King and Moffatt Roscommon JFC Final
Kilglass Gaels 0-12
Clann na nGael 0-9
The American writer Napoleon Hill once wrote: “Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success”. Niall Kilcrann and his Kilglass Gaels players have certainly applied that maxim to their efforts over the past three years in this championship as they finally got over the line at the expense of Clann na nGael in this very competitive final at a breezy Dr. Hyde Park on Sunday.
Sixteen minutes into the second half when Darren Duff pointed for Clann, they led by two points and were in command. Clann kicked two bad wides after that and Kilglass seized the initiative from then on. The inspirational Tommy Cox drove them on from centre half-back while Ciaran McHugh and Pierce Bolger were very prominent in attack. Clann were not to score again as Kilglass kicked five points on the spin to turn the game on its head.
Kilglass had the aid of the strong breeze in the first half and they began well. Kevin Feeney, Pierce Bolger and Ciaran McHugh with points from play saw them three ahead by the tenth minute. But with Oisin Lennon and Darragh Shine impressive at midfield it wasn’t long before Clann were back in the game. By the 20th minute it was 0-4 each with Rian McNamara (2 frees) Oisin Lennon and Dylan Sumner on target.
Ciaran McHugh and Daniel Duffy were on target before half-time for the Gaels but Mark Shine’s injury-time point ensured that the sides went in for the break with the score Kilglass 0-6 Clann 0-5. With the strength of the breeze the odds now strongly favoured Clann.
Two Rian McNamara points saw Clann forge ahead by the 37th minute and then when Callum O’Brien and Darren Duff pointed in the 45th and 46th minutes respectively, the Johnstown men were two points ahead (0-9 0-7) and in control. But after they missed a couple of chances Kilglass got motoring again. Tommy Cox drove forward with some lung-bursting runs and they looked a different team in those final fifteen minutes.
Pierce Bolger pointed a free in the 49th minute and a minute later Cox somehow managed to hook the ball over the bar having burst through a forest of players. With five minutes left sub David Nugent lofted over the lead score, and when Ciaran McHugh and Pierce Bolger pointed frees, Kilglass were three ahead heading into time added on.
Clann were desperate now as only a goal would save them. Dylan Sumner lined up a 20 metre free in injury-time but his pile-driver crashed off the crossbar and was cleared. Kilglass had survived and the pain of losing in the final the past two years had been washed away. This one will be well celebrated by the banks of the Shannon.
For Kilglass Tommy Cox, Gavin Tully, Ciaran McHugh, Pierce Bolger and sub David Nugent played very well on the day. For a Clann team who lost their way completely in the final quarter, Oisin Lennon was outstanding and he was ably assisted by Niall Shine, Darragh Shine and Rian McNamara.
After the game a delighted Kilglass manager Niall Kilcrann said: “The hurt of the past two years really counted for the lads towards the end there today. We were two points down but we never threw in the towell and we showed great spirit and fight.
“We made a few changes in the middle of the second half because Clann were getting on top and we felt we were not getting enough ball around the middle of the field and those changes worked. But these lads have such pride in their club – it’s incredible to see.
“It was reported this week that we have had an easy run. We lost two lads with cruciate injuries and we had another player with a snapped ankle and another player with a broken leg. These guys have tremendous heart and will always battle hard.
“Everything in our parish centres around Kilglass Gaels and it is so important to our community. It was not easy today but passion and pride got us over the line,” he concluded.
Wides: Kilglass Gaels 7 (4 first half) Clann na nGael 9 (4 first half)
Man of the Match: Tommy Cox (Kilglass Gaels)