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Super Seniors Start Championship With Win

posted 17 Jul 2018, 15:58 by Kildangan PRO
Whatever it is about when Kildangan and Ballymore Eustace face each other, both teams always serve up a cracker, and this evening's championship opener in Hawkfield was no different. It's not a local rivalry by any means, given that one side is from the west of the county and the other is from the east, but regardless of that, any match between the two clubs at this level has the grit and intensity of one.

Kildangan started with intent as left corner forward Ryan Moran hit the back of the net on the stroke of the first minute. However, from hereonin, the east Kildare team gained scoring momentmum, hitting seven points without reply over the next eight minutes. Kildangan's Paul Connaughton suffered ankle troubles which saw play stop for a number of minutes before Ballymore centre forward scored a goal to widen the gap between the two teams. Their number 10 added another point to keep the score ticking over. Daniel Gilbert narrowed the gap slightly, scoring a point from a free. In the twenty first minute, Kildangan were awarded a penalty, which Eric O'Hara got past the left side of the 'keeper, decreasing the deficit to four points.

Ballymore added another point to keep Kildangan further behind, but Gilbert sent over two points in a row to bridge the gap to three points, before Ballymore score one more. Kildangan showed spirit as they scored the next four points in a row, courtesy of Eric O'Hara, Robert McGrath, Damien Broughall and a Ryan Moran free. O'Hara stepped up to the penalty spot once more following a push on Robert McGrath in the square, and proved reliable once again, thus putting his team three in front for the first time since the opening minute of the game. Daniel Gilbert extended that lead to four as the referee blew the half-time whistle, with Kildangan ahead 3-8 to Ballymore Eustace's 1-10.

Kildangan's scoring prowess continued for the first three minutes of the second half, thanks to Damien Broughall and two scores from Ryan Moran; both of which the likes of Conor McManus would be proud to score. One of Ballymore's substitutes added a point to his team's tally, before Moran jinked past four players to add another to his own collection. Dermot Hickey, who had just come on for Kildangan, also pointed, before Ballymore hit the back of the net and then scored a point from a free.

Daniel Gilbert and the Ballymore forwards traded points from the fifty-third minute onwards, before Damien Broughall got Kildangan's fourth goal, extending Kildangan's lead to four points. The boys in blue continued threatening during the closing stages of the game, adding one more point, and may even have come in for a goal chance had it not been for Kildangan's player-manager Shane Stafford who cleanly caught the ball to negate any danger, before the refree called time, sealing a 4-16 to 3-16 win for the west Kildare village. 

From one to fifteen (and beyond), both sides put on superb display, never gave up, and kept the game flowing freely, as proven by the final scoreline of 28 points to 25. From a Kildangan point of view, despite going behind to the tune of eight points in the early stages of the game, every single player stepped up their individual and team game to see the game out. While the forwards got most of the credit in this report, Daniel Cawley pulled off some fantastic saves in the Kildangan goal to keep us in it, and the likes of Stephen Keogh, Richard Morgan, Bryan Adams and Paul Connaughton also put in a huge effort. One would think that some of our youngest players had been playing this level for ten years, given their footballing knowledge.

Shane and his selectors will ensure that the players are ready to continue this form against Clogherinkoe in the second round, which takes place next Tuesday in Raheens. Throw-in is at 8.00pm.

Kildangan: Daniel Cawley; Richard Morgan, Bryan Adams, Jordan Kaye; Stephen Keogh, Eoghan O'Fearghaíl, Arron Behan; Damien Broughall (1-2), Dara Gilbert; Eric O'Hara (2-1, 2p), Paul Connaughton, Joey O'Sullivan; Daniel Gilbert (0-7, 3f), Robert McGrath (0-1), Ryan Moran (0-4).
Substitutes: Dermot Hickey (0-1, for Joey O'Sullivan), Kevin Christie (for Robert McGrath), Shane Stafford (for Paul Connaughton), John Miller, Colin Christie, Andrew Wilson.

By Andrew Wilson
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