Kildress Senior Men kept their recent good form going with a deserved 2-15 to 2-10 away win over The Rock in front of a fine crowd on an unseasonal wintry evening earlier tonight.
This was a well-contested game with both teams missing key players, but maybe with the St Patrick’s hardest hit in this regard.
Kildress had the better of the first half but an expertly set up and taken ‘route one’ goal had helped the hosts to an early lead, only for a very strong second quarter from Kildress seeing them score 1-5, benefit from a wonderful double save by goalkeeper Nathan McKernan, and gradually come to terms with their tormentor in the Junior Final of three years ago, the very stylish and effective Shane Murphy.
Kildress’ late first half penalty, well converted by Philip Lennon, was the game’s key score, giving The Tones a 1-8 to 1-3 interval lead, and a breathing space that The Rock could never pull back in.
Kildress extended that lead in the second half but three fine points in a row from The Rock made it a four-point game and left things less sure-looking. It was then that the two passes of the night, from Conor McAleer and Shea Quinn put Corey Holland in for Kildress’ second goal and left things very difficult for the St Patricks.
As the rain teemed down, the home side kept driving forward but found the Kildress defence in fine form. They did create a well-worked goal and saw the Tones backs produce a remarkable block to prevent another one before Kildress got a bit of a second wind and again stretched the play to see out their win.
For Kildress Dean McNally, Stephen Loughran and Shea Loughran stood out in defence, Pauric Lagan was exceptional round the middle, whilst in attack Conor McAleer, Philip Lennon, Shea Quinn and Matty McGuigan were very influential.
Stephen Campbell was an excellent referee, letting play flow to the benefit of both teams.
Kildress: Nathan McKernan | Aaron Loughran, Dean McNally, Niall Connolly | Jonny Connolly, Stephen Loughran, Shea Loughran | Shea Murphy (0-1), Pauric Lagan (0-3) | Conor McAleer, Philip Lennon (1-1), Shea Quinn (0-4), | Ben Donnelly, Mattie McGuigan (0-6), Corey Holland (1-0) | Eoin Brannigan, Cormac Loughran, Odhran O’Driscoll, Conor Quinn
In the first game of the evening Kildress Reserves strolled to a 4-16 to 2-4 win that sees them share top spot in the League table with Galbally and Beragh.
Kildress teams at all levels have been delivering a whole series of great games for us for some time now and this 1-10 to 2-7 draw by our Senior Ladies at Drumragh last night (Thursday) was just the latest on the list.
Overall Kildress probably did enough to win, but a couple of near-miss goal chances in the first half, when they built up a half-a-dozen-point-lead, ultimately cost them dear. Tasha O’Neill’s wonderfully finished goal had helped Kildress to that deserved lead and the team was playing well all over the field.
But Drumragh fought back very well and a spectacular goal by double All-Star Neamh Woods in the third quarter was the score that really put this one back into the melting pot. That final quarter was wildly exciting with both teams pushing hard for the winner, only for some brilliant defending at both ends ensuring it ended all-square.
Sean McIntyre was an excellent referee.
Kildress: Niamh Brannigan | Donna Hagan, Caoimhe Gilmore, Cathy Connolly | Sorcha McNamee, Aoife O’Connor, Lanaoise Lagan | Antaine McNamee, Katie Rose Muldoon | Tasha O’Neill, Chloe Tracey, Eimear McGarrity | Eilis Keenan, Ann-Marie Lennon, Shannon Crilly |Leah McCrory, Mairead Quinn, Emma Gillen, Anna Lennon, Marie Daly, Sinead Daly, Nicole Keenan, Cara Loughran, Bronagh McAleer, Sarah McAleer, Ellen McGurk, Emma McKernan, Alana McNamee, Rebekah Mullin, Caitlin Murphy, Emma O’Kane, Charleen Quinn, Annie McKenna