AUBERT TWOMEY REPORTS
REIGNING champions Kilmurry increased their number of Muskerry junior football titles to 11 at Ballyvourney on Sunday evening in an entertaining, high-scoring final.
Kilmurry were the favoured side entering the fray but they did not have it all their own way against a game Iveleary side who set out from the throw-in to upset the form book.
A feature of the game was the scoring power of both sets of forwards with Kilmurry having a particularly formidable trio in that sector and that was the factor that eventually tilted the balance in their favour on a very impressive GAA occasion in the excellent new Naomh Abán headquarters.
Iveleary were the first to score when the in-form Brian Cronin sent the ball between the uprights in the opening minute and the situation got better for the challengers a minute later. Barry O’Leary found the Kilmurry net as Iveleary’s stock soared.
The latter moved further ahead when Brian Cronin pointed a free and it was certainly a source of relief to Kilmurry when Liam Wall, in the seventh minute, opened their account.
By the tenth minute the score read 1-4 to 0-2 so Iveleary were still in a good position.
At that stage of the game however, we got a glimpse of the scoring potential of the Kilmurry attack and they put three additional points on the board in as many minutes. Joe Ryan was on target twice and Eoghan Clifford was the other scorer so two points now separated the sides.
Chris Óg Jones replied with two points for Iveleary so they were still in a good position and an exchange of scores between Joe Ryan and Brian Cronin still left Kilmurry four points in arrears.
In the remaining playing period prior to the interval the third Kilmurry sharpshooter, team captain William Buckley, got in on the scoring act. He scored two points from play and one from a free so the arrears were reduced to the minimum, 1-7 to 0-9.
The interval situation flattered Kilmurry but their potential in attack was clearly manifesting itself and it was appearing likely that Iveleary would find it hard to stay ahead.
A Chris Óg point in the 31st minute consolidated their position but Joe Ryan converted a free so the minimum still separated the sides.
The game was still delicately poised until Iveleary carelessly lost possession in the 36th minute with disastrous consequences. Jonathan Buckley headed goalwards for Kilmurry and Joe Creedon in the Iveleary goal did well to foil his effort at securing a goal. Eoghan Clifford was quickly on to the rebound to boot the ball over the line, and Kilmurry were ahead for the first time.
They quickly consolidated their position as their three scoring aces – Clifford, Ryan and Buckley – were part of a spree that ensured that they led 1-17 to 1-8 by the 45th minute.
In fairness to Iveleary, they tried hard to turn their situation around. They scored six points to Kilmurry’s one so four points separated the sides at the 56th minute and Jason McDonnell also made a couple of excellent saves to foil their quest for a goal.
A William Buckley point from a free then made Kilmurry’s position more secure and a goal from David O’Leary put the issue beyond doubt.
Iveleary did have the final say when Finbarr McSweeney got a goal back during the time added-on period.
A very competitive Muskerry junior football championship finished on a very entertaining note and the arrangements by the Naomh Abán club left nothing to be desired but there was also an amount of sadness at the venue.
People were hearing of the sudden death on the previous day of Caroline Leahy, daughter of the popular chairman of the Muskerry board Pat Malone, and a minute’s silence was observed prior to the game as a mark of respect.
The sincerest sympathy of Muskerry Gaeldom is extended to the Leahy and Malone families.
Kilmurry: Joe Ryan 0-7 (2f), William Buckley 0-6 (3f), Eoghan Clifford 1-3, David O’Leary 1-0, David O’Halloran, Jonathan Buckley, Liam Wall 0-1 each.
Iveleary: Chris Óg Jones 0-5, Brian Cronin 0-4 (1f), Finbarr McSweeney Junior 1-1, Barry O’Leary 1-0, Cathal Vaughan 0-2f, Sean O’Leary, Shane Galvin 0-1 each.
Kilmurry: Jason McDonnell; Fionn Warren, Kevin Barrrett, William Ronan; John O’Mullane, David O’Leary, Liam Wall; Daniel Cahalane, Greg Barrett; David O’Halloran, William Buckley, Jonathan Buckley; Joe Ryan, David McCarthy, Eoghan Clifford.
Subs: Sean Curzone for Cahalane (25), Liam Long for O’Halloran (injured, 59).
Iveleary: Joe Creedon; Donal Cotter, Barry Murphy, Ger O’Riordan; Sean O’Leary, Daniel O’Riordan, Kevin Manning; Barry O’Leary, Ciarán O’Riordan; Finbarr McSweeney (Snr), Finbarr McSweeney (Jnr), Sean Lehane; Chris Óg Jones, Ciarán Galvin, Brian Cronin. Subs: Cathal Vaughan for Ciarán Galvin (35), Shane Galvin for Sean Lehane (41), Ger McSweeney for Finbarr McSweeney Snr (58).
Referee: Ted Hayes (Éire Óg).