If it was a game of tiddly winks James Stephens & Dicksboro would always serve up a thriller and so it came to pass with another one for the annals and the only complaint would be that it was only fifteen minutes aside due to the Feile format which was just as well for the heart of both sets of supporters.
Ruari Harrison showed great skill to side step the on rushing goalkeeper to put the Village ahead. Points from Mark Cleere & Brian Moore cut the deficit to the minimum.
Upon the restart there was an exchange of points from Oisin Bateman & Tom McPhillips which left the game on a knife edge but McPhillips settled the matter when his rocket of a shot hit the roof of the net to gain a 1-3 to 1-1 win.
In the other semi final O’Loughlin Gael’s were dominant with Ruairic Sweeney getting a hat trick of goals and Ruairi Galway also set the green flag waving with an exquisite goal. Danesfort has pointed replies from Mark Fitzpatrick & John Davies.
In the all city final it again proved to be an enthralling contest. Josh Hynes got a flick to a long ball in to get O’Loughlins into a lead they did not relinquish.
Two quick points by Tom McPhillips got Dicksboro back into the contest but in injury time Luke Quigley nestled a shot into the bottom right hand corner to give the St Johns outfit a 2-0 to 0-2 lead.
At the start of the second half Dicksboro poured the pressure on O’Loughlin Gaels with custodian Arestias Balsy pulling off a number of saves with CJ McChamcheu & captain Ruarai Galway particularly dominant during this period.
Dara Powell took advantage of a break away attack to goal. This actually seemed to wake up Dicksboro with Tom O’Neill pointing before he found the back of the net soon after a Mark McPhillips pass.
Luke Quigley landed a pointed free there after as O’Loughlin Gaels looked to close the game. Tom McPhillips did land a goal in injury time but it was the Johns men’s day by 3-1 to 2-3.
In the first game of this years Football Feile there Rower Inistioge & Thomastown clashed. Cormac Moore & Oisin O’Reilly were to the fore as Thomastown led at the break 3-0 to 1-0 at the break.
Rower Inistioge game storming back at the start of the second half with John Joe Malone & Eoin Lyng pilfering goals but the men from the Town roared onto victory by 7-3 to 2-3.
The second first round game was a thriller with Cloonen Railyard & Graigue Ballycallan in a right set too. At half time Ballycallan were ahead 2-1 to 1-1 with Aaron McEvoy & Tony Butler raising green flags for the side in front with Alan Buggy rifling home the other goal.
It got even closer in the second half as Conor Farnans saves kept the men in Red, white & green in it but Ryan Corcoran struck the decisive goal to give the Kilmanagh outfit a 3-4 to 2-3.
St Patrick’s & Thomastown were the first quarter final with Thomastown proving to be a strong outfit. Goals from David Holden and Eunan O’Keeffe we’re meet pointed by replies from Shane Culleton & Mark Bergin in the 2-5 to 0-2 defeat.
Bennettsbridge got off to a flying start against St Martins with a Charlie Fitzgerald goal and point added to by a Alex Farrell point.
Martins stormed back with two goals by Michael Keane one a sweeping move involving a sweet inter change with Patrick Coughlan. A point by Sean Hunt was followed by a rocket of a goal by Michael Keane. On the stoke of half time a Fitzgerald goal has two between them at the break 3-1 to 2-2.
In the second half St Martins upped it significantly to advance the semi final on a score line 5-5 to 2-3 but huge credit to the Bridge men who have showed huge improvement in the last few months.
It took extra time and more in the final quarter final between well matched Clara and Graigue Ballycallan in a game of quality that would stand up to scrutiny down in Tralee or up Ballina.
Ned Langton was the star man for Clara contributing three points and was ably assisted by Joe Power who pointed & Harry Boyle. Langston kicked the winning point in extra time after it finished level 1-1 to 0-4.
The first semi final saw another close clash between Thomastown & Clara. The men in blue raced into a big lead with Cormac O’Driscoll pointing before Conor Barcoe pounced with a fine goal. This was soon followed by Frank Kavanagh goaling after fine play by Cormac Moore.
Ben Murphy got Clara off the board with a fine point before Rory Glynn after a swift pass with Luke lawlor. Lawlor sent the green flag waving in the dying embers as Clara clinched victory from the jaws of defeat 2-2 to 2-1.
Kilmacow sent out a signal of intent in the other semi final with Eoin Murray scoring two goals in the first 90 seconds to rock St Martins with Callum Regan also goaling with Martins sole response being a Cormac Quirke point.
A good start by Martins was to little avail as Kilmacows excellence shone through to win 3-4 to 0-3.
The final saw Clara & Kilmacow in what was the clash of teams that have recent successes in Feile competitions in both Football & Hurling.
It was tight and tense in the first quarter with not an inch being given. Ned Langton eventually got the scoring going in the 11th minute with converted placed ball. Conor Hoyne added to Clara’s lead with a fine point after a mazy solo run. Kilmacow responding just on the half time whistle with a point from Alex Bourke.
A surge of points at the start of the second half proved to be decisive with Ben Murphy, Joe Power & Harry Boyle all grabbing a point a piece.
The men from Kilmacow were not about to lie down with Bourke grabbing a pair of points but Ned Langton popped up with a vital point which proved crucial.
Kilmacow pushed for an equalizer in injury time but were nightly unlucky with Bourke’s late shit bouncing off the cross bar that saw Clara complete the Feile Hurling & Football double by 0-6 to 0-3 to see Ned Langton lift the trophy.
Note: it was great to see such a big crowd out to watch over 300 youngsters kick football in Dunmore in such fine facilities. Great credit to parents, coaches, supporters & clubs for such an entertaining day of football.