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St Martins 4-8 2-5 Young Irelands
St Martins landed their first Duggan Steel U-15 Roinn B Football title since 2000 in a well contested final played under lights in Muckalee which was in excellent condition considering the time of year.
Those who think football may not be at a high level in the county would simply need to take a view of this 60 minutes to realise their is quite some talent within Kilkenny.
The opening exchanges were frantic with Michael Ruane converting a placed ball to put the home side ahead before Thomas Langton responded with a fine point. Michael a Keane & Jim Conlon swapped points before a searing solo run from Colin Hayes had the saints back in front. James O’Neill landed a cracker of a goal feeding off a Aaron Farrell break the dynamic full forward cracked the ball home of his weaker foot. In the twinkling of an eye Cian Phelan had the green flag waving down the other end after Jake Byrne codded the St Martins defence creating a huge amount of space for the centre forward to goal to leave it 1-3 to 1-2 at the water break.
The exchanges in the third quarter were even but St Martins eye for goal was in with Adam Morrissey & Ruane pointing before Ewan Buggy got on the end of a Hayes delivery and duly sent the green flag waving. Kieran Timmins responded with a fine point but ‘Martins struck just at the death of normal time with a vital goal as O’Neill fed of a pass from Farrell after neat work from Tadgh Power which saw the full forward scythe the ball into the bottom corner to leave the home side 3-5 to 1-2 up.
Straight from the off Ruane increased the lead with a converted free but the men clad in white & red tore into their opponents playing some gifted football over the next 15 minutes with a point from Mikey Keating & a cracking goal from Byrne which to be fair was the minimum they deserved for all the pressure but O’Neill settled the young saints nerves when he plundered a fourth goal to leave it 4-6 to 2-4 at the third water break.
Again Young Ireland’s owned the ball but only had a Shane Simpson point for their efforts as custodian Luke Cahill twice thwarted their efforts with two superb saves. O’Neill & Ruane tagged on points in the dying embers of the game.
There was great delight at the final whistle amongst the large crowd as captain Arron Farrell lifted the cup. It was a real team performance from the St Martins men who had to withstand large periods of pressure from Young Ireland.
St Martins: Luke Cahill, Jack Dooley, Thomas Shore, Tadgh Power, Patrick Coughlan, Matthew Bolger, Jack Coogan, Aaron Farrell (Capt), Colin Hayes (0-1) Ewan Buggy (1-0) Michael Keane (0-1) , Michael Ruane (0-3), Adam Morrissey ( 0-1), James O’Neill (3-2), Aaron Fox.
Subs: Oscar Broderick, Darragh Fahey, Peter Kealy, Darragh Purcell , Dean Herbert, Hugh Quirke, Aaron coogan, Conal Scully, Patrick Mcdowell, Thomas Mcdowell, Keith Comerford.
Kieran Timmins (0-1)
Thomas Langton (0-1)
Cian Phelan (1-0)
Jim Conlon (0-1)
Mikey Keating (0-1)
Jake Byrne (1-0)
Shane Simpson (0-1)
Ref: Sean McMahon (Erins Own)