Dramatic fare as Argideen Rangers edge out Kilmacabea footballers
By John Bohane
ARGIDEEN Rangers progressed to the quarter-final stages of the Buckley Financial junior A football championship following this dramatic one point win achieved against Kilmacabea, after this absorbing and action-packed encounter played in the pristine surrounds of Ahamilla, Clonakilty last Saturday evening.
Argideen Rangers held a two point lead approaching full-time but two successive points from Joe Collins and Sammy O'Driscoll restored parity deep into injury time. Argideen Rangers struck for their second goal of the game when John Michael O'Callaghan netted in emphatic fashion before veteran forward Michael Walsh added a point to move the Timoleague based outfit four points ahead after 68 minutes of a pulsating clash.
The drama continued unabated when John Keohane netted his second goal of the game to breathe new life into the Kilmac challenge but their brave revival fell just short as Argideen Rangers held out to secure a shock victory which secures their progress to the quarter-final stages of the championship for the second consecutive year. They now await the victors of the St Mary's v Clonakilty tie in an eagerly awaited last eight encounter.
The lengthy amount of injury time in the closing stages was required following an accidential collision involving Kilmacabea half back Clive Sweetnam, who was knocked unconscious after landing awkwardly in the early stages of the second half prompting lengthy medical treatment from the medics. The ace defender has subsequently made a full recovery following his injury scareand he is wished well in his recovery from all gaels throughout the Carbery division.
Argideen owed much of their success to their talismatic captain Michael Walsh who inspired his team-mates to this hard fought victory. Walsh was very influential throughout as the diminutive corner forward used all his experience and pace to pose a constant threat to a very vulnerable Kilmac full back line who struggled to contain the twin threat posed by Walsh and towering full forward Brian Hennessy.
Argideen were much sharper to the breaking ball around the middle of the field with experienced midfielder Alan O'Leary a colossal figure throughout. Argideen are a very well balanced, strong and physically fit team who possess a terrific work ethic throughout their team. They have developed a nice blend of youth and experience throughout their team and having defeated one of the championship favourites, they will harbour realistic dreams of mounting a sustained bid for championship honours.
Kilmac's championship dreams are over for another season following another drmatic defeat. Kilmacabea have threatened on numerous occasions to make their long heralded breakthrough in recent years but to no avail despite possessing a squad rich in quality. They will ruefully reflect back upon injuries sustained by ace duo Tom Sheehan and Ger O'Donovan which ensured they were unable to start the game, and their absence was keenly felt as the star duo provided their team with a fresh impetus upon their introduction in the second half. Kilmacabea appear to lack the necessary ability to grind out victories in tight games which may be explained by the relative youth and lack of experience in their team. All their players who started last Saturday are under the age of 30 which suggests their future is bright, and their young players will learn from this chastening experience.
Argideen started brightly with Michael O'Callaghan who was unerring from set pieces throughout opening their account with two early pointed frees. Kilmacabea were level after ten minutes following two points in quick succession from Diarmuid O'Donovan and Colin McCarthy. Argideen pounced for their opening goal in the 15th minute when Michael Walsh netted from close range following good approach play from Paudie Butler and Brian Hennessy. Kilmacabea finished the half strongly boosted by the strong midfield play from Kevin O'Sullivan. Colin McCarthy added a point before John Keohane moved Kilmacs into the lead for the first time with a well taken goal on the stroke of half-time finishing off a surging run from Donie O'Donovan.
Argideen started the second half brightly with Michael O'Callaghan reinstating his team's lead following two successfully placed ball conversions. Michael Walsh moved his side into a deserved three point lead following good link up play from Brian Hennessy but the expected Kilmac backlash failed to materialise as they started the second half in very lacklustre fashion. Michael O'Callaghan moved his team four points in front after 54 minutes following good build up play from John Sheehan.
The introduction of Tom Sheehan provided Kilmacabea with the fillip required to revive their championship aspirations. Sammy O'Driscoll also thundered into the game in the closing stages with the ace defender embarking upon a number of maurading runs in a vain attempt to inspire his colleagues. Colin McCarthy registered Kilmac's opening score of the second half after 57 minutes. Joe Collins and Sammy O'Driscoll subsequently added points to restore parity deep into injury time.
The pace of the game was unrelenting with play switching from end to end as both sides contributed to an engrossing encounter. Argideen struck for their second goal following a rapid break-away attack initiated by Ethan O'Brien which was expertly finished to the roof of the net by John Michael O'Callaghan. Michael Walsh added a point to move Argideen into a seemingly commanding four point lead deep into injury time. Kilmacabea fought gallantly and were rewarded with their second goal when John Keohane reacted quickly to fire home from close range following an inviting Colin McCarthy centre to set up a thrilling finale.
Kilmacabea pressed hard to salvage their championship aspirations but they could not penetrate a resilient Argideen defence who held firm in a tension filled finale to secure their last eight berth following a night laced with high drama and emotion.
Scorers - Argideen Rangers: Michael Walsh 1-2, Michael O'Callaghan 0-5, 0-4 frees, John Michael O'Callaghan 1-0. Kilmacabea: John Keohane 2-0, Colin McCarthy 0-3, 0-2 frees, Diarmuid O'Donovan, Joe Collins, Sammy O'Driscoll 0-1 each.
Argideen Rangers: Noel Coomey, Dan Connolly, Mike Deasy, Jerry O'Driscoll, John Sheehan, Niall Harte, Paudie Butler, Joe Murphy, Alan O'Leary, Colin Smith, Michael O'Callaghan, John Michael O'Callaghan, Finbarr Butler, Brian Hennessy, Mike Walsh. Sub used: Ethan O'Brien.
Kilmacabea: Kevin McCarthy, Ciaran O'Donovan, Niall McCarthy, Mark Jennings, Sammy O'Driscoll, Diarmuid O'Donovan, Clive Sweetnam, Eoin O'Donovan, Kevin O'Sullivan, Joe Collins, Donie O'Donovan, Colin McCarthy, Karl McCarthy, John O'Driscoll, John Keohane. Subs used: Ruairí Hourihane, John O'Sullivan, Ger O'Donovan, Tom Sheehan.
Referee: Stephen Murphy, Bandon.
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