Piercestown 6-7 Kilanerin 3-11
It was like a Wild West shootout in this year’s Allianz Cumann na mBunscol Rackard League Roinn A Boys’ Football final when Piercestown and Kilanerin went at each other all guns blazing for the entirety of the hour. This was a match that you could simply not take your eyes off as Piercestown always seemed dangerous in their hunt for goals and Kilanerin spent longs spells limiting the damage through well taken points.
Kilanerin started well with a well taken Vincent Higgins point but were rocked to their very core when Piercestown responded with two early goals. Initially, Kilanerin goalie made a good save from Charlie Conway, but the resulting rebound found Caleb Whitty who slipped the ball into the far corner. Cormac Simpson then almost blasted the ball through the net when he scored from close range.
Kilanerin replied with a goal of their own as Vincent Higgins took the ball off the crossbar to finish but once again the Piercestown boys put two more balls into the back of the Kilanerin net and seriously ramped up the pressure. Bobby Crosbie found himself very close to goal when he powered his shot past the keeper and the other goal came off a smart decision by the referee to play advantage.
Kilanerin would find their way back into the game with points through midfielders Eoin Hughes and Jack Gethings. The driving play of wing forward Jamie Hughes led the fightback but two key moments saw Piercestown finish the first half firmly in control. Firstly, Ryan Sinnott made a crucial diving save to deny Kilanerin just as they were gaining confidence. Then, Charlie Conway scored a clinical fisted goal to create a seven point lead. Somehow, Jamie Hughes managed to reply with a goal for Kilanerin just before halftime to keep his team in the game.
The second half was a very tense affair as both teams settled into a more fluid period of play. As their backs began to settle, Kilanerin enjoyed a long spell of dominance and slowly clawed their way back into the game. Full forward Patrick Rooney erupted into life by scoring three well taken points. Darragh Gethings was to the fore when he led a brilliant team move that resulted in a Kilanerin goal. Calculators were promptly taken out and they confirmed that Kilanerin had indeed just taken a one point lead.
But the sins of the past came back to haunt the Gorey District boys. After shoring up their defence for most of the second half, they leaked one final yet crucial goal to allow Piercestown back into the lead in the closing minutes. This time, the Martins boys knuckled down and resolutely dampened the Kilanerin fightback. A couple of important late points allowed them to pull ahead and close out the game. This in turn allowed the crowd to catch their breath and reflect upon a truly entertaining final. Piercestown collected the cup to make it honours even on the night and few could argue with that result.
Piercestown: Ryan Sinnott, Paddy Walsh, Eoin Dodd, Niall Hamilton, Adam Connick, Oscar Barry, Rian O’Dowd, Conn Mernagh, Kevin O’Mahoney, Cormac Simpson, Ciarán Simpson, Ciarán Kelly, Eoin Dunne, Charlie Conway, Bobby Crosbie, Caleb Whitty, Luke Molloy, Daniel O’Mahoney, John Dwyer, Sam King, Leon Cullen, Rian O’Dowd, Seánie Duggan, Ruairí Pettitt
Kilanerin: Conor Grannell, Max Buggy, Morgan Timmons, Fergal Noctor, Jack Ryan, Mikey Hughes, Charlie Fleming, Eoin Hughes, Jack Gethings, Darragh Gethings, Vincent Higgins, Jamie Hughes, Cody Lawless, Patrick Rooney, Darragh Forde, Ben Furlong, Rory Cooper, Ciarán Gethings, Olan Tighe, Cathal Fitzpatrick, Ben Hughes, Niall Harnett, Aaron Gething