Killinkere 1-9 Killeshandra 2-5
Killinkere emerged victorious against Killeshandra on Friday evening last, winning by a single point in a closely fought contest. For the handful of supporters who braved the terrible weather conditions, they were kept enthralled throughout in a match that never lacked endeavour, albeit one that was riddled with errors due to the incessant rain.
Killeshandra were faced with the difficult task of playing into the wind in the first half, and when an early Austin Fitzpatrick shot dropped short into the goalkeeper’s hands, it proved just how strong the gust was. However when Sean McGovern then dropped the slippery ball corner forward Daniel Luby was the first to react, finishing to the back of the net to put the visitors three points ahead. Shane O’Reilly extended their lead three minutes later, but this would be their last score for almost 20 minutes.
Killinkere were not making the most of the favourable breeze in the opening minutes, but when Brian Clarke slotted over after eight minutes the home side started to find their rhythm. Clarke then pointed a free following excellent work from corner forward Peter McCabe. The home side were beginning to dominate the midfield, and after securing possession from the subsequent kick out Clarke was set up to complete a hat trick of points, kicking from distance to reduce the deficit to a single score. Following Clarke’s example, Ciaran Sexton took advantage of the wind a minute later, stroking over from all of 50 yards to level the match. Killinkere had their tails up at this point, and two scores from Emmett Fitzsimons pushed them into a two point lead. Killeshandra midfielder Tomas O’Reilly stopped the rot with a point in the 20th minute, but two more points from Brian Clarke left Killinkere with a 0-8 to 1-2 lead at half time.
Going into the second half the big question was if Killinkere’s three point advantage would be enough now that they were facing into the wind. Within a minute of the restart this lead was cancelled out, when Daniel Luby scored an excellent goal to level the match. After fielding a long pass, Luby turned to smash home past Killinkere goalkeeper Sean McGovern. A minute later Luby then pointed, following a superb pass from Darragh Tighe, to give Killeshandra the lead. The away side were now very much on top and making the most of the breeze, hitting their full forward line early with some great long passes. Five minutes into the half, Shane O’Reilly pointed a free to extend their lead to two, but when Austin Fitzpatrick was given a straight red in the ninth minute for striking Killinkere’s John B Smith, Killeshandra’s game plan began to unravel.
With Garry Denning now sitting in front of the full back line as the spare man, Killeshandra were finding it nigh on impossible to find their full forward line with the same ease at they had been previously. In contrast Killinkere began to gain a foothold in midfield and when a long ball into the square caused havoc in the Killeshandra penalty area, Darren Smith was the first to pull on the breaking ball, scoring a goal to put the home side back ahead, 1-8 to 2-4. Conditions were not lending well to good football, and the match deteriorated as a spectacle for the remainder of the half. 20 minutes in Brian Clarke converted a free to extend Killinkere’s lead to two, but a point from Killeshandra corner forward Sean McKiernan with five minutes left ensured a tense finish. However Killinkere held out with relative ease, cleverly holding onto possession and were good value for their victory, albeit by the narrowest of margins 1-9 to 2-5.
In the Division 2 Reserve League match that followed, Killinkere kept their 100% record going, running out victorious on a scoreline of 2-9 to 3-4.
Teams and scorers:
Killinkere: S. McGovern, M. O’Reilly, J. Tackney, O. Sharkey, K. McCabe, JB Smith, M. Duff, N. McGovern, D. Smith, P. Kerr, A. Brady, E. Fitzsimons (0-2), C. Sexton (0-1), B. Clarke (0-6(2f)), P. McCabe. Subs: G. Denning, D. Smith (1-0)
Killeshandra: D. McCaul, C. O’Reilly, C. Duffy, D. Tighe, R. Braiden, D. McKiernan, E. O’Reilly, T. O’Reilly(0-1), A. Martin, F. Rudden, S. O’Reilly(0-2(1f)), A. Brady, D. Luby (2-1), A. Fitzpatrick, S. McKiernan (0-1).