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Seniors Bow Out of Championship at Semi-Final Stage

posted 6 Sep 2018, 13:55 by Kildangan PRO   [ updated 6 Sep 2018, 14:03 ]
The second of the two Reserve C Championship semi-finals took place last Thursday (30th August) at the Manguard Plus Centre of Excellence, Hawkfield with the victor facing off against Clogherinkoe in the final. This game was set to be a showdown between two sides who have built up somewhat of a championship rivalry over the last number of years. Kildangan had defeated Ballymore Eustace the last three times the teams played each other, so it was safe to say that the men from near the Wicklow border weren't going to take this one lying down. Ballymore donned their blue jerseys, while Kildangan wore the maroon of their juvenile amalgamation partners through Abbey Rangers, Ballykelly.

There was a strong start for Ballymore, with Eoin Kavanagh registering the first score of the game thirty seconds in. Kildangan split the posts next with a point from Ryan Moran to level proceedings. However, Kildangan suffered a major setback as a goal from Eoin Lyons slipped through the hands of Kildangan's netminder, Daniel Cawley. Kavanagh struck a point to give the east Kildare men a four point advantage, but a powerful run from Eric O'Hara in the ninth minute ended with a well taken goal.

Unfortunately for Kildangan, Ballymore's full forward Kavanagh was on song once again as he hit the back of net for Ballymore extending the gap back to four. Moran was on the scoresheet again to reduce the deficit to three, before Kildangan's Padraig Casey rattled the back of the Ballymore net to level the game midway through the first half. It was all Ballymore from hereonin, as they added five points without any reply from the west Kildare side; and went in at half time with a 2-7 to 2-2 advantage. Nevertheless, Kildangan had put in a valiant effort when the odds were against them and, if the first round game between the two teams proved anything, this kind of deficit was one that could be clawed back.

The second half started with less than ideal circumstances for Kildangan as Eoin Lyons pointed from a free. Damien Broughall won a breaking ball at the 21, which ended with a point from Kevin Christie. Ballymore continued to dominate from this point on, with another goal from Lyons, followed by points from Eoin Kavanagh, Gerry Fennell, Dean Fisher and Gareth Clarke, giving Ballymore Eustace a 3-13 to 2-3 lead. With the opposition well out of sight at this stage, Kildangan still fought hard enough to score a goal, to end the game on 3-3 to Ballymore's 3-13.

With danger men such as Eoin Kavanagh and Eoin Lyons on such scoring form, it was always going to be a tough challenge for Kildangan. Some hard graft was put in during the first half to stay within touching distance of Ballymore, but this unfortunately fell by the wayside in the second half. While the championship concluded in less than ideal circumstances, the entire campaign, as well as the league, has blooded a number of youngers players. It is definitely promising that a team with such a young base reached a semi-final in essentially its first year together, and with they way they are playing at the moment, they will surely take it that step further in years to come.

Thanks must also go to the management team of Shane Stafford, Declan McGrath, Tom Moran and Colin Christie who put the team through their paces throughout the year, and anyone who volunteered or supported us in any capacity during the year.

Kildangan: Daniel Cawley; Jordan Kaye, Bryan Adams, Arron Behan; Kevin Christie, Paul Connaughton, Eoghan O Fearghail; Luke Barry, Damien Broughall, Stephen Keogh, Eric O'Hara, Robert McGrath; Daniel Gilbert, Padraig Casey, Ryan Moran.
Substitutes: Joey O'Sullivan (for O'Hara, 50 minutes), John Miller (for McGrath, 55 minutes), Dermot Hickey (for Christie, 40 minutes), Richard Morgan (for Kaye, 36 minutes), Michael John Prendergast (for Gilbert, 56 minutes), Andrew Wilson (for Broughall, 57 minutes). 

By Andrew Wilson
Photographs courtesy of our secretary, Michael Higgins.