Match Report A FL Division 2B Final in Pairc Tailtean
Kilmainham 1-14 Dunshaughlin 1-13 (After Extra Time)
The Division 2B Final between Dunshaughlin and Kilmainham lived up to its pre match predictions going all the way to the final whistle of extra time before Kilmainham eventually prevailed in what was great value for the €10 admission fee into Pairc Tailtean.
Dunshaughlin played into the old swimming pool end against a strong wind in the first half and would have been happy enough to be only trailing by three points coming up to half-time. However, on the stroke of half time Kilmainham’s Dylan Morgan fielded a beautiful long cross field pass from Micky Newman and rifled a left footed shot to the top corner of David Jennings goal to leave the half time score 1-7 to 0-4.
Kilmainham had taken the lead from the throw in a move perfected on the training round with Newman kick passing into Morgan who popped over Kilmainham’s first point less than 30 seconds in. Kilmainham also scored directly from the throw in for the 2nd half and directly from the throw in the first half of extra time. After falling behind by 0-4 into the strong wind and rain, Dunshaughlin’s fortunes improved with the re-emergence of the sun in the 12th minute which coincided with a beautiful Ronan Geraghty point. Dunshaughlin got three further points before half time from Conor Duke, Eric Casserly and from a Geraghty free. Newman and Morgan between them brough Kilmainham’s tally to 1-7 for the half, it could have been worse only for the heroics of the Dunshaughlin backs who did some amazing tackling and for a fine save from Jennings in the 8th minute.
Conceding the goal was a big blow for Dunshaughlin but with the wind on their backs for the 2nd half and playing into the town end, Dunshaughlin knew if they gave it a lash, there was hope. Dunshaughlin fell further behind early in the 2nd half and were trailing 0-5 to 1-9 after 10 minutes. Dunshaughlin then had a fifteen-minute purple patch scoring 1-5 without reply and going into the lead for the first time. Dunshaughlin were dominating in all sectors of the field, pushing up on the Kilmainham kickouts with leaving cert student Charlie O’ Connor standing out showing his great fielding abilities. Geraghty scored his 3rd and 4th points in the 35th and 41st minutes with O’ Connor reducing the deficit further a minute later. A minute after that Dunshaughlin introduced Jack Hetherington and he was only on the field when he got on the end of a good Dunshaughlin move to score a point. Better was to come for the super sub as on the 48th minute he finished soccer style to the net after a cross from Sean O’ Neill to leave Dunshaughlin only one point behind 1-8 to 1-9. Geraghty and O’ Neill got a point each and with seven minutes left on the clock, things were beginning to look promising for Dunshaughlin leading 1-10 to 1-9. The change in fortune started alarm bells ringing on the Kilmainham bench and they introduced another inter-county veteran Barry Lynch into midfield. Lynch’s impact was immediate as up to his introduction Dunshaughlin were winning a lot of breaking ball through Joint captain Mark Devanney, former Cavan star Marc Leddy & Casserly. Lynch’s experience was telling and he won numerous marks and the tide began to swing back in Kilmainham’s favour with Newman equalizing from a free in the 58th minute. Well into the 4th minute of injury time Morgan scored what looked like to be the winning point for Kilmainham. There was to be further drama before Keith Sheerin blew the final whistle as Dunshaughlin’s center back Alastar Doyle levelled the game to force extra time.
It was still level 1-12 each at the end of the first period of extra time, Newman and substitute Daniel Quinn trading scores. Kilmainham got early second period points from Freddie Newman and a pointed free from Mickey Newman to put them back in control. Dunshaughlin piled on the pressure and never threw in the towel and despite a late effort from Shane Gallogly, could not find the score to send the game to penalties. Joint captain Gallogly scoring that final point after playing over 85 minutes of football and just back the day previously from walking 190 miles on the Camino de Santiago. Every one of the Dunshaughlin players and subs were a credit to the club for the amazing effort they put in. The players and management can be very happy with their performances throughout the league, gaining promotion and losing the final by the narrowest of margins and can look forward to the Premier 1 Championship with confidence. Dunshaughlin congratulate Kilmainham on their great win and the fantastic spirit the game was played in which led to a very entertaining attacking game of football.
Dunshaughlin & Royal Gaels GAA would like to thank the We are Meath broadcast team for their live coverage which enabled supporters unable to attend the game to listen in and also thank Meath GAA for scheduling the game in Pairc Tailtean and giving the 2B final the prestige it deserved and to referee Keith Sheerin and his team of officials.
Dunshaughlin: David Jennings, Eóin O’ Connor, Marc Leddy, Aidan Fraher, Donagh McCarrick, Alastar Doyle 0-1, Shane Gallogly 0-1(J.C.), Charlie O’ Connor 0-1, Connor Mooney, Eric Casserly 0-1, Seán O’ Neill 0-1, Conor Duke 0-1, Darragh Byrne, Ronan Geraghty O-5, Mark Devanney (J.C.). Subs: Jack Hetherington 1-1, Daniel Quinn 0-1, Conor Jennings, Alex Arkins, David Dunne.
Kilmainham : Paddy Hennigan, Richie Brady, Harry Newman, Jamie O’Sullivan, Seanie Mahon, Paul Farrelly, James Hennigan, Ger Morgan, Larry Morgan, Declan Mullen, Michael Newman (0-08), Freddie Newman (0-01), Dylan Morgan (1-04), Conor Kilgallen, Colm McGivern (0-01). Subs: Mark Newman for McGivern, Barry Lynch for Hennigan, Stephen Newman for Brady, McGivern for Mullen.