Owen Gaels 1-13
JOHN MURPHY REPORTS
KILBRITTAIN’S goal-scoring exploits throughout the Rebel Óg West minor B1 football championship have been a marked feature.
The trend continued in the final against Owen Gaels at Bandon last Sunday evening as a quartet of goals helped them overcome the challenge presented by the Ballinascarthy and St Oliver Plunkett’s amalgamated side to run out deserving four-point victors of an enthralling contest.
The winners got off to an ideal start when Aaron Holland began a move that ended with Sam Dewey billowing the Gaels’ rigging after just 50 seconds.
Óisin Dewey added a point and shell-shocked Gaels were yet to come to grips with the blistering start as Kieran Murphy, Philip Wall, Bertie Butler, 15-year-old Conor Hogan and the powerful Sean Sexton were causing all
sorts of problems.
To their credit, Owen Gaels quickly adjusted, as Pádraic Cullinane, David McCarthy (free) and namesake Cian cut the margin to the minimum, 1-1 to 0-3, by the seventh minute.
Then a stroke of good fortune for the losers as Pádraic Cullinane’s dipping shot, following a lovely move involving David McCarthy and Dean Harte, ended up in the corner of the Kilbrittain net.
Kilbrittain’s response was points from Philip Wall (free) and Conor Hogan and a scintillating solo goal by Oisín Dewey at the end of the opening quarter. A scoring tsunami followed as Hogan, Butler, Wall and a dynamic Butler goal in the 24th minute opened up a 3-6 to 1-3 advantage.
Gaels upped the tempo considerably as Ciarán Nyhan, Ronan McCarthy, Ciarán O’Neill, Sean Crowley and Brian O’Donovan began to gain more possession. A cracking Ciarán Nyhan point and two frees by David McCarthy still left the losers well adrift, 3-6 to 1-6, at the interval.
While David McCarthy edged the Gaels closer on resuming, the goal they craved for never arrived thanks to the diligence of the Kilbrittain defence. However, Gaels had closed the gap to a bare three-point margin by the 50th minute, 3-7 to 1-10, and a grandstand finale looked likely.
But the classy Butler signalled lights out a minute later when, after a move instigated by the impressive Aaron Holland, he squeezed the ball past Cian Ryan from an acute angle for his second and Kilbrittain’s fourth goal.
While Owen Gaels never gave up the battle and had again reduced the deficit to three points, 4-7 to 1-13, as injury-time beckoned, a delightful Conor Hogan free triggered off scenes of wild delight in the Kilbrittain camp.
‘We got off to a dream start, Sam Dewey getting the opening goal inside a minute,’ said Kilbrittain mentor Aidan O’Donoghue.
‘We needed those goals today against a team with the calibre of Owen Gaels. We knew the threat posed by the likes of David McCarthy, Pádraic Cullinane, Ciarán Nyhan and others so we put Sean Sexton back as a spare man for the last 20 minutes. It worked well and we are thrilled with the win.’
Kilbrittain: Bertie Butler 2-1, Oisín Dewey 1-1, Sam Dewey 1-0, Conor Hogan 0-3 (1f), Philip Wall 0-2 (1f), Kieran Murphy 0-1.
Owen Gaels: David McCarthy 0-7f, Pádraic Cullinane 1-1, Cian McCarthy, Ciarán Nyhan, Jack Ryan, Dean Harte, Brian O’Donovan (f) 0-1 each.
Kilbrittain: Mikolaj Kalitka; Gavin Hodge, Eoghan Byrne, James O’Donovan; Padraig Galvin, Sam Dewey (captain), Kieran Murphy; Mark Hickey, Tomás Sheehan, Aaron Holland, Philip Wall, Sean Sexton; Bertie Butler, Oisín Dewey, Conor Hogan.
Subs: Colm Sheehan for Eoghan Byrne (51), Gavin Kenny for Padraig Galvin (52), Donagh Galvin for Mark Hickey (54).
Owen Gaels: Cian Ryan; Darragh Hurley, Sean Crowley, Cormac McCarthy; Ciarán O’Neill, Ciarán Nyhan, Brian Dowling; Tristan Walsh, Ronan McCarthy; Brian O’Donovan, Dean Harte, Jack Ryan; Cian McCarthy, Pádraic Cullinane, David McCarthy.
Subs: Ruairi O’Brien for Comac McCarthy (23), Andrew O’Flynn for Jack Ryan (49).
Referee: Ian McCarthy (Bandon).