Hard grind by Hibs seconds
Published 26/05/2015 | 00:00
Some sides are able to build big leads and make them bigger. Courtown Hibs 'B' team aren't like that. They grind out wins. They know how to get ahead and they know how to stay ahead and that's what took them to the Division 4 title this season.
A look through their results shows that seven of their 16 wins came by just one goal, while another five were by two goals. Their two losses were one-goal defeats. To keep games tight like that the defence has to be stellar and Courtown had that this season.
Anchored by experienced goalkeeper Stephen Doyle, who had never previously won a league winners' medal in all his years at Hibs, and a strong back four of captain Stephen Fortune, vice-captain Dane McGarry, David Savage and Paddy Fleming, the champions were outstanding.
Free-kick specialist David Fitzpatrick returned from Canada to add prowess on dead balls. Jamie Gilligan and Jamie Heffernan, who was later needed for the first team as a goalkeeper, provided the goals and Graham Greene just got better and better as the season wore on.
Things started off well for Courtown, winning their first four games on the trot, and that set up a meeting with local rivals and fellow high-flyers Gorey Celtic. That game finished in a 1-1 draw but it was a confidence boost nonetheless and Hibs won ten of their next eleven.
One of those wins was the return game against Celtic which the Ounavarra side dominated from start to finish on the way to a 5-1 win. Their best performance though was saved for the title clincher against Shelburne which they won 4-2.
The Ballywilliam boys ended up joining Courtown in the promotion spot and will play Division 3A football next season. Dropping down to 4A in 2015-'16 are Enniscorthy Town seconds and Orrill United.
Squad: Stephen Doyle, Stephen Fortune, Dane McGarry, David Savage, Paddy Fleming, Larry Kinsella, Graham Greene, Philip Jackson, Jamie Heffernan, Jamie Gilligan, Daniel O'Brien, Colm Davis, Gracjan Dettelass, Ian Travers, Paul O'Brien, Gary Farrell, Lee Waters, Darren Kennedy, David Fitzpatrick.
Manager: Darren Kennedy.