St Kiernan’s: 3-04
Kingdom-Kerry Gael: 0-07
By Mark McGoldrick
Chris Byrne’s St Kiernans side came away with a decisive victory over Kingdom-Kerry Gaels in the Conway Cup final in Ruislip on Sunday afternoon.
However despite the eventual victory, both sides had a shaky start to their encounter, with the first point coming 12 minutes into the first half, from an Adrian Moyles penalty.
It was awarded to St Kiernans by referee Liam Barry, after Stephen Curran was brought down by KKG half back Conor O’Neill, who received a booking for the offence.
The resulting penalty landed in the back of Stephen Sheehan’s net, putting St Kiernans in front, by three points, after ten minutes of missed point opportunities for both sides.
St Kiernans then put added pressure on their opponents by retaking possession every time KKG went over the halfway line, meaning that KKG could find no answer to St Kiernans earlier goal.
Donnacha McCarthy and Conor O’Neill thought they had found a way to put their team on the scoreboard after 18 minutes, but despite their good work in midfield, and great delivery into the box, the resulting point opportunity went wide.
However, KKG got their first point on the board one minute later, from a free scored by Martin Walsh, after a great block from St Kiernans centre back Ian Mcgough went out of play, gave KKG their first point of the game.
Conway Cup Final
KKG quickly followed their first score up with another point, this time from Ronan O’Boyle, who cut across the face of Brian O’Leary’s goal, and fisted the ball over the bar from close range.
With five minutes to go in the half, O’Boyle got another point on the board for KKG, when his point attempt from distance, curled just enough to hit off the post and sail over the bar.
But St Kiernans counter attack, added three more points to the narrowing gap between the two sides, when James Moran found space directly in front of Sheehan’s net and buried it past the KKG keeper, bringing their lead to four points ahead of their opponents.
Tom Waters tried to add his name to the St Kiernans score sheet with four minutes to go, unfortunately for the half forward his point attempt hit off the post and wide.
But St Kiernans would end the half by adding another point and goal to their tally. Moyles added another point to his side’s scoresheet in added time, from a free directly between the posts, and finished his half by scoring his side’s third goal from a second penalty just before the half time whistle.
So the half ended St Kiernans 3-02, KKG 0-03, with KKG losing Conor O’Neill after he was sent off after receiving a second yellow card from Liam Barry, in added time.
It took ten minutes for the first point of the half to be scored, coming from Kenny Sweeney who shot from range on the left hand side, guiding the ball over the bar to get his name on the score sheet.
Mike Callery and CathalOg Greene, both had great goal opportunities in the second half, but Sheehan was not going to be beaten again, and denied the St Kiernans men by pulling off two great saves.
Stephen Kilcoyne was the next to score in the half, this time for KKG, with eleven minutes to go in the half, when he managed to break free of the St Kiernan defence and slot the ball over the bar.
Moyles added another point to his personal tally with seven minutes to go, bringing his side ten points clear of KKG, and although Senan O’Grady and Joe Callan also added their names to KKG’s score sheet, in the end it wasn’t enough to beat St Kiernans.
So despite the fact both sides finished with 14 men, after Tom Waters was also sent off in the dying minutes of the second half for his side, St Kiernans now hold the Conway Cup after a six point victory over KKG.
St Kiernans: Brian O’Leary, Liam Donoughue, Ian Mcgough, Patrick Begley, Ciaran Healy, Stephen Curran, Greg Lyons, James Moran (1-0), Peter Finn, Tom Waters, Kenny Sweeney (0-1) CathalOg Greene, Adrian Moyles (2-03), Mike Callery, Mike Donoughue. Subs: Danny Ryan for Finn, David Mchugh for Lyons, Shane Brady for Donoughue, Liam Gallagher for Greene, Liam Mckenna for Callery.
Kingdom-Kerry Gaels: Stephen Sheehan, David McGreevy, Philip Kelly, Conor O’Neill, Colm Smith, Caoimhin Carty, Donnacha McCarthy, Martin Walsh (0-1), Kevin O’Suillivan, Kevin Crehan, Shane Coyle, Senan O’Grady (0-1), Alan O’Hara, Stephen Kilcoyne (0-1), Ronan O’Boyle (0-2). Subs: James Coffey for O’Hara, Shane Coyle for O’Boyle, Kieran O’Driscoll (0-1) for Kilcoyne, Joe Callan (0-1) for Smith.