U14B Football South Final

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On Wednesday evening in glorious sunshine, Kilsheelan took on Carrick Swan in the U14B Football south final in Ned Hall Park. When these teams met in the group stages, Swan took the win by 4 points. Both sides had a nervy start, hitting several wides each. Swan were first off the mark with a pointed from the impressive midfielder Jamie Holloway. After a miss from Kilsheelan, Swan's busy wing forward Aidan Waters pointed again. Then a sucker punch for our boys – a Holloway free from near the sideline dropped all the way into the net. Kilsheelan got their first scores with 2 pointed frees from midfielder Ben O Connell, before another wide – Kilsheelan needed to be putting away these scores to threaten Swan. This was underlined when their main man Holloway ripped through the Kilsheelan defence to finish to the net. O Connell pointed another free for Kilsheelan just before the break to leave the half time score 2-2 to 0-3 in favour of Carrick. Kilsheelan needed to start the second half on top, and almost got off to the perfect start. A through ball was met by corner forward Senan Butler who was desperately unlucky to see his shot come back off the post. A goal at that stage would have boosted Kilsheelan, but they had to settle for a pointed free instead. From the resulting kickout, Butler again got on the ball and slotted over to reduce the gap to 3. Kilsheelan were in the ascendency and were applying all the pressure. As they pushed forward to catch up, a simply clearance bounced over a Kilsheelan player's head and Swan were on the break. With the majority of Kilsheelan's players on the front foot, Swan drove forward and scored a killer goal – a sickening blow for Kilsheelan. The sides traded pointed frees before 1-1 from O Connell brough the gap back to just 2 points (1-7 to 3-3). Kilsheelan had lost wing back Casey Jay Coleman to injury at half time, and this reduced the kick-out options for keeper Jamie Cronin. With Swan players out-sizing their counterparts in most areas of the field, Swan won 3 Kilsheelan kickouts in a row and scored 3 points from them. Kilsheelan never gave up and laid seige to the Carrick goal. 2 frees were put over the bar, when perhaps it would have been worth dropping them into the square – that said, with Carrick's size advantage, possession was hard to come by, never mind goals. At the final whistle, Swan had a 3 point win, and Kilsheelan's players dropped to their knees, half with disappointment and half with exhaustion. One could not fault the effort they had put in, and while today was not their day against a much bigger and older team, they can take huge pride in their football campaign. Of the starting 15, 6 are eligible for U14s again next year and 2 of them are only in their first year of U12s!! The starting team for the day was: Jamie Cronin, Tomas O Connor, Conor Neviller, Micheal Ryan, Casey Jay Coleman, Emmet Butler, Micheál Freaney, Ben O Connell, Adam Quigley, Jack O Donoghue, Jake Ffrench Davis, Ben Smith, Senan Butler, Charles Shanahan and Jack Roche. Subs were David Donovan, Cian Roche, Oisin Lavin and Conor Grant. Paul Brunnock was an unused sub, while Barre Thompson was injured for the match.