St Kiernans: 2-13
St Kiernan’s got their championship campaign off to a flying start with a eleven point victory, despite a commendable performance from Garryowen.
Last year’s beaten finalists claimed the biggest win of the opening weekend but Garryowen, who came up from intermediate last season, did enough to hint that they may make a shock progression out of this group. With the other match between Tir Chonaill Gaels and Round Towers ending in a draw the Kiernans are in prime position to progress, but Garryowen who were missing at least six starting players will fancy their chances in challenging their competitors.
Kiernans opened the scoring through Adrian Moyles as full-forward Ciaran Carville laid the ball off to him in the first minute following a good clearance in the half-back line from Thomas Waters. The statuesque James Moran won the resulting kick-out and Mark Mulholland’s good run down the wing opened play to allow Waters to handpass over the bar for their second point.
They would hit the woodwork next through Michael O’Donoghue, before he took his second chance after being set up by Moran. Garryowen opened their account on eight minutes after good play from Ciaran Dunne and Hughie Molloy, but Kiernans’ defensive set up meant they had to work the ball for well over a minute before Eoin Murray set up Justin Quinn for their first point.
An effortless pass from O’- Donoghue to Carville gave the Kiernan’s their fourth point before Shane McManus intercepted and cleared a dangerous pass from Brian Ruttledge, just before Michael Callery got his name on the scoresheet. He added another soon afterwards after Patrick Begley’s goal opportunity went wide following great pressure from Luke Wallace.
Wallace would come into action again after he reacted quickest to a Tom Moriarty ball to Carville in front of goal, before Moyles scored the Kiernans’ seventh. Garryowen would claw back two pointed frees through Eoin Murray, after some uncharacteristic handling errors and fouling from Moran, leaving the score at 0- 7 to 0-3 at half time.
Danny Ryan, coming on for Mc- Manus at half-time, made an immediate impression after the break as his powerful shot rattled the crossbar and went in under for an openingminute goal. He would get a point next after being set up by Mulholland before Waters got his second point, and Mulholland was on hand again to set up the next point as he assisted O’- Donoghue for his second point.
It was a period of dominance from the north London side, and they had another goal opportunity saved once more by Wallace before Moriarty pounced on the rebound to put the ball over for his first point. Garryowen got a fourth as Murray set up Ruttledge, but Kiernans didn’t allow them to gain any momentum as they made an immediate goal opportunity that was saved by Wallace again, but some quick passing from left to right in front of goal by Moyles, Carville and Waters set up Moriarty for their second.
They would have another goal shot saved again when Jeff Kingston and Keith Curran made a run out of the full-back line to set up Carville, but his shot was saved again when maybe a point would have been the better decision. Moyles would put over a ’45 from the resultant save before Murray pointed another free as Curran got his marching orders. Kiernans saw some simple chances go awry over the next ten minutes as the momentum began to swing in Garryowen’s favour and some great pace down the left wing from Ruari Connolly saw him score the point of the match at pace from the left wing.
Substitute Adrian Brady was unlucky not to score a goal with the next attempt as his screamer of a shot just rose over Brendan Mulrooney’s bar for a point. Moran would set up Begley for the Kiernans’ next point before a brilliant through ball from Moyles set up Callery on goal, but the ball ran on from him and Wallace’s instincts were quicker to clear the ball to safety.
David Carrabine and Brady teamed up well to give Garryowen a solid goal opportunity next but the chance went on from them, before Stephen Curran missed the next scoring chance at the other end. Quick movement between Moyles and Carville set up Waters for a closing score, before Darren Hughes scored a consolation point for Garryowen, who with returning players may find the cutting edge to convert chances into scores.
St Kiernans: Brendan Mulrooney, Jeff Kingston, Ian McGough, Keith Curran, Patrick Begley (0-1), Shane McManus, Thomas Waters (0-3), James Moran, Stephen Curran, Tom Moriarty (1-0), Adrian Moyles (0-3, 1 ‘45), Mark Mullholland, Michael Callery (0-2), Ciaran Carville (0-1), Michael O’Donoghue (0-2) Substitutes: Danny Ryan (1-1) for Mc- Manus
Garryowen: Luke Wallace, Christopher Burke, Sean Caulfield, Barry O’Donnell, David Carrabine, Ciaran Dunne (18), Ruari Connolly (0-1), Darren Hughes (0-1, 1 f), Noel Kerins, Justin Quinn (0-1), Eoin Murray (0-3, 3f), Hughie Molloy (17), Brian Ruttledge (0-1), James Brennan, Sean McDonagh Substitutes: Adrian Brady (0-1)