Sheelin Cup Match v Kilkerley Emmets

November 8, 2018

Referee: Tony Dolan

This local derby in the Paddy Sheelan Cup was played in ideal conditions with the heavy rain staying clear until after the match. Kilkerley were out of the blocks quickest with three unanswered points from Donal McElroy, James Fagan and a free from Cathal Bellew before Barry O’Hare converted a free for Roche. With Kilkerley continuing to dominate matters they were awarded a penalty in the tenth minute which was converted by Cathal Bellew to leave the score 1-3 to 0-1 in Kilkerley’s favour.

This seemed to have shaken Roche into action as they out scored Kilkerley from this point to half time by 1-5 to 1 point. It started with a point from Duane Callan that easily could have been a goal but the lesser score was taken, followed by a free by O’Hare then a point from a long range free by Daniel O’Connell followed by two further frees by O’Hare. Kilkerley interrupted the Roche feast with a pointed Sean Hand free on the 27th minute. Out of the blue came a brilliant Roche move between O’Connell, O’Hare and Duane Callan to find Gerry Murphy wide on the left of the square, he carried the ball into traffic and dispatched to the far side netting under the advancing keeper to goal on the 29th minute to bring Roche to the lead for the first time. The half time score was Roche 1-6 Kilkerley 1-4 which was most unlikely from the grip Kilkerley had on the game early on.

Within five minutes of the restart Kilkerley had two good goals and were racing through Roche from every angle at will. From the ‘throw in’ the ball was moved quickly to Sean Hand in the corner who, as quickly, crossed to the willing hands of Fagan who crashed the ball to the net. Five minutes later with Roche pressing to get through the Kilkerley defence the ball was lost and quickly moved forward where the Roche defence failed to cut out the pass which Hand collected, rounded McCoy in the Roche goals and took his tally to 1-2 from 20 metres. Kilkerley were sailing high and appeared unstoppable and defeat unthinkable. Kilkerley added Kevin O’Leary and Ciaran Clarke to join Ciaran Bellew, half time, as replacements for Patrick Hughes, Alan McGuill and Pauric Enright. Roche also sent for reinforcements, Enda Murphy, Ciaran Sloane and Barry McConnon entered the fray for James Tiffney, Patrick Quigley and Bernard McConnon. Kilkerley underlined their supremacy by adding another point through Cathal Bellew on the 38th minute leaving the score 3-5 to 1-6 in the visitors favour.

Two minutes later that man again Gerry Murphy began a second revival for Roche, the very same occurrence as the first half, Kilkerley failing to build on their dominant start and Roche only beginning to get into the game 10 minutes after their opponents. It started with a very good point on the run wide on the left from Murphy which was followed by another two minutes later, followed by a converted 13 metre free by Philip Quinn on the right on the 44th minute. For the third time Murphy worked the oracle from the same position. Sean Hand interrupted Roche’s gallop with a point when a goal seemed on after he collected a deflected centre off his marker but elected for the point rather than another major. O’Hare converted another close in free after a late tackle on D. Callan in the middle of the field. He then scored from play on the left with a shot that bounced over the cross bar with Enda Murphy bearing down on Frank Newnan in the Kilkerley goals for the equalising point. O’Hare completed Roche’s recovery with a pointed free to leave Roche showing a point ahead 1-13 to 3-6 in the 20th minute of the second half. Kilkerley had many chances to add to their tally in the last ten minutes but Hands two missed close in frees to draw or even win the match in the final minutes will loom large in the Kilkerley recall of this match but how they loosened their grip of this game, not once but twice will give them sleepless nights. From a Roche point of view the question will be why did they give away such starts in both halves but the joy of how they recovered will carry a youthful team onto the next battle with optimism.

Roche: Aidan McCoy, James Tiffney, David Quigley, Sean Kirk, Sean O’Hare, Brian McGuinness, Niall Treanor, Daniel O’Connell (1pt), Martin Carroll, Barry O’Hare (7pts), Duane Callan (1pt), Philip Quinn (1pt), Patrick Quigley, Gerry Murphy (1-3), Bernard McConnon. Subs used: Enda Murphy, Ciaran Sloane, Barry McConnon.

Kilkerley: Frank Newnan, Ronan Lennon, Brian Gernon, Pauric Enright, Ultan McElroy, Fintan Clarke, Alan McGuill, James Fagan (1-1), Donal McElroy (1pt), Conaill McGeough, Sean McElroy, Alan McGeough, Patrick Hughes, Cathal Bellew (1-1), Sean Hand (1-3). Subs used: Ciaran Bellew, Kevin O’Leary, Ciaran Clarke.