Alley boys forge football first
Traditionally known as masters of the small ball, the Kilmuckridge and Monamolin boys finally got their hands on an Allianz Cumann na mBunscol Rackard League county football title in St. Patrick's Park on Tuesday.
Kilmuckridge 4-10 Monamolin Rathangan 0-5
The fact that they took the top Roinn 'A' title playing some fantastic football throughout the competition made this achievement extra special.
Despite an early goal scare, the Alley boys were the stronger team from the start and they quickly had two points on the board through a Michael Butler punch over the bar and a Cormac Walsh free. It was notable how the Alley boys played at a furious pace with some hard tackling in the forwards and goalkeeper Harvey Warren feeding each attack with quick kick-outs at the other end.
This gameplan paid off eight minutes in when centre-back Jack Twomey booted a ball down the field to full-forward Michael Butler who rode several challenges before calmly slotting the ball into the bottom left corner.
Rathangan, to their credit, briefly rallied through a long-range free from Michael Cullen and an Andrew Moran point from play, but these scores were cancelled out by further Alley points through Cormac Walsh and Jack Redmond.
The Rathangan boys attempted to implement a sweeper to quell the repeated Alley attacks, but not even an extra man could stop centre-forward Eoin O'Meara getting a second goal for his team. A smart save from Dylan Moran in the Rathangan goal kept their hopes alive going into half-time but at 2-6 to 0-2 the odds were stacked against them.
Cathal Murphy and Finn Ryan were carrying some great ball up the field, but if Rathangan were to have a chance in the second-half they would have to finish off some of these moves.
Unfortunately, Kilmuckridge remained deadly clinical in front of goals when they got a dream start to the final 25 minutes.
Floating dangerously around the goalmouth, Tomás Whelan did very well to get a hand to a loose ball and fist it into the back of the net.
Moments later Cormac Walsh then got in on the act with a well-taken goal, piling the pressure on Rathangan who unfortunately could only respond with another Michael Cullen pointed free.
Now firmly in the driving seat, Kilmuckridge drove on with rampaging half-backs Edward Harney and Dylan McEvoy combining with the impressive midfield pairing of Shamey O'Hagan and Jack Redmond to great effect. The Alley boys really used the ball very well at this stage and got some great team scores.
Late points from Michael Cullen and Conan Phillips were not enough to deny the Gorey District side, and it was with great delight that captain Dylan McEvoy accepted the cup to bring back to a brand new home.
Kilmuckridge: Harvey Warren, Seán Kirwan, Kevin O'Connor, Fiachra Fortune, Edward Harney, Jack Twomey, Dylan McEvoy, Jack Redmond, Shamey O'Hagan, Tomás Whelan, Eoin O'Meara, Cormac Walsh, Conor Keane, Michael Butler, Stephen Furlong, Darragh Prendergast, Pádraig Kinsella, Bryan Kirwan, Adam Beck, Kevin Doyle, Tadhg McKenna.
Rathangan: Dylan Moran, Páidí Doyle, Rory O'Brien, Conan Philips, Rory Byrne, Liam Berry, Finn Ryan, Jack O'Brien, Eoin Staples, Darren Moore, Andrew Moran, Liam Whelan, Cathal Murphy, Michael Cullen, Brad Walsh, J.J. Harpur, Cian Doyle, Adam Ffrench, Matthew Dayot, Eoin McMahon, Justin McMahon, Shane Ryan, Páidí Power, Daire Heaney.