On Sunday, May 12th, in Sarsfields, Monasterevin and Kilcullen served up a truly outstanding game of Gaelic football. Played in glorious sunshine, this game started brighter for the blues. Daniel Dee the speedy full forward opened proceedings with a point from play. When just a minute later Aaron Birmingham fired low to the Kilcullen net, the Rags reply was swift and they dominated proceedings and their reward was three points from frees from the boot of Ben Merrins. Kilcullens fourth free brought a better reward. When the free came off the cross bar into the the arms of full forward, Johnny Capils who scored the rags first goal from close range. Three points without reply from Monasterevin, two from Wayne Fitzpatrick and one from Aaron B Whelan gave the blues a slender lead once again. Kilcullen’s hunger and attitude were very evident and they were not going to lie down. Dylan Mulhalll fired home another goal for the rags, before Monasterevin were awarded a penalty. Up stepped their captain Johannes Muller who just about squeezed the ball under Mark Kelly’s body, to leave just one point in it at the break. Ben Merrins levelled the game once again with a simple tap over with the Rags first attack of the second half. Monasterevin and Kilcullen went point for point in the second half, the pick of which was from Adam Phelan. Monasterevin stretched the lead to three once again, before the Rags third goal, excellently taken by Dylan Mulhall. The barrow side blues seemed to wrap it up with a minute to go when wing back Mark Morrissey scored a point, well earned for his teams hard work. But once again the never say die attitude of the young Rags was clear. A long delivery into the Monasterevin defence brought a foul once again,and once again the result was the same as it had been all day – a pointed free from Ben Merrins. A draw match and extra time. Ten minutes of extra time of both halves was going to be hard in this heat, and Kilcullen once again got off the mark quickest and once again it was Merrins who raised the white flag this time from play. This was to be their only score of the first half of extra time, while Monasterevan notched five in a row. Wayne Freeman slotting over two in a row, and was assisted by one from Birmingham, and one from substitute Dean Murphy. The score of the game just before the whistle of this half Aaron Bannon Whelan fielded magnificently in the middle of the field turned a fired over the bar from over 40 yards. Chris Kelly piled more misery on the Rags to put five between them. This game seemed in the bag for the blues, but three more points in a row ,brought this game to within two. Fitzpatrick kicked over another with his trusty left foot, before real drama in the final minute saw Phelan rifling the ball off the cross bar. When referee Dessie Coyle blew for full time it was pure joy and relief for Monasterevin and utter heart-break for the very brave Kilcullen lads. But everyone would have to take their hats off too both teams on a truly entertaining and sporting contest. It would be unfair to pick out just a few who played well as the young men on both sides played brilliantly. Monasterevin: Daryl Fitzpatrick, Liam Broughan, Niall Christy, Jake Kennedy, Mark Morrissey, Gavin Worrell, Paul Finglas, Aaron B Whelan, Wayne Freeman, Chris Kelly, Wayne Fitzpatrick, Conor Harris, Johannes Muller, Danial Dee, Aaron Birmingham, Dean Murphy, Adam Curran, Dara Forde, Niall Brady, Conor Hennessey, Larry Foy, Thomas Foy, Brendan Beathy and Mitchell Ryan, Kilcullen: M.Kelly; G.Murray, R.Whoriskey, Jamie Caplis; J.Lynch, J.D.Lavin, M.Burke; A.Phelan, D.Neill; D.Mulhall, J.Keatley, B.Merrins; Johnny Caplis, H.Peacocke, D.Mitchell. Subs Used: C.Byrne, E.Stafford. Other Subs: B.Foran, J.Pembroke, D.Hayden, G.Kenny(inj), R.Byrne(inj).
Well done to the minor team who qualified for the league final after a hard fought win away to Suncroft last night. With a strong wind at their backs in the first half, the Rags took a 1-5 to 0-3 lead into the break, with a well taken goal from Johnny Caplis. Kilcullen then got the first two points of the second half against the wind, but to their credit Suncroft rallied to leave it with just a goal between the teams with 10 minutes remaining. The Rags then tagged on another two points, before the Croft got an injury time goal, but Kilcullen held out for a deserved win. In an entertaining game, despite the windy conditions, best for Kilcullen were JD Lavin, Johnny Caplis, David Neill, Dylan Mulhall and Jamie Caplis.