Thursday, February 12, 2004
STRAFFAN ran out easy winners over understrength Kildangan despite also being without some of their usual stars. With the very strong wind in their favour in the first half, the home team started the stronger and had chalked up two points from Anthony Kavanagh (free and lineball) within five minutes. Straffan replied in the best possible fashion with a goal from John Hanafin after Domhnall Ashe hand-passed the ball in to the square. Shane Heffernan followed with a point for the winners before Kavanagh and Gabriel Murtagh levelled the game with a point each.
YEARS ago, I remember travelling through Kildangan most mornings on the way to school. A village in the shadow of the Sheikh, it was a place for routine. One figure wore the same tattered cap while cycling the same bike along the same route. You could set your watch by his journey. Others were no different. At that time, it felt like a horrible, predictable routine.
Sport had got itself used to an
uncomfortable habit, too. Basically, it was non-existent. A couple of
years ago, the local GAA club tried to leave the rut, entering the
junior football championship. A mauling and a walkover later, and the
idea had backfired.
The Sash made the better start, but following Ross Timmons , Barry Nolan s and Alan Courtney s over elaboration near the posts, they were left to watch the southern village hit the front. Liam McCormack was hit late and the resulting free was easily converted by Andrew Casey.
Moments later and quick Kildangan movement cut through the Newbridge club. Gabriel Murtagh s powerful surge from midfield ultimately left Johnny Murray to fist against the crossbar. In the ensuing scramble, Tom Redmond came close to carrying the ball across his own line.
It was a fright that would wake Sarsfields and they got on the scoreboard nine minutes in. Brian Hennessy found Courtney in acres of space and he chipped over the black spot. Courtney and the impressive Anthony Kavanagh quickly exchanged minors before Murtagh hand passed his side back into the lead. Sarsfields rarely threatened Martin Hamill in the Stud side s goalmouth. One of those chances came midway through the opening period. Timmons found himself free in front of the posts but shot just wide of the upright.
Initially, it was a miss that looked to have cost Sarsfields. Two McGrath scores sandwiched a Courtney effort. McCormack put a goal between the clubs but just as Kildangan looked to pull clear Courtney and Paul Donoghue reduced the deficit to the minimum on the stroke of half time. Then, deep in stoppage time Courtney broke free down the left and again pointed.
Sarsfields had entered the interval with all the momentum having undone a half s-worth of work in less than two minutes. Donoghue and Brian Hennessy were getting to grips with a scrappy mid-field whilst Courtney now looked dangerous from play as well as from the dead ball line. The trend continued after the restart. Great work by Courtney and Michael Dunne left Timmons to make to 0-7 to 0-6.
Then came the turning point as Tom Moran (Sarsfields) needlessly saw red. The number six went in high on Padraig Casey after Casey had already been fouled. The colour of the card couldn t be questioned nor could Kildangan s response. Andrew Casey brilliantly converted the resulting free, after which the green and gold s never looked back. Casey put over a ball from play minutes later while Anthony Kavanagh gathered a kick out in midfield, travelled briefly before unleashing a stunning score.
With Tom Moran on the line, Dunne was lucky not to join him as the game entered the last quarter. Had his reckless tackle on Tomas Moran been any later the clocks would have gone back again. But even crunching challenges couldn t stop Kildangan s charge. Casey and Finlay traded scores before a sweeping move involving Murtagh and Steven Quigley saw substitute Gordon Prendergast widen the gap to four. The sash tried everything to reduce their deficit. Throwing on extra attackers they went in search of a much-needed goal.
Jonathan Slone went clear only to be dragged
back, a point followed. The same player again wriggled free moments
later, this time Hamill saved superbly from point blank range. It was
Slone too who had the last throw of the dice. After pointed frees at
either end, he sent a twenty-one yard free hard and wide. Indecisiveness
was surely to blame. A point may have done, a goal was always on the
mind. Instead however McGrath left Murtagh to take on point number
fourteen in injury time, guaranteeing his club a much-deserved and
historic win and penning the final chapter of an astonishing season.
Martin Hamilton, Brian Kavanagh, Robert Kavanagh, Padraig Casey,
Richard Morgan, Colin Christie, John Miller, Declan McGrath (0-2),
Anthony Kavanagh (0-1), Andrew Casey (0-6), Gabriel Murtagh (0-2),
Steven Quigley (0-1), Liam McCormack (0-1) (Gordon Prendergast 48mins
((0-1)), Thomas Moran, Johnny Murray.
© Kildare Nationalist - Thomas Crosbie Holdings, Ireland, 2008.
Kildangan 1-14 Castledermot 2-5
KILDANGAN scored a goal straight from the throw in by Anthony Kavanagh that unsettled Castledermot for the entire first half and the winners went on to lead by 1-8 to 0-1 at half time with points from Kavanagh, Tom Moran, Gabriel Murtagh and Declan McGrath.
Milltown 1-4, Kildangan 0-15
Kildangan got through to the league final in awful conditions in an immaculate Ros-Glas on last Wednesday night.
Scores were hard to come by in the early stages but Stephen Quigley put Kildangan ahead after five minutes. Milltown rocked Kildangan soon after with a goal from Ian Fitzgerald after he found space behind the Kildangan defence.
Kildangan regained control and had points from John Miller and Anthony Kavanagh. Ben Dunne and Ian Moore for Milltown either side of a Stephen Quigley point for Kildangan brought the first half scoring to an end with Milltown ahead 1-2 to 0-4.
Kildangan hit the ground running at the start of the second half and reeled off points from Miller (3), Quigley (2), Kavanagh (2) to wrestle control of the game form Milltown, Bernard Garrity Milltowns most dangerous forward, scoring 2 points in this period.
The win was sealed for Kildangan with points form Tom Moran, Andrew Casey and Gabriel Murtagh to bring the scoring to an end in game that was well handled by referee Tony Donnelly in very difficult conditions.
Best for Kildangan were goalie Martin Hamilton, Padraig Casey and Brian Kavanagh. For Milltown John Shannon, Peter Dunne and Bernard Garrity tried hardest.
KILDANGAN 3-10 CASTLEDERMOT 3-6
A STUNNING first quarter by Kildangan prevented Castledermot adding the JFL Division 3 title to their junior championship crown. The green and golds made the perfect start as two points a piece from Tom Moran and and Andrew Casey had the Lerrsiders in trouble. By then Anthony Kavanagh and Declan McGrath were dominating midfield, but their back line wasn't having similar success. John Flynn cut the minimum on 12 as the goal rush began. Paul Murphy's pass released the number eight and he finished confidently to the net. ' Their second came seven minutes later and was crucial as Kildangan continued to score freely. On this occasion Michael Horan's persistence opened a path for Alan Lawlor and another major was converted.
Kildangan too had their openings in front of Goal and were equally as clinical. Gabriel Murtagh scored the opener after bursting through the Castledermot rearguard and very nearly running the ball to the net.
A minute later the gap was five. Casey sublimely sidestepped Flynn before driving in off the post from 21 yards There was even time for Kildangan to raise a third green before the interval. Casey again set off on a jinking run before squaring to Tom Moran and he fisted past a hapless Adrian Leigh
Trailing by 3-7 to 2-3 at the break, Castledermot set about recovering from the second throw in. Alan and Michael Horan both put over points before Horan set up a grand stand finish. Substitute Colm Kelly's free looked to have gone wide but Paddy Murrays fist was ruled to be in play. Horan got on the end of the punch to send the ball to the net. Seamus O'Brien put just a single score between the sides late on, but Kildangan never looked like relinquishing the lead and a late break saw John Murray point the winner.
Kildangan; Martin Hamilton, Brian Kavanagh, Robert Kavanagh, John Miller, Richard Morgan, Colm Christy, Pauric Casey, Anthony Kavanagh, Declan McGrath, Andrew Casey, Gabriel Murtagh, Stephen Quigley, Gordon Prendergast, Tom Moran, Liam McCormack Subs John Murray for Declan McGrath (32 mins), Seamus MCKiernan for Gordon Prendergast (53 mins)
November 18, 2004 :