Heartbreak for Juniors in County Final
As the final whistle blew last Saturday evening in Pairc Ui Rinn, the Kilmacabea players all slumped to their knee’s as the realization that their County Final dreams had been shattered by Duhallow outfit Dromtarriffe. As the players stood silent, with tears streaming down their faces, one can only imagine how they felt. Only 20 minutes earlier they had been in control of this final, leading by five points and looking like they would finally escape the junior ranks. But a 15 minute spell, where the Duhallow men outscored the Kilmacs, 2-2 to 0-2, ultimately crushed the Kilmacs ambitions and left them wondering where did it go so wrong.
Starting slowly, it took the Kilmacs time to settle and despite trailing by 0-2 to no score, a Daniel O Donovan free dropped short of the target but was expertly flicked to the net by Ian Jennings. This ignited the Kilmacs and they started to settle more into the game, playing some excellent football. Two points from the boots of Damien Gore and a Daniel O Donovan free had the Kilmacs ahead by a point, before Timothy Nyhan flicked the ball to the back of the Dromtarriffe net and added on a point to leave the Kilmacs in control by 2-3 to 0-4 after 20 minutes. Both sides traded scores, until in the 32nd minute the Kilmac’s were awarded a penalty, but unfortunately Daniel O Donovan’s well struck shot was expertly saved by the Dromtarriffe custodian. The short whistle sounded after Damien Gore had extended the Kilmacs lead to 3 points at half time, 2-4 to 0-7.
The lads started the brighter in the second period and had stretched their lead to 5 points by the 37th minute. As the game wore on it looked like the Kilmacs would hold onto the lead, as Dromtarriffe’s attacks were repelled time and again. A number of positional changes and substitutions changed the game in the Duhallow sides favour, as two goals had the game level by the 53rd minute. Over the course of the year, the Kilmacs have finished every game strongly with the bench making a huge difference on each occasion. But ultimately lady luck had turned her back on the Kilmacs as Dromtarriffe struck the lead point in the final minute, and even four frantic minutes of injury time were’nt enough for them to fashion an equalizing score.
Despite the immense disappointment felt by players and supporters alike, 2018 will go down as the best year yet for our Junior Footballers. Retaining the West Cork title was a huge achievement, and the run to the County Final showed that this team is well capable of mixing it, not only with the best in the Junior ranks but ultimately teams at a higher level. While the scars from Saturday night will take awhile to clear, their are clear signs that this team is very close to making a huge breakthrough and of course the whole club and parish are very proud of what the team have done in 2018.
The Kilmacs will be back, stronger and better in 2019!!!
The Kilmacabea Junior Football team that contested the club’s first ever County Junior A Football Championship Final:
Matthew O Neill, Sam O Driscoll, Niall Hayes (captain), Darren Whooley, Donnacha McCarthy, Clive Sweetnam, Donie O Donovan, Daniel O Donovan, Martin Collins, Joseph Collins, Richie O Sullivan, Diarmuid O Callaghan, Ian Jennings, Damien Gore, Timothy Nyhan
Subs: Declan O Sullivan for Donnacha McCarthy (blood sub), Ger O Donovan for Timothy Nyhan, Dan Lynch for Richie O Sullivan, Liam Thompson for Joseph Collins, Ciaran O Donovan for Sam O Driscoll
Scorers: Damien Gore (0-5, 0-1 from a free), Timothy Nyhan (1-1), Ian Jennings (1-0), Daniel O Donovan (0-2 from free’s)
Thanks to Kathleen Hayes for the use of her photo