Feeney leads Kilglass to emphatic victory

County Minor Division 3 Final Kilglass Gaels     1-16 Kilmore                0-3 Shane Reynolds   Yet again football showed its unpredictable nature as Kilglass Gaels produced a performance of champions to capture the Division 3 County title at the expense of Kilmore in Tarmonbarry on Saturday evening last.   After 140 minutes of football could not separate these teams on the two previous occasions they had met hopes were high that another classic encounter was in store.   However the titanic struggle which was predicted never materialised and it was a case of third time lucky for a Kilglass team who had certainly not read the script.   They were the better team throughout and played with a passion and panache which their Kilmore rivals could not match.    The fact the young men from Hillstreet failed to register a single score in the second half speaks volumes about the nature of the game and the dominance the Gaels held throughout.   Kilmore will be extremely disappointed with their performance and the manner in which they seemed to let the game slip them by. In the two previous encounters they had stood toe to toe with their neighbours from Kilglass but on this occasion they came up against a Gaels team who were in no mood to compromise.   The over-reliance of Kilmore on county minor star Paul Garvey proved to be their ultimate undoing as Kilglass were successful in limiting his influence on proceedings which severely reduced Kilmore options in attack.   In stark comparison Gaels had match-winners throughout the field. Raymond Geraghty and Tommy Cox were majestic in defence. The latter’s frequent raids up the field were reminiscent of a certain Francie Grehan in his Roscommon heyday.   Diarmuid Connellan covered every inch of the ground in midfield and was equally impressive in aiding his defence and supporting his attack where he pitched in with two inspiring points of his own.   The forwards functioned well as a unit with Mark Kiernan and Andrew Kelly in fine form but in corner-forward Kevin Feeney they had a player who oozed class throughout the contest. Some of his scores – which he generally manufactured himself – were simple in their build-up but sublime in their execution and he finished the day with a personal tally of 1-7.   Indeed it was Feeney who opened his side’s account with a 2 nd minute free after he himself had been fouled.    The first talking point of the match arrived moments later when Feeney was judged to have been fouled in the small square after an intricate move involving Kelly and Cox. Young corner-forward Feeney dusted himself down and stepped up to dispatch the resultant spot-kick to cap a promising start by the Gaels men in the contest.   Midfielder Diarmuid Connellan added another impressive score ten minutes in before Kilmore replied with wing-forward Paul McElhone blasting over from close range with the goal at his mercy. Paul Garvey pointed minutes later to narrow the gap even further midway through the opening half.   Gaels’ centre-back Tommy Cox took a fine score on the run to open up a four-point advantage and further scores from Feeney (2), Connellan and two frees from Barry Conroy confirmed the Gaels’ superiority at this stage in the contest.   Roger Baker Kenny pointed for Kilmore approaching half-time but amazingly it was the be the last time Kilmore would score in the game.    Mark Kiernan brought proceedings to a close with a point from play for a Gaels side who were very much in the ascendancy, 1-9 to 0-3.   Kilmore launched an attack on the Gaels goal on the resumption which nearly yielded the goal that would haul them back into contention. Unfortunately for them Paul McElhone’s fisted effort was ruled out for square ball.    Within moments their misery was compounded even further when Feeney pointed with his left foot with a score that seemed to end the Kilmore challenge.   Feeney added another score from play in the 45 th minute and Barry Conroy had the chance to put the game beyond all considerable doubt but saw his goal-bound effort well saved by Ollie Burke in the Kilmore goal.   The Gaels were rampant at this point in the contest and Feeney and Raymond Geraghty pointed well from play for a Kilglass team who were showing no mercy to their rivals from Kilmore.   Feeney was now in his element in the Gaels attack – evading tackles and picking off scores with relative ease. He pointed with ten minutes remaining and his quick thinking created the opportunity for Kelly to point with his right foot with full time looming.   Kilmore were now a shadow of the team who had contested the previous two encounters and Gaels’ centre-forward Mark Kiernan pointed on the run to cap a fine performance for the men from Kilglass.   Referee Michael Brennan blew the final whistle shortly afterwards and scenes of joy and jubilation followed as Kilglass Gaels captured the Brian King Memorial Cup. Kilmore: O. Burke; S. Heavey, G. Clyne; Paul Glancy, J. Sharkey, Peter Glancy; R. Baker Kenny (0-1), C. Carney; M. Connellan, S. Gannon, C. Phelan; P. McElhone (0-1), P. Garvey (0-1). Substitutions; D. Collins for C. Phelan (half-time), K. Conlon for J. Sharkey (47 minutes), J. Feely for S. Gannon (50 minutes). Kilglass Gaels: S. Farrell; Fintan McCormack, G. Tully; Francis McCormack, T. Cox (0-1), R. Geraghty; M. Reynolds, D. Connellan (0-2); C. Diffley, M. Kiernan (0-2), B. Conroy (0-2, both frees); K. Feeney (1-7, two frees, one penalty), A. Kelly (0-2). Referee: Michael Brennan.