Notes and Reports From 2004

Dowling Cup Straffan 2-14 Kildangan 0-7

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.
With superb build up play from Robert Kelly, David Devane (two) and Ashe raised white flags, while Kavanagh and Murtagh responded for Kildangan, to leave them trailing by a point at half-time. In the second half, however, it was all Straffan and they added 1-10 without reply until Kavanagh pointed the last score of the game with only a minute left. With Niall Molloy at full-back and Dara O'Shea at centre-back marshalling the Straffan defence, Kildangan rarely got through although they did force Brendan Ashe into a save from Kavanagh at the start of the half. PJ Cummins, Devane and Scott Neville opened Straffan's impressive second half account and Kelly showed some excellent soccer skills to score a fine goal. Neville pointed from a line ball while Heffernan and Ken Byrne followed with a point each. Neville continued to clock up points for Straffan along with Hanafin and Devane and Ken Byrne scored Straffan's final point with intricate build up play from Heffernan.

Best for the winners were Niall Molloy, Devane and Cummins. Kildangan can take some consolation from a heroic performance by Anthony Kavanagh, while Robert Kavanagh and John Miller also played well.
Scorers - Straffan: John Hanafin 1-1, David Devane 0-4, Robert Kelly 1-0, Scott Neville 0-3, Ken Byrne, Shane Heffernan 0-2 each, Domhnall Ashe, PJ Cummins 0-1 each.
Kildangan: Anthony Kavanagh 0-5, Gabriel Murtagh 0-2.

GAA: Memories made for Kildangan

Junior C Championship Final 2004-KILDANGAN 0-14, SARSFIELDS 0-10

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.
But on Saturday, however, a new crop grew highest. Not satisfied with capturing a league title, they went on to leave Sarsfields men without a trophy and captured the junior C title.. It s a competition often used as the punch line in jokes but this year, the final was enthralling. It was the corner shop against the multinational and the little guy prevailed.

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.

Kildangan: 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.
Sarsfields: Seamus Ryan, Paddy Keogh, Cian Sweeney (Pat Finlay 21mins (0-2)), Tom Sex, Alan Connolly (Gary Molineaux 16mins)), Tom Redmond, David Breslin, Paul Donoghue (0-1), Brian Hennessy, Alan Courtney (0-4), Tom Moran (0-1), Michael Dunne (Shane Cole 55mins)), Jonathan Slone (0-1), Ross Timmons (0-1), Barry Nolan.

© Kildare Nationalist - Thomas Crosbie Holdings, Ireland, 2008.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

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.
Kildangan scored two further points at the start of the second half to stretch the lead to 10 points. They relaxed from there on and allowed Castledermot back in to the game who scored 2-4 without reply. With the game in the balance with Kildangan leading by 2 points Gordon Prendergast and John Murray kicked inspirational scores to make the long journey worthwhile.

July 23 2004

JFL Division 3 Semi-Final
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.

September 17 2004

JFL Division 3 Final


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)

Kildangan’s Finest Hour

Michael Houlihan

November 18, 2004 :

One warm sunny afternoon in the Autumn of 2004, the tiny sparsely populated village of Kildangan made history in 75 years of football by winning the Junior C Championship. They also won the League in 2004 and 2003 by playing a brand of fast open football.

Anthony Kavanagh gave a powerhouse performance at midfield. He is the only player in the club history to have won a Leinster Junior Medal this year. He was assisted by his brothers Brian and Robert, Colin Christie, Thomas Moran, Andrew Casey and goalkeeper Martin Hamilton. Their achievement is all the greater as they have no field of their own, no dressing room or wash room facilities. The home and visiting teams, in all kinds of weather, have to “change” beside a hedge. This is 2004 not 1904.

Four of the Kildangan players, Sean McCormack, Anthony Kavanagh, Padraig Casey and Stephen Quigley assisted Nurney in U-21 B Championship. They reached the semi-final in this competition.

Kildangan - some thoughts
It would be churlish of me to criticise Journalists whose difficult job it is reporting on sporting events, week in and week out, for not getting the complete picture correctly. Sometimes having to report on several events over the course of a week-end and having to rely on second-hand information, meeting deadlines, etc.

On these grounds, the reports of the Kildangan v Sarsfield Junior C’ football final in both ‘Leinster Leader’ and ‘The Kildare Nationalist’ can be excused for implying that the winners, Kildangan, were Johnny-come-lately’s on the GAA football scene. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Kildangan, until very recently a sparsely populated area, has since we gained our Independence as a Nation, had a footballing tradition, and not without some success. Those of the older generation among us, remember with great affection our players who won the County Junior Football Final way back in 1942.

I’ll have a stab at naming the members of that team and apologise if I’ve made any omissions. As follows: Jack ‘Shirty’ Sexton, Tommy O’Beirne, Ned Regan, Eamon Lawlor, Jack ‘Nurney’ Sexton, Tommy Curran, Mick ‘Smuck’ Ryan, Hal Conway, M. O’Sullivan, Jack Merrins, Mick and Paddy Behan, Bill Broderick, John Joe Martin, John Conlon and J Behan.

In fact I think I’d be right in saying that Kildangan featured prominently in quiet a number of County Finals during the 1940’s and 1950’s. Alas there is only one surviving member of that much beloved and still talked about squad of ‘42 namely  Willie Sexton, although not quite as sprightly as he was back then, is still in the best of good health and long may he continue so. Now, to get back to the present giantkillers.

What was not, or possibly could not be, conveyed in the newspaper articles covering the match, was the great chasm that exists between the two clubs taking part. A chasm, not in the quality of the men taking part but in the conditions under which they did their training to reach the Final.

The Sarsfield club based in a much more densely populated part of the county as a result of which they have a huge membership and have, over the years, acquired conditions and facilities that Kildangan can only dream about. In contrast, the Kildangan GAA Club, its players and everyone associated with it, have achieved their success against all odds. League winners last year, League and County Final Winners this year, accomplishments that will be treasured by all in the locality.

It is, however, only those who are intimately involved with the day-to-day running of the club who can testify to the anger and frustration of their situation. Anger generated by the absence of even the most basic facilities. Frustration when confronted by the problem of how to get more young people involved in the Sport that demands a regular, intense and vigorous schedule, when you haven’t got things like a changing room, showers, toilets etc. One can easily understand why young people would opt for the comfort of the settee in front of the T.V. or the computer, when the alternative is to face the cold, damp and uninviting environment that passes for a training ground.

I’m not suggesting that there are easy solutions to be had but it is important for Kildangan and the young people who are its future, to build on the successes of the football team.

Efforts must be intensified to being about a sea-change in the facilities available to young people in the area. We now have a rapidly expanding population in and around Kildangan with no parallel provision for sporting or social activities. One shudders to think what the consequences will be in a decade from now if this grave error in social planning is not quickly addresses and rectified.

(This article supplied by and signed Yours in Sport, Michael Houlihan, Richardstown Kildangan )