red card was followed five minutes later by a Pembroke goal, but after conceding 4-4, Grange landed their first score in the 21st minute. And quite a good point it was too by Wayne Dooley. Once Grange got their first point two more quicly followed, Dooley’s second of the game and a score by midfielder Jason Lambe. Kilcullen though got the final three points of the first half and the first three of the second half to lead 4-10 to 0-3 after 37 minutes.
Despite everything seemingly going against them, Grange kept battling away and were rewarded when Monsurdeen Mustapha dribbled his way, soccer style, through the Kilcullen defence and fired home. Grange even got a second goal midway through the half when David Kolapo blasted past Ronan Kiely but Kilcullen moved through the gears once again in the final quarter. Shortt, Bell and Adam Phelan all bagged goals as Kilcullen finished the game as confidently as they had started it.
St.Kevin’s await in the quarter-finals and Kilcullen can be assured of a tougher test in that game. Grange must now look to keep this young side together and hope for better days in the future.
Kilcullen Line-Up: R.Kiely; Johnny Caplis, S.O’Connor, J.Westerman; E.Jennings, D.Fisher, H.Peacocke(0-1); F.Shortt (1-5), Aaron Phelan; B.Foran(2-1), J.Keatley, D.Hickey(0-1); P.Bell(1-5), Adam Phelan(1-0), S.Pembroke(2-4,1-0pen,0-1f).
Subs Used: Ross Clarke, Jamie Caplis.
A very impressive Two Mile House side had too much for Kilcullen in this Minor semi-final. The visitors came flying out of the blocks and had notched up 2-3 before the young Rags got on the scoreboard. Ross Coughlan scored a point for Kilcullen, but Two Mile House added another few scores to take a 2-6 to 0-1 Half-time lead. Kilcullen never lacked for effort but were outclassed on the day by a team who looked like they should be plying their trade at a higher level than Division 3. The House continued to pile on the scores, although Ross Coughlan did score an excellent goal for the Rags. The visitors went on to win by 5-13 to 1-3, a scoreline which was very harsh on Kilcullen.
Kilcullen Line-Up: K.McDonald; G.Kenny, R.Byrne, J.Burke; J.Pembroke, S.Dowling, J.Caplis; D.Neill, M.O’Connor; C.Murray, D.Mulhall(0-2f), K.Domican; G.Lavin, C.Byrne, R.Coughlan(1-1).
Subs: H.Rooney, B.Mullins, D.McMahon, A.Kenny.
The Under 16 team are playing in Division 4 of the Bord na nOg league and have played 2 games so far. In the first game against Caragh, we went down on a scoreline of 2-11 to 1-10. The biggest story of this game was the amount of players missing due to illness, we ended up with the bare 15, but put in a spirited performance to stay in contention until the last few minutes. Good performances by David MacMahon, Graham Lavin, Alan Kenny (8 pts) and Josh Greene.
The second game was at home to Castledermot, and the benifit of the previous game was obvious. Playing against a strong midfield the lads defended in great numbers and played on the break with very direct passing and running. This resulted in the scoring of 7 goals for the rags. The final score was Kilcullen 7-4 Castledermot 1-8. The return of Bevan Murray was a huge plus and if he had been available for the first game it is possible we would be 2 from 2. Other players of note were Dylan Kennedy Brian Mullins, and in his first year playing Jordan Hodgkins.
In our third game, we played Robertstown away. Robertstown turned out to be a very impressive team full of strong, hard working players and deserved to win the game. The final score was Robertstown 1-16 Kilcullen 1-8. However, with about 15 minutes to go, and 4 points down we were awarded what we believed to be a penalty, but the ref deemed it a 13 metre free. Had we scored a goal at this point we would have had the home team rattled and who knows? Just after the penalty incident we were reduced to 14 players, and Robertstown retook the initiative to run out deserved winners. It was a reasonable performance against good opposition. Best for the young rags were Cillian Bolger, Colm O’Brien, Graham Lavin and Jack Dooley.
We break for a few weeks and will return towards the end of May to prepare for the championship. Any new players aged 15 and 16 who would like to join us please contact any club member.
The Kilcullen under 14s were drawn in the all county Féile C Group 1. Their first game was against Ballymore, and despite a very tight game Kilcullen came out with a win. In the second game they faced Two Mile House away, and they gave their best performance of the campaign, with a good win. The last game in the group was against the favourites Allenwood. In a great game of football Kilcullen held the lead up until the last 10 minutes, when Allenwood pulled ahead with three late goals.
Kilcullen qualified for the quarter finals as group runners up. There, they drew Castledermot who had won their group and were unbeaten. Again, it was a very tight game with Kilcullen holding the lead up until the last ten minutes but late goals again sunk them.
Over the campaign, we seen some great performances from our team. In particular Dylan Kennedy, Luke Dowling, Luke Maloney and Henry Carey put in outstanding displays but all the team tried hard, with great teamwork and skil,l and were unlucky not to progress to a semi-final.
Special thanks to Thomas Davis and Cormac Aspell who managed the team and made a great contribution to the teams skills and preparation. The under 14 championship starts in late April, and we wish them all the best in their next competition.
On a bitterly cold day Kilcullen met Moorefield in the U13 Division 3 Final at Moorefield GAA in front of a capacity crowd. A strong northerly wind could not disrupt the quality of play on a perfect pitch & the early stages were tight & low scoring until Kilcullen broke the deadlock with a hard-earned point from Ellie O’Toole. She followed it up later with a low drilled shot to the net & it seemed Kilcullen would take control of the game. But Moorefield recovered well & midfielder Kate Hannon started to bombard the Kilcullen fullback line to create several points for her dangerous forwards. Kilcullen midfielder Lisa Aspell helped out indefence where fullback Laura McMahon broke up wave after wave of attacks and was ably assisted by Eleanor Trainor and Abby Murray at halfback. Niamh Garrett & Amy Barker worked very hard in the forwards & their efforts paid off with a swift counter to Nancy Murphy who found the net again for Kilcullen to restore a big lead. But back came Moorefield & when they won a turnover on the 45 a slick passing movement saw their inside forward expertly finish the ball to the net. A series of points just before halftime for Moorefield left just 2 points between the teams at the break.
Kilcullen made some changes & in came Bronagh Dooley at cornerback where she put in a tigerish display alongside her terrible twin Tara Murphy. Grace O’Toole moved to centre back & hoovered up possession with her rangy runs on the 45. Roisin Robinson battled hard at right half back to repel Moorefield charges down that wing. The home team started well on the restart and only a brave pointblank save from goalkeeper Avril Doyle stopped them from taking the lead. An outstanding Lisa Aspell gradually started to take control of midfield & interchanged passes with Nancy Murphy to set up Kilcullen attacks one of which led to another goal from Ellie O’Toole. Katelyn Hegarty Kelly made some great runs from centre half forward & 1 pacey run along the sideline had the Kilcullen supporters in full voice. Emma Keane & Abby Smith in the forward line sniped 2 well worked points & the match winning score came with 10 minutes to go with a lofted pass from Grace O’Toole to Nancy Murphy who put Ellie O’Toole through to blast into the roof of the net. Kilcullen’s deft changes saw the introduction of Sydney Sheridan, Emily McGlinchy & Leanne Clifford in the backs & Molly Aspell, Holly Duff & Sally Murphy up front all of whom threw themselves into the game with gusto. Moorefield battled on gamely but in the end ran out of time to leave Kilcullen relieved victors at 4-8 to 1-7.