Kenny's late strikes power Kilrush to Juvenile shield win
Kilrush captain Kevin Kenny netted twice in the final 16 minutes to propel his side to the Gorey Guardian Juvenile football Roinn 1 shield in St. Patrick's Park on Friday.
Kilrush 2-7 Our Lady's Island /St. Fintan's 0-4
The goals were coming. The Our Lady's Island/St. Fintan's combination were doing everything in their power to keep the electric attacker at bay, relying on both fair means and foul in the process.
However, as legs started to tire, Kenny's pace and direct running became almost unstoppable. Others chipped in too. James Byrne had a super game for the victors, while Tom Kinsella really sprung to life as the game wore on.
It was Kinsella's pass that produced the opening goal. Just moments earlier Josh Burke had made a fine save from the Kilrush wing-forward, but there was nothing the OLI/St. Fintan's stopper could do to deny Kenny when he was played in on the left of goal.
Two minutes later James Byrne pointed to put six between the teams (1-6 to 0-3). The shield was sewn up ten minutes from time when the Byrnes, Martin and James, combined to release Kenny. The hotshot still had plenty to do but made no mistake, drilling high to the net.
Kenny and Ben Popplewell traded late points as the game meandered to an end. It was a nice reward for a solid performance for the Gorey District side, although the first-half was a tight, lack-lustre affair.
James Byrne opened his account in the fourth minute but there would be no further movement on the scoreboard until Shane Pettit equalised from a free in the 22nd minute. In the meantime Seán Kirwan drilled narrowly wide across the face of goal for Kilrush, while their opponents missed several makeable dead balls.
The end of the first-half provided a glimpse of what was to come after the break as Kilrush started to dominate. They took the lead when Kenny kicked a free in the 25th minute, and the scorer then saw two efforts saved by Josh Burke.
Tom Kinsella made it 0-3 to 0-1 at the break, and Kenny then popped over a free shortly after the re-start. James O'Leary and Shane Pettit responded to narrow the gap to one (0-4 to 0-3), but the longer the game went on, the more Kilrush drove clear to take the shield in style.
Kilrush: Jack Nolan; Ronan Dillon, Garrett O'Connor, Patrick Doran; Owen Doran, Jim Sharry, Pádraig O'Rourke; Seán Kirwan, Peter O'Neill; Martin Byrne, James Byrne (0-3, 1 free), Tom Kinsella (0-1); Stephen Kenny, Kevin Kenny (capt., 2-3, 0-2 frees), Tomás Kirwan. Subs. - James Doran for Kirwan (56), Seán Kehoe for S. Kenny (57), also Adam Quinn, Aaron O'Hara, J.J. Clarke, Seán O'Rourke, Liam Ascott.
Our Lady's Island/St. Fintan's: Josh Burke; Brian Moore, Eoin Goff, Dean Corish; Ben Popplewell (0-1), Paul Cummins (capt.), Jess Codd; Jason Devereux, James O'Leary (0-1); James Newport, Lee Redmond, Adam Mullins; Shane Pettit (0-2, 1 free), David Pettit, Jack O'Leary. Subs. - Leigh Newport for Moore (40), Liam Crowley for Jack O'Leary (52), also Seán Donovan, Tommy Wickham, Mickey Cullen.
Referee: John Carton (Monageer-Boolavogue).