London GAA: Kilburn battling relegation

 London GAA Kilburn battling relegation

Kilburn Gael: 3-14
Sean Treacys: 5-12

Kilburn Gaels are battling relegation to intermediate after a four point loss to Sean Treacy’s at the weekend, and still have yet to face both of last year’s finalists Robert Emmetts and St Gabriel’s.

The club, who reached the All Ireland club finals just two years ago, have lost well over ten starting players this season but managed to come back slightly in the second half to reduce the deficit to four points after going into the break 1-3 to 4-9 down.

Notable absences included Fergal Collins and Noel McDonnell as intermediate manager Robbie Stakelum, who had reffed the previous game in Greenford, senior selector Frankie Keating and chairman Roddy Walsh were called in to make the essential starting fifteen.

The club issued the following statement on their club notes this week after ruing an opening championship tie with Fulham Irish: “On Sunday, after a disastrous opening half, a very weakened Senior team went down by only four points to the Sean Treacy’s.

“The team made every effort in the second half to claw back a big deficit. The club are now perilously close to relegation and every effort must now be made to prevent this happening. It is unrealistic for players to expect any other outcome, other than defeat, when so few are attending training for so long.”

Sean Treacy’s rushed into a 2-1 lead within the opening five minutes as a long ball from Martin O’Keefe to John Murphy gave them their first point, before immediately afterwards a short pass from Kevin O’Loughlin to Maurice Geary split the defence to allow the latter to put it into the back of John Joe Burke’s net.

They added a second goal moments afterwards when Adam Hynes made sure he was on the end of a long puck out from his keeper to beat Burke again.

Kilburn opened their scoring through full-forward Brian Murphy next, but it became one way traffic again as Geary and John Murphy added another two scores between a Ian O’Dwyer point. Murphy would set up Stephen Lambert for a Kilburn point next, before London’s top point scorer in the league earlier this season opened his account after being set up by Steve Casey.

Casey would get a point of his own next before in a disastrous first half for Kilburn they conceded a fourth goal in 20 minutes, this time coming off of O’Loughlin’s hurl. The talisman added another from play immediately afterwards, as Dave Bardon got on the scoresheet next. Kilburn ended the first half slightly brighter, and got a well-needed 1-3 just before the break through a Stephen Lambert point and Aidan O’Leary goal, when the midfielder got on the end of a brilliant ball through the centre.

Kilburn opened the second half as a completely different team getting a goal from the bat as Conor Hickey set up Emmet Morrissey for their second goal. Murphy added another from full-forward next before Stephen Lambert got three points in a row to narrow the gap to 4-9 to 2- 7.

O’Loughlin kept the scores ticking over from set play as well though, with two pointed frees next before Lambert tried to get another goal back from a short-range free which was blocked well. Morrissey would add another goal for Kilburn next before Lambert added another from play. He nearly narrowed the margin by a further three points through a longrange free next which almost dropped for a goal last minute before going over the bar.

Harry Horgan got one back for the Treacy’s next before another Lambert goal attempt when awry, with his shot coming from a run down the right wing hit the side netting.

Brian Murphy had another short range free at goal blocked, but Lambert stood up to take the resultant free, before repeating the process from the next play after Ciaran Lambert’s goal shot was saved. The Treacy’s dealt with the pressure well however and got a goal back through Horgan after a powerful run and shot from the left wing.

But Kilburn negated it immediately when Lambert pounced on a rebounded save from Darren Moore to leave it with just six points between the sides and five minutes to play. Lambert would close the score to just four through two further set plays and nearly forced the issue further when the last puck of the ball saw his long-range free, and shot at goal, bounce off the crossbar to safety.

KILBURN GAELS: John Joe Burke, Roddy Walsh, Niall Coen, Kevin Campion, Justin Kelly, Conor Hickey Keith Kennedy, Emmet Morrissey (2- 0), Aidan O’Leary (1-0), Ciaran Lambert, Stephen Lambert (1- 11, 3f, 3 ‘65), Robbie Stakelum, Philip Heffernan, Brian Murphy (0-2), Frankie Keating

SEAN TREACYS: Darren Moore, John Gould, Dave Maher, Shane Kennedy, Larry McLoughlin, Dave Bardon (0- 1), Ger Quilligan, Harry Horgan (1-1), Martin O’Keefe (0-1), Maurice Geary (1-2), Kevin O’Loughlin (1-4, 2f), Adam Hynes (1-0), Ian O’Dwyer (0-1), Steve Casey (0-1), John


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