Gorey finish with flourish
Naomh Eanna 4-12 Kilrush 0-10
When just one point separated these sides with 39 minutes gone in the Permanent TSB Gorey District Junior 'B' football championship final in Camolin on Saturday, nobody could have anticipated Naomh Eanna racing away to win by 14.
At that stage it was Kilrush playing the better football, looking the more likely to push on and cause a minor shock. They trailed by 1-6 to 0-8 but had kicked the last five points - two before the break, three after - and were really purring. It didn't last.
In all honesty, it was a strange first-half. Gorey looked like they were heading for a comfortable evening when they cantered into a 1-3 to nil lead after ten minutes. Scores were coming easily, and Kilrush looked to be in big trouble.
Barry Kinsella picked off a couple of those from dead-balls, Niall Kirwan also had a point, but it was John O'Brien's controlled low finish past Conor Kehoe that really emphasised Naomh Eanna's early dominance.
Yet they couldn't kick-on, or more accurately, they weren't allowed to. Kilrush scored the next three points, with Jamie Quinn knocking over the pick of them after a superb team build-up. All of a sudden just a goal separated the sides.
In a spell that lasted less than two minutes, Gorey hit back with three minors in a row. Again Kilrush responded, as Eoin Murphy kicked arguably the point of the evening from the right wing and Frank Boggan followed it with another to leave four between them at the interval (1-6 to 0-5).
The advantage was down to one when Richie O'Hara casually converted a '45 in the 35th minute. Kilrush continued to attack for the next few minutes but never managed to get themselves level. They would score just two further points as Gorey bossed the last quarter.
Eoin Conroy broke the game open when he drove through the Ballyroebuck side's defence to net. Mick Molloy rolled back the years with a couple of fine points before substitute Dara McDonald rattled the net with eight minutes left.
Charlie McGuckin, another to come on in the second-half and make an impact, kicked a fine score before Paul Timmons wrapped up the District title with a soccer-style finish off the deck to the far bottom corner.
Naomh Eanna: Derek Woods; John Lillis, Pat Cullen, Eoin Molloy; Jack Cullen (0-1), Simon Doran, Eoin Conroy (1-0); Stephen Byrne, Darragh Cullen (0-2); Eoin McGuckin, Mick Molloy (capt., 0-4), Barry Kinsella (0-2 frees); Paul Timmons (1-0), Niall Kirwan (0-1), John O'Brien (Cork, 1-1). Subs. - Dara McDonald (1-0) for McGuckin (35), Charlie McGuckin (0-1) for Kirwan (40), John Doyle for D. Cullen (51), Shane Stokes for Lillis (53), Joe Naughton for Kinsella (53), Alan McPartlan for Timmons (57).
Kilrush: Conor Kehoe; Ciarán Lancaster, Tomás Kenny, Pádraig Moynihan; James Coleman, Raymond Lancaster, Josh Kavanagh; Ivan Poole, Jamie Quinn (0-2); Jamie Murphy (0-2, 1 free), Eoin Murphy (0-1), Ted Kinsella (capt.); Richie O'Hara (0-2, 1 free, 1 '45, Frank Boggan (0-1), Conor Byrne (0-2). Subs. - Jack Quinn for Poole (42), Darragh Kinsella for E. Murphy (51), David Owens for Quinn, inj. (52), also Liam O'Rourke, Mick Kenny.
Referee: Shane Quinn (Réalt na Mara).