Killeavy 0-10 Dromintee 0-7 (aet)
This final was played in Killeavy on Sunday afternoon, and what looked like a cold sunny day turned into a cold wet day moments before the throw-in. Killeavy entered this final on the back of an eventful Ulster campaign, meaning their preparation had to have been much better than Dromintee, who had been forced to wait weeks in the wings.
The danger was always a hangover from the Ulster exertions, and this looked more and more the case as the game wore on.
Killeavy played with the strong breeze in the opening period but Dromintee were first to register a point on the scoreboard. Michael Murphy and Niall Hollywood kicked long range points for Killeavy, and another free from Hollywood seemed to put Killeavy on the front foot.
This didnt prove to be the case as Dromintee appeared to be playing with greater application and urgency, quick to the breaking ball, and defending in large numbers, making it really difficult for Killeavy to generate scores. Two really good points from Thomas Hannaway and Ciaran O’Hanlon had Killeavy just a point up at the interval.
HT: Killeavy 0-05 Dromintee 0-04
The second half proved even tighter than the first. Space in both forward lines was at an absolute premium, and scores were as rare as hens teeth. Killeavy got the first score of the half after 15 minutes, when the brilliant Donal O’Neill broke from centre back to receive a short free and drive the ball over. From this point on, Dromintee had the upper hand, and Killeavy could not clear their lines. Three frees in succession had Dromintee in the lead with 5 minutes to play. Indeed another easy chance was dropped in short to Cathal Fearon, while a further chance struck the bar, flew straight up and dropped into the keepers arms. Either of these chances would have brought the cup to Dromintee, and no-one would have complained such was their commitment and endeavour on the day. Killeavy are a team with character, however, and when needed they produced a last gasp ace, with Niall Hollywood kicking the equaliser from a very improbable angle, his kick sailed beautifully between the posts.
FT: Killeavy 0-7 Dromintee 0-7
If Dromintee had dominated the final 15 minutes of normal time, it was Killeavy who drove on in extra-time to dominate the twenty minute spell. A great opening saw scores from Michael Boyle – after a great shoulder charge from Jamie Cosgrove had won possession for Killeavy – and a fine point from Gary Donaghy – his first touch of the ball after entering the fray. Killeavy were composed and another insurance point from Michael Boyle meant the league trophy was joining the Championship trophy in the Killeavy cabinet.
This All County “double” ends a fabulous year for the squad and management. Some of the football played this season has been of great quality, and even if it appeared at times today a lot of players are past their best for the season and could do with a break, the sheer heart in the squad was enough to win the day.
The club would like to thank everyone for their efforts over a long and fruitful season, and we look further to more successes in the coming years.
Extra-time: Killeavy 0-10 Dromintee 0-7 (aet)
Team:Cathal Fearon,Patrick Byrne, Tiernan Connolly, Cathal McNamee, Niall King, Donal O Neill(0-1) ,Jamie Cosgrove, Ciaran O Hanlon(0-1), Michael Murphy(0-1), Adam O’Rourke, Michael Boyle(0-2), Niall Hollywood(0-3, 2F), Niall Cromie, Niall Hannaway, Thomas Hannaway(0-1).
Subs: Chris Mackay, Gary Donaghy(0-1), Mark McGennity.