Match report from the JJ Kavanagh & Sons U-21 Roinn D County Final
Sunday 19th December 2021 in Danesfort
Carrickshock 2-17 St Patrick’s 0-4
(match report – Declan Lennon, PRO, Carrickshock GAA)
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With no U-21 Championships having been played in 2020, the form guide for this year’s competitions was always going to be difficult to put together. But, based on the earlier rounds of this Roinn D Championship, the crowd in Danesfort on this foggiest of days had reason to expect a close run encounter.
The first ten minutes didn’t really hint at what was to come, Carrickshock 0-2 to 0-1 ahead by then. But when Eoghan O’Neill, coming out the field from his full-forward position, sent over the first score from play, and followed it up with a perfect lay-off for Barry Lennon to blast to the net, there was suddenly a five point gap. Shortly afterwards Sean Moore made one of his trademark forays into the opposition half to keep up the momentum.
After the water break Chris Grace dispelled any notion of a quick St. Patrick’s turnaround. He was first to pounce on a second ball from a long range sideline to stretch the lead to ten. When a Jack Morrissey free soon after came off the upright, it summed up St. Patricks’ first half. And Carrickshock were punishing every mistake. Eoghan O’Neill pointed a difficult free a minute later before finishing the half with two fine points from play. A half-time deficit of 2-8 to 0-1 left St. Patrick’s with a mountain to climb in the second half and they really needed to get some quick scores on the board.
Carrickshock did waste a couple of early opportunities, but with Michael Murphy dropping back to help the defence, Padraig Lennon and Oisin Carroll expertly marshalling the central positions, nothing was getting through at the other end. When Barry Lennon fired over the opening score of the half for the Shocks it kept them firmly in the driving seat. It took until the 10th minute of the half for the hard-working Robbie Doheny to score St. Patrick’s first from play, but with the score now reading 2-9 to 0-2, and twenty minutes remaining, it was a case of too little too late. To compound matters, losing centre back Ned Glennon to injury soon after really killed the game as a contest.
Carrickshock continued to keep up the work rate and runs off the shoulder, best exemplified by a neat passing move between Jake O’Dwyer and young Joseph Aylward, which the latter finished with a splendid point. Cian and Robbie Doheny did their best to try and get St. Patrick’s back into it, and Christian McInerney did his best to shore up a defence minus their starting centre-back, but the scores kept coming at the other end. The final scoreline of 2-17 to 0-4 told its own story. Credit must be given to referee Stephen Delaney and his team of officials must be commended on their officiating. Allowing for the extremely heavy fog throughout, he used a common sense approach to keep the game flowing with the minimum of fuss and very little complaint from either side.
For St. Patrick’s, perhaps the loss of a number of key players to injury, and a couple more just on their way back from illness, meant that this was a bridge too far for them this year. But it must be said that this was a very impressive display by Carrickshock to round off the year. The experience gained during a season of progress through the Intermediate campaign stood them in good stead for this battle.
Carrickshock: Darragh Dwyer, James O’Shea, Oisin Carroll, Jack McGuirk, Luke Hudson, Padraig Lennon, Sean Moore (0-2), Michael Murphy, Jake O Dwyer (Joint Capt) (0-1f), Barry Lennon (Joint Capt) (1-4), Eoin Crowley, Joseph Aylward (0-1), Shane Fennelly, Eoghan O Neill (0-8, 0-4f), Chris Grace (1-0).
Subs: Dima Kenneally, Luke McNamara, Oisin Doyle (0-1), Michael O’Shea
St. Patrick’s: Peter Holohan, Eoin Southgate, Christian McInerney, Adam Jacob, Matt Love, Ned Glennon, Kian Drennan, Paul Ryan, Kieran Walshe, Cian Doheny (0-2, 0-1f), Robbie Doheny (Vice Capt) (0-1), Shane Culleton, Sean Brennan, Jack Morrissey (Capt) (0-1), Dillon Lawless.
Subs: Conor Phelan, Roan Bolger
Referee: Stephen Delaney (Graigue Ballycallan)
JJ Kavanagh & Sons U-21 Roinn B County Final
Sunday 19th December 2021, UPMC Nowlan Park
Erin’s Own 4-11 Lisdowney 2-8
(match report – Mary Morgan, Junior Board)
Many Kilkenny households woke Sunday morning to a dense fog which threatened to disrupt a number of matches around the county but thankfully all U-21 games went ahead without issue. One of those was the JJ Kavanagh & Sons U-21 B County Final encounter between Erin’s Own and Lisdowney. Upon arrival at UPMC Nowlan Park, visibility was severely reduced but thankfully the fog lifted enough for referee Eddie Crowley to give the ‘green light’ and, coupled with the more visible yellow sliotars, the county final went ahead as scheduled much to the relief of the teams and the sizeable crowd in attendance.
Jamie Maher opened the scoring for Erin’s Own in the first minute. The resulting Lisdowney puckout was won with a fine catch in the air by Conor McMahon, who was superb in defence and set up a number of the Erin’s Own scores over the course of the game. Conor spotted Tommy Coogan behind his marker and his pinpoint pass to Tommy gave Tommy a clear run on goal and the first green flag of the afternoon was raised after a minute and a half. Another puckout won by Conor in the fifth minute eventually found centre forward, Jack Buggy who sidestepped his man and buried the ball in the back of the net. Lisdowney opened their scoring after 10 minutes following a long pass from their corner back, Richard McEvoy to Luke Holohan. Luke quickly offloaded to Eoin Kenny who sent the ball straight over the black spot. Lisdowney seized another scoring opportunity when a great block down by James Phelan was directed towards Gary O’Sullivan who pointed from the middle of the Park. The Lisdowney men began to find their feet and what looked like another goal opportunity for Jack Buggy was intercepted by James Brennan and the danger was cleared. Points from placed balls by both Aidan Tallis and Jack Buggy closed out the first quarter with Erin’s Own ahead 2-2 to 0-3.
Erin’s Own were first to pounce just 20 seconds after the waterbreak and Shane Coogan, whose work rate throughout the 60 minutes was commendable, saw Jamie Maher making a run towards goal. Jamie was soon surrounded by a number of defenders but he powered through and scored Erin’s Own third goal of the day. Lisdowney’s Aidan Tallis accurately pointed the next three, all from placed balls. In the 24th minutes, Jamie Maher went on the run again and a great blockdown denied him a goal and his strike on the rebound went just wide, much to the relief of the Lisdowney side. A Dean Brey pass to Shane Coogan in the dying minutes of the first half gave Shane his first point of the afternoon. Aidan Tallis kept the Lisdowney scoreboard ticking over with another two points, one a pointed free, to keep them in contention going into the break. At halftime, Erin’s Own led by 3-3 to 0-8.
Shane Coogan took up where he left off in the first half with a superb point from just on the sideline in the 32nd minute. The war wasn’t over yet but Erin’s Own were winning many of the battles around the Park and some great defending by James Brennan in the 33rd minute resulted in Tommy Coogan raising his second green flag of the day when the ball was fired to the bottom left hand corner of the Lisdowney net. Erin’s Own kept the pressure on but were denied another goal by James McEvoy in the 36th minute and Jack Buggy converted the 65. A momentary lapse of concentration by the Erin’s Own defence was capitalised on by David O’Carroll who buried the ball in the back of the Erin’s Own net. However, three unanswered points from Shane Coogan and Jack Buggy (x2 frees) gave Erin’s Own a nine point advantage at the second waterbreak and they led 4-8 to 1-8.
Legs were starting to tire on the heavy ground in the last quarter but neither team was easing up and both sides dug deep and defended well, resulting in a low-scoring final 15 minutes. Eoin Kenny scored a hard-fought point from a Jamie Maher pass in the 51st minute and Jamie himself score Erin’s Owns final two points of the game in the 53rd and 60th minutes. Lisdowney’s only score of the final quarter came in the 62nd minute. A long range free from Richard McEvoy saw a huge scramble outside the Erin’s Own square and in the melee, the ball was dispatched to the back of the net. One can’t be quite sure of who scored the goal, but Andrew McEvoy may just have gotten the tip of his hurl to it. FT Erin’s Own 4-11 Lisdowney 2-8.
Erin’s Own: Eoin Moore, Billy O’Neill, Cathal Holland (joint capt), Dean Brey, Chris Korff (joint capt), James Brennan, Conor McMahon, Kevin Holland, Shane Coogan (0-3), Dan Coogan, Jack Buggy (1-4, 0-3f, 0-1 65), John Kenny (0-1), Tommy Coogan (2-0), Jamie Maher (1-3), Ashley Kerr.
Subs: James Kenny, Lee Holden, Ciaran Meagher.
Lisdowney: James McEvoy, Dean Brophy, Jack McGree, Richard McEvoy, Conor Tallis (capt), James Phelan, Eoin Delaney, David O’Carroll (1-0), Gary O’Sullivan (0-1), Aidan Tallis (0-6, 0-5f), Luke Campion, Luke Holohan, Eoin Kenny (0-1), Cathal Jordan, Charles Brennan.
Subs: Alan Dunphy, Andrew McEvoy (1-0), Eibhin McEvoy, Killian Dunne, Jack O’Sullivan.
Referee: Eddie Crowley (Mooncoin)
JJ Kavanagh & Sons U-21 Roinn C Semi Final
Sunday 19th December 2021 in Galmoy
Galmoy/Windgap 1-22 St Lachtain’s 1-15
(match report – Jerry Drennan, PRO Galmoy)
It may have been December 19th in Galmoy on Sunday last, but the fare served up by these two U-21 teams was on a par with anything we have witnessed at this level at any time of the year. This game had everything, which kept the large crowd in attendance on their toes right up to the final whistle.
With heavy fog present all morning, Referee Peter Burke made the intelligent decision to delay the start of the game for 20 minutes which proved most prudent in the long run. When we eventually got started, Cathal Power opened the St Lachtain’s account in the first minute from the right wing. Straight from Conor Foley’s puckout, Conor Drennan posted an immediate reply and the scene was set for combat. Top scorer for the visitors, Cathal O’Leary hit his first point of the day before Mark Donnelly took a pass from Evan Kelly Landers and stretched the St Lachtain’s lead to 0-3 to 0-1 after three minutes of play. Galmoy/Windgap then had a let off when a shot from O’Leary just whizzed outside of the butt of the goalpost for the visitors.
This seemed to awaken the home side and they went on to hit the next six scores without reply. A foul on Michael Power saw Billy Drennan open his account from placed balls in the sixth minute. Conor Drennan added another, courtesy of a good pass from Sean Purcell. An excellent move involving Callum Lonergan and David Sherman ended with Killian Enright striking his first of three points from play. Matt Delaney also hit three points from play on the day and his first came when Michael Power threw out a clever pass. Billy Drennan picked off another to leave Galmoy/Windgap leading 0-6 to 0-3 at the first waterbreak.
Upon resumption, a foul on full back Patrick Doyle saw goalkeeper, Conor Foley deliver a long free to his forward line which was grabbed by Dylan Grace and passed to Conor Drennan for another minor. Grace had made a good start to the game. St Lachtain’s were not completely out of the game by any means at this stage. In fact, they struck six wides in the first 20 minutes which might have left the game on an even keel had they managed to hit the target more often. A swop by Cathal O’Leary to centre forward with Evan Kelly Landers moving to the edge of the square did bring them more in to the game. In the 24th minute Conor Drennan converted a 65. Padraig Donnelly then moved upfield to end a 20 minute barren spell for the visitors with a tidy point. Cathal O’Leary won a free which he duly pointed to reduce the gap 0-8 to 0-4 in the 28th minute. Goalkeeper Jordan Burke kept St Lachtain’s in the game with two quickfire saves within a minute. He firstly thwarted an Adam O’Shea shot before also denying Matt Delaney a minute later and picking up a leg injury in the process. In the 30th minute Billy Drennan set up Killian Enright for his second point and within a minute Enright had another white flag flying, after some great approach work by Gearóid Phelan. A foul on Evan Kelly Landers saw Cathal O’Leary convert a free to leave Galmoy/Windgap ahead 0-10 to 0-6 at the half time break. They were full value for this lead with their defence doing well where Padhraic Foley and Sean Purcell were clearing regularly. One sensed, however, that St Lachtain’s had more in the tank.
And so it proved after the interval. Within a minute of the resumption, Cathal O’Leary had pointed twice and, after three wides in succession from his teammates, O’Leary popped over two more points in the 42nd minute to level the game 0-10 each. Callum Lonergan tried to re-energise Galmoy/Windgap with a searing run up the left wing, but his final effort was snuffed out and cleared by Mark Donnelly. A foul on Michael Power in the 45th minute, saw Billy Drennan strike the first point of the half for the hosts, when he converted the free, to leave it 0-11 to 0-10 at the second waterbreak with the game now on a knife edge.
Another O’Leary point after this break was followed by the first big score of the game. A long free in by Darragh Maher bounced off the full forward out to the left where Alan Rafter was lurking and he pounced to strike an inspiring goal for St Lachtain’s,1-11 to 0-11. In quick reply Billy Drennan came outfield, won a free and duly converted it. O’Leary and Drennan exchanged frees to leave two points between the sides as we hit the 60th minute. Conor Drennan then converted a smashing line ball from the left wing which was followed by another coolly pointed free by Billy Drennan from 50 metres to level the game. But play went on and, after a few minutes of stalemate, wing back Cormac Rafter appeared on the right wing and struck over what looked like the winner for St Lachtain’s. However, there was to be one more twist in the tale. Galmoy/Windgap won a free on their own 65 in the 67th minute. Team captain Conor Drennan took on the responsibility. With all eyes focussed on his effort, he struck high and accurately to send the game into extra time, 0-16 to 1-13.
In that first period of extra time Galmoy/Windgap finally imposed themselves upon this game and sealed the issue. Points flowed over from Conor Drennan (3) and Matt Delaney (2), all from play, with just one solitary reply from St Lachtain’s, from Evan Kelly Landers, to leave Galmoy/Windgap ahead 0-21 to 1-14 at half time in extra time. This trend continued in the final ten minutes with the cream being put on the cake, when Michael Power struck a ground shot to the net in the dying moments to send Galmoy/Windgap through to the County Final where they will meet Kilmacow at 8pm in Piltown on Thursday night December 23rd.
Galmoy/Windgap: Conor Foley, Padhraic Foley, Patrick Doyle, Luke Ward, Gearóid Phelan, Sean Purcell, David Sherman, Callum Lonergan, Matt Delaney (0-3), Dylan Grace, Conor Drennan (Capt.) (0-9, 0-1 f, 0-1 65, 0-1 lineball), Adam O Shea, Killian Enright (0-3), Michael Power (1-0), Billy Drennan (0-7, 0-5 f).
Subs: Blade O Gorman for Adam O Shea 42mins, Odhrán Moloney for Dylan Grace 46 mins, Billy Power for Killian Enright 62 mins
St Lachtain’s: Jordan Burke (Capt.), Conor Donnelly, Jack Hickey, Jimmy Cantwell, Leo Costigan, Darragh Maher, Cormac Rafter (0-2), Padraig Donnelly (0-1), Mark Donnelly (0-1), Cathal Power (0-1), Evan Kelly Landers (0-1), Declan Killeen, Cian Leahy, Cathal O Leary (0-9, 0-4 f), Alan Rafter (1-0).
Subs: Cathal Hickey for Leo Costigan 46 mins, Gerry Bergin for Alan Rafter 65 mins, Frankie Keoghan and Matthew Dornan
Referee: Peter Burke (Emeralds)By John Power Wed 22nd Dec