There was late drama at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Sunday last as Killashee St Brigid’s held out to reach the Leinster Junior club championship semi-final with a narrow win over Louth opponents St Finbarr’s.
It had all looked so easy for Killashee in the first half when they were 0-8 to 0-0 in front but they missed a goal chance and St. Finbarr’s went down the field and put away theirs. The game suddenly changed in Finbarr’s favour.
10 minutes after the break the Louth side went ahead in the game for the first time and momentum was with them but credit to the Killashee side who dug in deep and showed great resilience with Willie Skelly and Michael Farrell hitting over late frees to give them victory.
There was time for drama right at the end when Finbarr’s thought they had snatched a dramatic winner when the ball ended up in the net but it was ruled out for a square ball. The final whistle was immediately blown and referee Chris Dwyer was hit by a Finbarr’s player and a fracas erupted in a nasty finish to the game. But credit goes to the Killashee players who surrounded the referee to protect him.
In dreadful conditions it was Killashee that started very well. With five minutes gone on the clock Michael Farrell hit over their first point from a free. Willie Skelly then fired over four points – one from play and three frees including a wonderful score from the sideline as Killashee went ahead by five.
Finbarr’s discipline cost them and they gave away a lot of frees which Killashee duly punished; Michael Farrell hit over his second free in the 16th minute before Emmet Skelly extended the lead to seven in the 19th minute.
Another point from Emmet Skelly put eight between them before Killashee had a chance to go further ahead when Enda McKiernan brought a save out of Finabarr’s keeper Alan Matthews. In typical fashion Finbarr’s went down the field and grabbed a goal through Jack Butterly.
The goal sprung Finbarr’s into life and they tagged on two points to cut the gap to three at the break, 0-8 to 1-2. Bernard Osbourne got the first point of the second half but Mark Rossiter replied for Killashee. In the 38th minute Finbarr’s got their second goal when Osbourne set up Butterly to draw his side level. Two minutes later William Woods put Finbarr’s ahead for the first time in the game.
Momentum was with the Louth side but Killashee kept with them. In the 46th minute another Willie Skelly free drew the game level for only the second time. Both sides had chances to add to their score but it was Killashee who got the next one when Michael Farrell kicked over a free to put them ahead in the 54th minute.
As the game entered stoppage time, Finbarr’s pressed for a goal and thought they have grabbed one right at the end but it was disallowed for a square ball. Finbarr’s were not happy but it mattered little to Killashee as they now look forward to a Leinster semi-final at home against the Westmeath junior champions Milltown on Sunday November 22nd.
KILLASHEE ST BRIGID’S: Pat Farrell; Shane Cosgrave, Gerard Evans, Darren Cosgrave; Johnny Casey, Kealan Cox, Killian Lee; Ogie Campbell, Emmet Skelly (0-2); Mark Rossiter (0-1), Willie Skelly (0-5, 4f), David O’Neill; Michael Shanley, Michael Farrell (0-3, 3f), Enda McKiernan.
Subs:- Alan Milton for D O’Neill (injured, 12 mins); James Willis for E McKiernan (34 mins); Darren Carberry for M Shanley (40 mins); Quinten Lee for A Milton (56 mins).
ST FINBARR’S: Alan Matthews; Colin McGrane, Kieran Lenihan, Byran Sharkey; Conor Lenihan, Oisin McGee, Hugh Osbourne; John Doyle, Darren McConnon; Padraig Butterly, Andy McCann, Stuart Osbourne; Bernard Osbourne (0-2), Jack Butterly (2-0), William Woods (0-2, 1f).
Sub:- Conor Osbourne for B Osbourne (51 mins).
Referee: Chris Dwyer (Offaly).