Kilmacow 1-16, Rower Inistioge 0-11
Kilmacow proved a somewhat tougher nut to crack than the Rower Inistioge expected in their Junior League Final in Thomastown on Wednesday last. The conditions were certainly not conducive to fast, controlled play, rather the slippy surface, and the slippier ball made control a bit of a lottery. The Kilmacow lads seemed to handle the conditions better, and one could suggest that such abilities were the obvious difference in the winning and losing the game.
Whilst the Rower’s Cathal Bolger opened their account with a fine point at the six-minute mark, it was the only time that his side led. In fact the ground was well tilled for a Kilmacow win for the ensuing 2o minutes when the winners posted a respectable 1-6, while the losers could not buy a score in the same time slot.
From young Josh Tobin at number 8 to Emmett Blanchfield at corner forward, Kilmacow were masters of their opposition in most all positions. Blanchfield got a real predator’s goal in the 14th minute when he slipped home a grand goal, the only one of the game. Centre forward Peter Mullally led his forwards well and contributed a few nice pointed frees to boot.
When Kilmacow looked as if they were about to run riot, Bolger with a brace of fine points from placed balls, and corner forward, Michael Doyle kept their side in the game with a sporting chance, and at the break, they were still very much in with a chance to collect the trophy, as they trailed by 1-8 (Kilmacow) to 0-6.
An early exchange of points between Tobin and Bolger in the second half changed nothing but the scoreboard. However points by Mullally, Steven O’Keeffe, and John Daniels stretched the Kilmacow advantage to seven points.
There was an element of finality about the end game as the clock tipped into the final quarter. But the Rower lads were not lying down either. Bolger with a trio of good frees, aided by a Sean Lyster point had pegged back the winners to a manageable four-point advantage by the 48th minute.
But that was as good as it got for the Rower men. They tried extremely hard to haul themselves back between the shafts, but the load was getting heavier, as John Daniels, Josh Tobin, and Peter Mullally (two frees) belted over points.
On balance Kilmacow deserved the victory because they squeezed more value from the possession they worked hard for, than the Rower lads. Their halfback line of Denis Scully, and Andy Kearns, who flanked the ageless Tom Reddy in the pivotal position contributed plenty of tough opposition to the Rower forwards. That trio were instrumental in preventing plenty of good ball getting into the Rower strong line of Michael Doyle, Conor Lyng and Cathal Bolger.
Outside of them, Kilmacow had two terrific foot-soldiers in Josh Tobin and Richie Walsh. While up front their forwards like Peter Mullally, John Daniels, and Emmett Blanchfield were crafty, accurate, and courageous.
The Rower Inistioge had good operatives in Nicky Kenny, Eugene Murphy, James Roche, David Lyster, Bolger, Lyng and Doyle when they got the ball.
Kilmacow: Peter Mullally (0-7, five frees); Emmett Blanchfield (1-2); Josh Tobin (0-3); John Daniels (0-2); Richie Walsh, Steven O’Keeffe (0-1 each).
Rower Inistioge: Cathal Bolger (0-9, six frees); Michael Doyle, Sean Lyster (0-1 each).
Kilmacow: Dan Connolly, Ryan McKenna, Dean Power, Shane Power, Denis Scully, Tom Reddy, Andy Kearns, Josh Tobin, Richie Walsh, Sean Ivory, Peter Mullally, Eddie Irish, John Daniels, Davy Ryan, Emmett Blanchfield.
Subs (used): Kevin McNamara, Steven O’Keeffe, Shane Gaule.
Rower Inistioge: Shane Foskin, John Grace, Nicky Kenny, Eugene Murphy, Luke Tennyson, James Roche, Tom Whelan, David Lyster, Paul Grace, Michael McDonald, Sean Grace, Pauric Ryan, Cathal Bolger, Conor Lyng, Michael Doyle.
Subs (used): Sean Lyster, J.J. Kenny, Willie Allen, Thomas Lyng.
Ref; John Kennedy (Ballyhale Shamrocks).