Thursday, 18 December 2014

O’NEILL ROCKS CHAMPIONS

Shannonside FM Senior Football Championship

Castlerea St. Kevin’s ...................................... 0-12

Kilbride ............................................................ 1-9


Shane Reynolds

Group C of the Shannonside Senior Football Championship has been blown wide open after Castlerea St. Kevin’s and Kilbride played out an entertaining draw in the clash of last year’s senior and intermediate champions in O’Rourke Park on Sunday evening last.

  It took an inspirational point from substitute Seamus O’Neill with little or no time remaining in the contest to ensure that the visitors got a deserved share of the spoils in a game in which both sides spurned chances of winning in the dying moments.

  Kilbride will be extremely pleased with the result as they went into the game as massive underdogs and showed incredible character throughout the game which ensured they never let Castlerea out of their grasps.

  On the other hand however the home side will no doubt be disappointed with the outcome considering the class and quality they boast within their ranks and given that they have a tough assignment against Elphin on the cards this weekend.

  There was very little to choose between the sides in the opening period, with the teams exchanging points frequently throughout. Gerry Lohan opened the scoring for the visitors with a well-taken ’45 inside two minutes before Ger Heneghan got Castlerea off the mark with an excellent score from play moments later. 

  David Scahill pointed for the home side in the 7th minute of the contest before another Lohan point levelled matters once more. The sides exchanged points for the remainder of the half with Scahill (0-2), Heneghan and Noel Curran accounting for the home side’s scores while Martin McDermott, Eddie Lohan (0-2) and Paul O’Grady raised white flags for Kilbride which ensured that the sides would go in deadlocked at the interval – 0-6 apiece.

  With little to choose between the teams in the opening thirty minutes of play it was Kilbride who drew first blood in the contest and opened up a four-point advantage after the resumption. James Farrell pointed in the 33rd minute before a mix-up in the Castlerea defence handed possession to Eddie Lohan who goaled from 12 yards.

  With the prospect of defeat staring them directly in the face Castlerea began to show glimpses of the form which captured the county title last year. Six scores without reply between the 37th and 55th minutes saw the pendulum swing back in favour of the home side.

  Two Heneghan frees and a score from play reduced the deficit before Enda Kenny levelled proceedings with a well-taken point in the 42nd minute of the contest. Two further trademark frees from the reliable Heneghan handed Castlerea a two-point advantage with five minutes remaining in the game.

  However there was a further twist in the tale as Kilbride rescued the game through the most unlikely of sources. County star Seamus O’Neill – who had not been expected to be back from injury until October – entered the fray for the closing stages and engineered an inspirational comeback.

  A Gerry Lohan free after Stephen Lohan had been fouled put a single point between the teams entering the dying moments before O’Neill – who won his own possession – kicked a magnificent equalising point to level matters once again.

  Both sides had chances to win the game however Neil Collins’ point attempt ended up in the arms of Kilbride goalkeeper Jonathan Farrell while John Shally and substitute O’Neill’s injury-time efforts went the wrong side of the post.

Castlerea St. Kevin’s: G. Claffey; G. Tiernan, N. Collins, P. Duignan; D. Lyons, C. Dineen, G. McElhone; M. Killilea, E. Kenny (0-1); S. Heneghan, N. Dineen, N. Curran (0-1); R. Curran, D. Scahill (0-3), G. Heneghan (0-7, five frees). Subs: B. Carthy for R. Curran (47 mins).

Kilbride: J. Farrell; P. O’Grady (0-1), A. McDermott, Sean Lohan; J. Shally, C. Farrell, S. Feeley; C. O’Neill, Stephen Lohan; T. O’Grady, G. Lohan (0-3, one free, one ’45), F. Tully; J. Farrell (0-1), E. Lohan (1-2), M. McDermott (0-1). Subs: S. O’Neill (0-1) for T. O’Grady (46 mins), J. Lally for E. Lohan (57 mins).

Referee: Michael Brennan (Boyle). 


Man of the Match: 

David Scahill (Castlerea St. Kevin’s)

It was a day when both teams performed well as units, with not many individual performances catching the eye. However Castlerea’s full-forward David Scahill was a threat throughout, particularly in the opening period where he registered three excellent points from play. Others who performed admirably were Paul O’Grady and Stephen Lohan from Kilbride.