U-16s win County League title. Mayo Gaels 5-12 Kiltane 2-8

November 8, 2018

Mayo Gael 5-12 Kiltane 2-8

The ability to convert goal chances proved the key difference between the sides as our U-16 team defeated Kiltane to capture the County League Division 3 title at the splendidly appointed McHale Park on Tuesday evening. Despite running out thirteen point winners this was a much tougher battle than the final score line of 5-12 to 2-8 suggests. The Gaels lads finished all their goal opportunities while Kiltane failed to convert all of theirs in a high scoring and highly entertaining game.

Playing with the aid of a stiff breeze the Gaels got off to a flying start in the opening quarter. They fired over seven well worked points with a single reply from Kiltane to leave them 0-7 to 0-1 clear after thirteen minutes. Shane Lyons and Kevin Lynch contributed three fine points each from play after good work by Adam Gallagher, Alan Morris and Darren Prendergast. Adam Gallagher also landed his first free of the evening. During the next ten minutes Kiltane enjoyed their most productive spell of the game when they closed the gap to a point by kicking 1-2 to leave the score 0-7 to 1-3. Critically during this spell they had three other goal chances that they failed to convert mainly through the fine defending and goalkeeping of Lorcan Henry, Brian Heneghan and PJ Larkin. The Gaels responded well when an Aaron Connor centre caused havoc in the Kiltane square and Brian Flynn took advantage to coolly slot to the net. From the kick out a lack of concentration by the Gaels defence allowed Kiltane through for their second goal to again leave a point between the sides. The Gaels finished the half strongly when a long ball from Kevin Lynch found its way to the Kiltane net. He was then fouled after a fine run that allowed Adam Gallagher kick his second free before Shane Lyons finished the half where he started kicking a fine point from play to leave the Gaels six clear at the break 2-9 to 2-3.

The feeling among the large Gaels following in the magnificent (if drafty!) new stand was that the Gaels lads would need each of their six point halftime lead facing the strong breeze in the second half.

The Gaels lads got the perfect start and half fired two goals inside the opening four minutes of the second half. Kevin Lynch finished to the net after being setup by Alan Morris. Two minutes later Kevin Lynch and Brian Flynn combined to put Adam Gallagher through for a great finish and suddenly the Gaels were twelve clear and in a commanding position. Kiltane responded with two frees to narrow the gap to ten 4-9 to 2-5. The result was put beyond any doubt when Kevin Lynch went on a great run and blasted to the next from twenty yards for the score of the evening. Kiltane landed another free but were becoming increasingly frustrated as the Gaels half back line of Kevin Jordan, Fintan Canavan and Liam Duggan dominated anything that came their way. They lost their discipline in the forty third minute when one of their forwards was deservedly red carded for kicking out at Aaron Connor which resulted in him having to leave the field injured. They had another man sent to the line five minutes later for a second yellow. The game petered out in the last ten minutes with the sides swapping points. The Gaels scores came from Kevin Lynch and Alan Morris. Shane Lyons rounded off proceedings with another fine point from play after being setup by Liam Nally.

The Gaels supporters were in fine voice at the final whistle and especially when Kevin Lynch received the trophy from Vincent Neary of the Mayo Bord na nOg. The team’s busy season continues next week when they play the county semi final in Claremorris on Tuesday evening at 6:15. Their opponents will be East Mayo winners Moy Davitts or Ballyhaunis. The Gaels lads were forced to lineout without defender Pardaig Prendergast who picked up a knee injury in the South Mayo final. The club would like to wish Padraig a speedy recovery.

Mayo Gaels team: PJ Larkin, Brian Heneghan, Lorcan Henry, Kevin Jordan, Fintan Canavan, Liam Duggan, Kevin Lynch (3-4), Adam Gallagher (1-2, 2f), Alan Morris (0-1), Shane Lyons (0-5), Aaron Connor, Darren Prendergast, Brian Flynn (1-0). Subs. Liam Nally for Aaron Connor (inj.).