’Ford best in shield decider
A late fightback proved to be in vain for gallant Kilrush as Craanford claimed the New Ross Standard Under-14 football Division 3 shield in St. Patrick's Park on Tuesday.
Craanford 1-11 Kilrush 1-8 (AET)
The 'Ford looked to be on course for a regulation time victory when Brendan Tobin drilled a smashing strike past Paul Doran for his side's only goal with eleven minutes remaining. However, Kilrush redoubled their efforts and they dominated the rest of the match.
Tom Kinsella started the comeback with a nice point from in front of the posts, and Seán Kehoe followed it with another accurate free. There was still a goal in the game when Aidan Kavanagh was black-carded with three minutes remaining.
The pressure finally told when Kilrush barrelled their way through on the right and Tomás Kirwan applied the finishing touches from a few yards out.
The goal took the game to extra-time (1-7 each), where Craanford were able to dominate.
They were helped by the re-emergence of the influential defender Aidan Kavanagh, although by rule, he shouldn't have been allowed to play in overtime after picking up the black card towards the end of normal time.
Joseph Conroy - who was a key influence in this Craanford win - and Jack Fleming pointed in the first period of extra-time.
Their scores were one better than Kilrush managed, scoring their only point of the period through Kehoe.
The deadly duo in the half-forward line for Craanford, Brendan Tobin and Aodán Whitty, notched points in the second period of overtime to ensure the shield headed home with them.
Earlier, the sides played out a tight first-half of few clearcut chances. Two Whitty points and a Tobin effort gave Craanford a 0-3 to nil lead after the opening quarter. Kilrush bounced back with scores from Martin Byrne, Seán Kehoe and Harry Fitzgibbon to level.
The score was 0-3 each at the break but only after Tobin slalomed through the Ballyroebuck boys' defence in added-time and cracked a shot off the bottom of the post.
It was a lot more open after the re-start. Aodán Whitty and Patrick Kavanagh put Craanford ahead, only for Kehoe to hit back with a pair of dead-balls.
The eventual champions pulled 1-7 to 0-5 ahead and then saw Conroy thump the crossbar.
It kicked Kilrush into life for their comeback but, despite getting level and forcing extra-time, Kilrush never led at any stage in the 70 minutes.
Craanford's win provided some consolation after losing their Division 2 hurling final to Rapparees ten days earlier.
Craanford: Pádraig Tobin (joint capt.); Brendan Greene, Pat Doyle, James Doyle; Kevin Hyland, Aidan Kavanagh, Pádraig Donohue; Joseph Conroy (0-2), Patrick Kavanagh (0-1); Jack Kavanagh (0-1), Aodán Whitty (joint capt., 0-4), Brendan Tobin (1-3); Ciarán Lynch-Doyle, Maurice Tobin, Ciarán McLoughlin. Subs. - Dean Wadding for McLoughlin (31), Darragh Montague for A. Kavanagh, black card (48), Kavanagh for Montague (51), also Seán Doyle, Thomas Tobin.
Kilrush: Paul Doran; Ben O'Donoghue, Ronan Dillon (capt.), Adam O'Donoghue; Stephen Kenny, James Doran, Eamon Corrigan; Martin Byrne (0-1), Tom Kinsella (0-1); Harry Fitzgibbon (0-1), David Power, Seán Kehoe (0-5, 4 frees); Tom Wheatley, Tomás Kirwan (1-0), Jake Moorehead. Subs. - Colm Fortune for Wheatley (40), Danny Ascott for Fitzgibbon (61), Aaron O'Hara for Corrigan (65), Brendan Clarke for Kenny (66), Eamonn Carr for Moorehead (69), also William Kenny, Seán O'Rourke, Stephen Sheridan.
Referee: Shane Quinn (Réalt na Mara).