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posted 30 Nov 2019, 09:50 by Patricia Donnellan   [ updated 30 Nov 2019, 09:52 ]
30/11/2019: Kildysart’s fast-paced kicking style of football yielded results today winning them the U21B honours for the fourth time, beating the title holders Wolfetones 3-11 to 1-5. This was the third final between these two teams in just a year. It took over 120 minutes for the sides to be separated in 2018 but Kildysart were determined to bridge a 21 year gap in the competition and to bring home the “John Joe Hehir Cup” for the first time. It was a bittersweet victory for joint captain Conor Donnellan and his family, as John Joe - a Clondegad GAA man to the core, was his grandfather who sadly passed away in 1998, aged just 54.

With the wind at their backs, Kildysart dominated the opening proceedings limiting Wolfetones to only 2 points in the opening half. Seamus Casey started the scoring in the 2nd minute only for it to be called back for a free, which Diarmuid O’Donnell duly popped over the bar. O’Donnell then followed this with a point from play. Wingback Mikey Donnellan slotted over Kildysart’s third point in a lovely passage of play involving by Conor Donnellan & Seamus Casey. Conor Hassett scored a penalty in each half with the first coming on 10 minutes when O’Donnell was pulled down in the square. Wolfetones managed two scores in the last 10 minutes of the half, while O’Donnell added 4 more to bring his first-half tally to 6. Luke McGrath and Hassett added to Kildysart’s haul giving them a 10 point cushion at the short whistle: Kildysart 1-9, Wolfetones 0-2.

Anyone who watched the Wolfetones v Miltown semi-final on Saturday last knew that Wolfetones are serious contenders who never give up. This was evident in their determined start to the second half which saw midfielder Liam Murphy break Kildysart’s defense and find the net. Three more unanswered points from the Shannon outfit left just four points between the sides with Kildysart scoreless in 17 minutes of the restart, Kildysart 1-9, Wolfetones 1-5. However, that was the end of the Wolfetones’ insurgency as Kildysart got to grips with the match once more with the strong defensive play from Conor Donnellan, Stevie Sheehan and Conor Moloney. In the twentieth minute, Conor Hassett was again called upon and converted his second penalty, and that plus the sending off of Dean Devanney, put heed to any thought of a Wolfetones comeback. The final nail in the coffin was when Emmet McMahon got the ball outside the “D” – dummied a point and charged for goal, netting from the 20 metre line in the 56th minute. Fittingly, McMahon and O’Donnell got the last two points of the game to secure the cup. Final Score: Kildysart 3-11, Wolfetones 1-5.

Kildysart were full marks for their win and great credit goes to their management team of Jacko Cleary, Noel O’Grady, Kevin Kelly (Boultidoolin) and Adrian Casey with special mention to Kevin Kelly (Lacknashannagh) and Patrick Casey who laid the foundations with this team at under-age level.

Team: Kieran Lorrigan, Cormac Ginnane, Stephen Sheehan, Conor Moloney, Mikey Donnellan (0-1), Conor Donnellan-joint captain, David Cusack, Kieran O’Brien-joint captain, Emmet McMahon (1-1), Seamus Casey, Luke McGrath (0-1), Conor Hassett (2-1, 2p), Diarmuid O’Donnell (0-7, 5f), Conor Cusack, Ryan Casey. Sub: JJ McQuaid for L. McGrath (57 min). Panel: Dylan Bull, James Kelly, Patrick O’Connell, Aidan O’Loughlin-injured, Aaron Slobody.

Wolfetones: Eoin Naughton, Jason McAuley, Conor Carrig, Darragh Whelan, Cian Hogan, Jayme O’Sullivan, Daniel Riordan, Stephen Donnellan, Liam Murphy, Gary Cusack, Dean Devanney, Liam O’Dwyer, Conor Casey, Darragh Lohan, Cian O’Rourke.

Referee: Barry Keating