Timoleague team wins county junior B football title for the fourth time
Argideen rgrs 3-13
Noel Horgan Reports
WHILE it wasn’t until the last five minutes that they eased to safety, Argideen Rangers were clearly the better team in the county junior B football final at Páirc Uí Rinn last Friday week.
Stung by a goal from Kilbrin corner forward Stephen O’Reilly within seconds of the throw-in, the Timolegue men made light of the setback to dominate proceedings for long stretches of the first half, drawing level through points from John Sheehan, Eoin Lawton and John Michael O’Callaghan inside 13 minutes.
Their territorial edge owed much to the input from O’Callaghan and Gearoid Crowley in the half back line, Sheehan at midfield and ubiquitous wing forward Paudie Butler, while Eoin Lawton, Finbarr Butler and Bill Fleming posed regular problems for an overworked Kilbrin rearguard from the outset.
Argideen were effectively gifted a goal in the 14th minute when Kilbrin full-back Paudie O’Callaghan fumbled a short-kick-out, allowing Bill Fleming to set up Finbarr Butler, but they were out of luck with a couple of goal chances in the second quarter.
John Michael O’Callaghan and Finbarr Butler were denied by the upright and the Duhallow side’s goalkeeper Jordan Corkery respectively, and, while Argideen full back Daniel Hurley stopped a promising raid at the other end in this period with an excellent block on Kilbrin’s Shane Crowley, the west-Cork men looked to be well in control nearing half time.
Aided by points from Eoin Lawton, John Sheehan – who posted a peach of a score following good work by Paudie Butler and Gearoid Crowley – and Finbarr Butler, they had moved 1-6 to 1-2 ahead before an off-the-ball incident led to Sheehan being red-carded in the 29th minute.
That changed the complexion of the contest significantly, and Argideen, having had their lead trimmed by a William Heffernan point for Kilbrin before the break, were really under pressure after the losers added two more points within three minutes of the turnover.
After Matthew Lawton, Killian McSweeney and Brian Hennessy combined to create the opening, Argideen responded with a goal from Bill Fleming in the 36th minute, but Kilbrin’s prospects took on a very rosy hue four minutes later.
An Evan Murray goal and another from a penalty by Eoin Sheehan enabled them to lead by 3-6 to 2-7 at that juncture, and it seemed as if Argideen, in view of their numerical disadvantage, were going to be hard-pressed to arrest their slide.
Displaying admirable character and unwavering self-belief, not to mention a tremendous work-rate, they regained the initiative however, and, had not ever-menacing Finbarr Butler failed to avail of a couple of goal chances, they could have settled the issue far sooner.
As it was, they had nudged ahead by a point, 2-11 to 3-7, after Matthew Lawton converted a free in the 53rd minute, but it took a smart save by goalkeeper Alan Long to keep them on track a minute later.
After Long foiled a fisted effort from close range by Kilbrin’s William Heffernan, Argideen launched a counter-attack which, with Brian Hennessy doing much of the spadework, yielded a goal from Brian Fleming.
A brace of points from Fleming followed to put the finishing touches to Argideen’s triumph, which gave them a fourth county title at this level and a first since 2008.
That it was achieved in the face of considerable adversity meant it tasted all the sweeter, and, taking everything into account, their winning margin of six points didn’t flatter them in the slightest.
Argideen Rangers: B Fleming 2-2, E Lawton 0-5, F Butler 1-1, J Sheehan 0-2, M Lawton 0-2 (f), JM O’Callaghan 0-1.
Kilbrin: S O’Reilly 1-2 (1f), E Murphy 1-0, E Sheehan 1-0 pen, S Crowley 0-3 (2f), D O’Sullivan (f), W Hefferenan 0-1 each.
Argideen Rangers: A Long; C O’Donovan, D Hurley, D O’Donovan; S Maxwell, G Crowley, JM O’Callaghan; K McSweeney, J Sheehan; M Lawton, E Lawton, P Butler; B Fleming, F Butler, B Hennessy.
Kilbrin: J Corkery; T Mullane, P O’Callaghan, C Buttimer; G Lynes, T O’Reilly, M Dennehy; E Murphy, N Field; D O’Sullivan, E Sheehan, W Heffernan; S O’Reilly, E O’Riordan, S Crowley.
Subs: N O’Callaghan for Field (29), J O’Callaghan for Dennehy (36).
Referee: J Smith (Nemo Rangers).