Kilanerin edge Ramsgrange in Roinn C decider
Kilanerin 2-6 Ramsgrange 2-5
After watching their girls lose by the bare minimum in the curtain raiser, the Kilanerin faithful were probably hoping for an easier ride in the Allianz Cumann na mBunscol Boys Roinn C football final. As the hour unfolded however, there proved to be just as much drama in the boys challenge for a county title.
The game began at a lively pace that saw fast interchanges up and down by both sides. In the 6th minute Conor Hughes opened the scoring when he put over a free. This small lead soon grew much bigger when an excellent Cian Hughes blockdown created the chance for Conor Hughes to also score the game’s first goal. Ramsgrange dusted themselves down quickly and got a point on the board when Alfie Eite took a snap shot on a loose ball around the Kilanerin square. The first half then descended into a hard fought battle between both sides and it was the 18th minute before there was another score. This time it was Kilanerin midfielder Paddy D’Arcy who put the ball over the bar. A combination of some great attacking play from Ramsgrange and indiscipline by the Kilanerin defence saw the New Ross District side finish the half very strongly. Ben McPhillips scored a point from the narrowest of angles and Owen Whitty made sure his free went over to put two points between the sides going in at half time.
Kilanerin were severely shaken when Ramsgrange came out and rattled the net at the resumption of the second half. Alfie Eite goal put Ramsgrange ahead 1-3 to 1-2. At this time of crisis, Kilanerin centre back Tom Mordaunt and midfielder Jason Bolger steadied the ship with numerous displays of driving play and Conor Hughes made it his business to ensure that the frees kept counting on the scoreboard by converting two frees to put Kilanerin back on top by a point. Ramsgrange’s speedy midfielder Owen Whitty continued to cause Kilanerin problems and levelled the scored with a driving run and point in the 10th minute. Jason Bolger replied in kind with an inspiring point from out the field that also kickstarted a purple patch for his team. His score was quickly followed by a Conor Hughes point from play and then William Higgins did very well to set up Lee Cushe for a well taken goal.
Five points up with eight minutes to go, Kilanerin looked for all the world to be in the driving seat and cruising, but Ramsgrange were not yet beaten. Ben Mc Phillips scrambled a goal into the Kilanerin net to rally the troops and Josh White-Keating kicked a great point under pressure to bring on the second nail biting finish of the evening. With a couple of nasty injuries to key players and sustained Ramsgrange pressure, the writing seemed to be on the wall for the Kilanerin boys but they repeatedly defended with the utmost determination to emerge the victors in the end. It was fitting that the hard working trio of Tom Mordaunt, Jason Bolger and Cian Hughes won and cleared some important ball at the very death and it was also excellent to see both teams almost immediately line up at the final whistle to shake hands after what was a very sporting and keenly contested game.
~Seán Óg Whelan
Kilanerin: Jason Byrne, Cillian Byrne, JJ Kinsella O’Neill, Fintan Staunton, Robert Murphy, Tom Mordaunt, Conor Kinsella, Jason Bolger, Brian Cushe, Garbhann Finn, Paddy D’Arcy, Conor Hughes, Cian Hughes, Lee Cushe, Sean Hughes, Gavin Murray, Michael Higgins, William Higgins, Shane Kelly, Conor Jones, Nathan Bolton, Michael Fortune, David Neville, Micheál McGonigle
Ramsgrange: Colum Fitzgerald, Mark Whitty, Rory Lynch, Keelan Foley, Darragh McPhillips, Sam Wallace, Daniel Behan, Owen Whitty, Tomas Barron, Ben McPhilips, Padraig Barron, Ethan Keogh, James Nolan, Alfie Eite, Josh White-Keating, Jamie Foley, Shane Dunne, Jack Nolan (Ramsgrange), Jack Nolan (Duncannon), Sean Bennett, Ciaran Phillips, Keith Mowatt, Joe McPhillips, Dion Donnelly, Aaron McPhilips, Conor Clarke