Kilrush bounce back
Free-scoring Kilrush bounced back from the concession of two early second-half goals to emerge with a deserved two-point victory over Naomh Eanna in this All-County Football League Division 3 final at Camolin on Sunday.
Kilrush 0-15 Naomh Eanna 2-7
Having led by two points at the interval and turning over with the assistance of the breeze, Kilrush were stunned on the resumption when the opposition struck for two goals and a point within three minutes of the re-start to move into a five-point lead. Despite this double setback they kept their composure, inspired by centre-back Tommy Devereux, as they responded with a string of well-executed points.
Neither side was able to impose themselves on the game through the opening 30 minutes. With passes going astray coupled with much wayward finishing, scoring became increasingly difficult as the respective attacks struggled, missing out on many opportunities through this opening spell.
Kilrush opened with points from a Brian Hayden free and Garry Doran to lead by 0-2 to nil inside four minutes, while one minute later a fine individual effort from Willie Cullen started the Naomh Eanna account. But Kilrush continued to dictate the pattern of the game, adding points through Colm Buttle and Conor Levingstone to lead by 0-4 to 0-1 after twelve minutes.
Although Naomh Eanna had their share of possession it was not until approaching the interval that they translated this into scores with points from Dara McDonald and a Willie Cullen free, but Kilrush led by 0-6 to 0-4 at the break, having added further points through Conor Levingstone (two, one free).
Against the breeze Naomh Eanna performed even more admirably, getting off to a roaring start with a Dara McDonald goal inside 30 seconds. Willie Cullen followed up with a pointed free, while in the 33rd minute, Seán Doyle found the net from close range, transforming the game as the town side now led by 2-5 to 0-6.
With a five-point lead, Naomh Eanna looked comfortable but with Kilrush centre-back Tommy Devereux storming forward for two well-taken points, it hauled his side back into contention. With ten minutes remaining the Gorey side were still clinging to a one-point lead though (2-6 to 0-11).
Two quickfire points from Gavin Sunderland and Devereux had the eventual winners back in front, while they added further points through Paddy Nolan and Garry Doran. Naomh Eanna attacked strongly in the closing minutes but a Dara McDonald effort for a levelling goal dipped just over the crossbar.
Kilrush: John Harte; Davy Travers, Frank Lancaster, Patrick Nolan; James Lancaster, Tommy Devereux (0-3), Colm Buttle (0-1); Shane Tomkins, Garry Doran (0-2); Conor Levingstone (0-3, 1 free), Edmund Kenny, Gavin Sunderland (0-1); Pádraig Byrne, Billy Nolan (0-1), Brian Hayden (0-4, 3 frees). Sub. - Tom Byrne for P. Byrne.
Naomh Eanna: Seán Sheridan; Lee Kinsella, Brendan Travers, Tom Stafford; Peter Travers, Simon Doran, Joseph O'Connor; Barry Kinsella, Conor Hughes; Dara McDonald (1-3), Pádraig Doyle, Seán Doyle (1-0); Willie Cullen (0-3, 2 frees), Barry Kinsella (0-1), David O'Brien. Subs. - Gearóid Cullen for B. Kinsella, John Stafford for O'Connor.
Referee: Eddie O'Sullivan (Kilanerin).