Vols on song
Murphy hits late winner
With the game one minute into additional time, Glen Murphy struck for a marvellous goal to hand Volunteers a dramatic two-point victory over Rathvilly in this hugely-exciting Division 4 boys' Shield final at the Ferns Centre of Excellence on Sunday.
Volunteers 2-6 Rathvilly (Carlow) 2-4
Both sides had put up a spirited resistance through the 30-odd minutes of football, but when the Carlow boys hit back with two excellently-executed second-half goals they put themselves in a winning position, only to come unstuck in additional time.
Despite the setback of this late major, they still managed to lay siege to the Volunteers goal in the six extra minutes played, but they came up against some stubborn defending on the part of the Vols while they saw a late goal attempt fly across the face of the goal and go just wide.
It's in games like this that one can see what Gaelic football is all about. The play was free-flowing with excellent kicking and passing, while the defensive and attacking play of both sides was of the highest quality throughout.
Volunteers started with the assistance of the slight breeze, getting off to an ideal start with a Glen Murphy point inside 30 seconds, while two minutes later the excellent Harry Kehoe kicked over another fine point.
Rathvilly had to wait until the fifth minute for their opening score, a Kevin Murphy point, followed by a levelling point from Páraic Bolger two minutes later.
Playing some exciting football, Volunteers rather fortuitously regained the lead when a twelfth-minute Harry Kehoe '45 found its way directly to the net, while they went on to add points through Glen Murphy and a Kehoe free to lead by 1-4 to 0-2 at the interval.
Rathvilly lit up the game within three minutes of the re-start with a great individual solo and finish from Kevin Murphy to reduce the deficit to 1-4 to 1-2, while three minutes later a long lob from Páraic Deering ended in the net to give his side a dramatic lead.
A Páraic Deering point saw them extend their advantage as the Vols were going through a testing period.
Three minutes from the end a Glen Murphy pointed free left the minimum separating the sides, but Rathvilly still looked like holding firm until Murphy's additional time goal,
The sides went on to exchange points through Harry Kehoe and Páraic Deering as the Vols just about held firm to lift the title.
St. John's Volunteers: Michael Dempsey; Geoff Maher, Josh Murphy, Aaron O'Connor; Cian Kehoe, Josh Ryan, Shane McGuinness; Harry Kehoe (1-3, 1-2 frees), Ciarán Carty; Reece Murphy, Seán Murphy, Stephen Burke; Cillian Meyler, Glen Murphy (1-3, 0-1 free), Cillian Siggins. Subs. - Josh McMahon, Oisín Kehoe, Stuart Hession, Colm Furlong, Luke Crosbie, Eoin McBride.
Rathvilly: Anthony Kelly; Daragh Curran, Kenneth Bello, Joshua Dunne; Páraic Deering (1-0), Brian Carroll, Kyle Lawlor; Adam Byrne, Cian Leonard; Tadhg Walsh, Kevin Murphy (1-3), Kyle Byrne; Jack Nolan, Páraic Bolger (0-1), Patrick O'Reilly. Subs. - Collie Gardiner, Páraic Byrne, Páraic White, Ryan Collier, Aaron Elliott, Jack Carroll, Mark Carroll, Jeff Leonard.
Referee: Philip Murphy (Faythe Harriers).