Minor Champ C Final: Castleconnor 1-10 v Drumcliffe 0-12

posted 26 Sep 2011, 09:51 by Bart Barrins
This was a real ding dong affair with the result in doubt till the final whistle and for some time after until confirmed by the sideline officials and referee. It was played on Saturday where there was a strong breeze that went into the Cloonacool corner of the field. However the breeze did not seem to be any benefit to either team but actually caused havoc at free time.
The first half was very even. Having to field without Martin Foody suspended and Conor Judge, Stevie Curley and Matthew Cullen all injured we had the bare 13 players but they were a credit to themselves, their families and their club throughout.
John McDonnell had one of his best games so far for the club winning a lot of ball at midfield and always available and running for laid off ball. He got our first score from a free and followed with another from play. Shane Wright scored a delightful point when throwing a few dummies and a one two with Jason Earlis to leave the scores all square. Kevin McDonnell scored a long range free and we missed a good chance from another when dropped by the opposition in the small square. We were 2 points down coming into the break but two excellent scores one from Eoin Flynn and the from Eoin Kent after a lung bursting run all the way from the full back line left us level at the break 0-6 a piece.
We made a bad start to the second half and fell three points behind. John McDonnell scored a close in free to narrow the gap but it was out to 3 points again with 15 to go.  We then hit a purple patch and with the movement of Anthony Kilcullen to centre half back, Shane Wright to the full forward line and James Flynn to the wing, all three were involved as we got a goal with Shane showing his soccer skills to go around the keeper and roll the ball to the net. Jason Earlis put us in front after a good run by Eoin Kent. This was followed by another monster from the wing by Kevin McDonnell. Drumcliffe pulled it back again to level but we won the next three kickouts and were in the lead with another point.  We then missed two frees but on the next kickout the referee blew the final whistle. With all the excitement, neither team, officials nor suporters were sure what the result was but when it was confirmed there was great joy on our side.
This was a great achievement for the lads and management especially considering the lads who were unable to play but each player stepped up to the mark showing great tenacity and never say die spirit. Brian Feeney kickouts were long all day. Ronan Barrett won lots of balls he should not have. Kieran Kilcullen and Keith Foody playing in positions they were not accustomed to kept plugging hard all day. When James Flynn came to the wing, he won the first two breaking balls with one leading to the winning point. Keith Earlis had the tough task of marking his county minor colleague Paul Logan but came out of it unscathed.
Thanks to the lads, their families and management for all their work throughout the year. Most of these lads now have the U20 championship to look forward to next weekend.
Team: Brian Feeney, Eoin Kent (0-1), Anthony Kilcullen, Kieran Kilcullen, Keith Earlis, Ronan Barrett, John McDonnell(0-2), Kevin McDonnell(0-3), Keith Foody, Eoin Flynn(0-1), Shane Wright (1-1), Jason Earlis (0-1), James Flynn
John McDonnell receives the cup from coiste na nÓg chairman Peter McHugh