West Senior Football Semi Final:
St. Kieran’s 0.15 Ballysteen 2.8
Our senior footballers made the short journey to Ballyhahill for the second game in succession last Tuesday evening for the West Championship semi-final against Ballysteen. Both sides went into the game following productive league campaigns, we won each of our four games while the only blemish on Ballysteen’s record came in the final round against Fr. Casey’s losing out by five points. Games between both clubs are always keenly contested affairs with very little between the two sides and Tuesday’s game certainly fitted that description with both sides fighting tooth and nail for every ball. We began the game the brighter of the two sides but our finishing in the final third let us down early on and it was the men from the banks of the Shannon estuary who got the games opening score before Seamus Mangan opened our account with a point from a mark. Leading 2-1 inside the opening quarter thanks to a fine effort from John Hayesa moment of indecision on our part in the middle of the field was punished and Ballysteen transitioned the ball from defence to attack quickly and soon had the ball in the back of our net to reduce our lead and we now found ourselves on the back foot. To the lad’s credit they didn’t lose focus and we soon became watertight at the back with our full back line of Sean Ryan, Mike Shanahan and Johnny McCarthy each winning their individual battles and keeping the Ballysteen attack at bay. Up front we kept possession of the ball extremely well against the blanket Ballysteen defence which often contained as many as thirteen men. Kevin Meade and Seamus Mangan both opened their personal accounts in the opening half with excellently struck scores. Despite our early setback which saw us trail by two we led by two points at the interval and while there was a lot to be positive about many improvements were required in the second period if we were to cope with the oncoming Ballysteen onslaught. We began the half in the best possible fashion when Limerick midfielder Liam Kennedy broke through the heart of the Ballysteen defence to fire over an excellent point. The game was halted for an extensive period following this due to an injury to a Ballysteen player which killed off our early momentum and Ballysteen soon took advantage of this and two quickfire points had our lead whittled back to a solitary score. At this stage possession was hard fought and space was at a premium up front. Once again when scores were needed centre forward Dylan Moloney stepped up to the mark and kicked three excellent frees in the second period from difficult angles to keep us in the game. As the game drew to a close of normal time disaster struck for a second time as Ballysteen pounced on a moment of indecision at the back as we failed to deal with a long high ball and a penalty was subsequently rewarded. Ian Mackessy showed great composure in the goal to excellently save the strike but could not get to the subsequent rebound as Ballysteen went back into a two-point lead as the game concluded. With the final whistle fast approaching we fought tooth and nail for possession. Both John Hayes and Liam Kennedy in the engine room at midfield stood up at this point and proved to be invaluable sources of possession for us. Dylan Moloney tied up the game with a well struck free and now both sides pushed for the elusive winning score. Ballysteen pushed forward hard and were rewarded for their good attacking play with a free as the game went into overtime. Unfortunately for their part the ball went the wrong side of the post and we now had possession back and we pushed forward.
With possession secured we broke forward and corner back Mike Shanahan powerfully cut through the defence to link up with Seamus Mangan who evaded the oncoming Ballysteen defenders to coolly slot the ball over the bar to once again put us in the lead. From here it was a case of not fouling and trying to win back and maintain possession in the process. Johnny McCarthy and Anthony Molyneaux showed their years of experience to marshal this youthful Kieran’s side to the final whistle and secure our place in the upcoming West Final. Well done to the players and management on an excellent victory. In what was an excellent game of football between two evenly matched sides who fought to the bitter end as always. Both sides will meet again in the County championship and will be full of confidence that they came get the win. With Tuesday night’s win we advance to the West Final in the coming weeks where our near neighbours and defending County Champions Newcastlewest will be our opponents after disposing of the challenge of Fr. Casey’s in the second semi-final last Wednesday evening.
Munster Senior Football Championship Final:
There was disappointment for Limerick senior footballers on Saturday afternoon when they went down to formidable Kerry challenge in Killarney. Despite a positive opening quarter Limerick succumbed to the pressure being applied by the impressive Kerry outfit who will have their sights set on All Ireland glory in July. Despite Saturday’s defeat Limerick’s involvement in the championship does not end in Killarney and have two weeks to regroup and recover before their final round qualifier where they could potentially face off against the likes of 2021 All Ireland Champions Tyrone, runners up Mayo and Louth who defeated Limerick in the Allianz League Division 3 final this year. Our own Darragh Treacy lined out at midfield on Saturday afternoon putting in a solid performance once again showing that he is an integral part of the Limerick line up and one of the top midfielders in the country.
Ardagh Development Association & St Kierans GAA Club Lottery Draw
Results for Monday 23rd May 2022 as follows.
Numbers Drawn 1, 2, 20, 26
€40 Denis Hayes Knockfinisk
€40 Margaret Sheehan Ardagh c/o Ailish
€40 Paddy Kelly Killoughteen (Online)
€40 Mike Molyneaux c/o Moira
€40 Thomas Hanley Creeves
Next Draw Monday 6th June 2022 with a jackpot of €8000.00
Thank you for playing and for supporting our lotto. Go raibh maith agaibh go léir.