Junior Football Championship 2018

Kildimo/Pallaskenry 5-12 Oola 0-5 

Our junior footballers have made it back into a county quarter-final after a comprehensive victory over Oola! It was a very impressive performance with some free-flowing attacking football, as well as plenty of hard work and tenacious defending. Playing with the wind in the first half, we managed to build up a substantial lead by the half-time whistle. Some of our attacking interplay was superb to watch, the movement of Darragh Deegan and Peter Nash inside combined with bursts forward from the likes of Tony McCarthy, Bob McKeogh and Liam O'Sullivan.

Peter Nash was on form and very lively inside and he had an absolute stormer of a first half as his movement inside caused havoc in the Oola backline. But he was also being found by clever ball, and kicked good scores when he got the chance. He also found the back of the net on two occasions, one a great finish across the keeper, the other a smart finish low into the corner. Tony McCarthy's forays from centre-back were also coming up trumps and he finished two very well-worked moves in the first half. Mossy Sheehan was also on the scoresheet, interchanging passes and popping over a score inside. Darragh Deegan was also causing mayhem with his pace and power, and he kicked a couple of good scores.

But it wasn't just good attacking play, we kept them to just a single point in the first half and that came through hard work. The likes of Barry Walsh and Shaun Barry won great turnovers, Keel Moloney and Bob McKeogh were well on top in the midfield third, while Lorcan O'Leary covered a huge amount of ground! Kevin O'Connell and Evan Carroll were as tenacious as ever in the full-back line. But we could have had other goals in the first half, Liam O'Sullivan was denied twice, once by a brilliant save by the goalkeeper low to his right, then he smashed a shot off the crossbar. A '45 from one of these chances was cleverly played short by Shaun Barry to Peter Nash, who converted with ease. Shaun almost had a goal too after a stray ball was intercepted: with the keeper advancing, Shaun went for the audacious lob but his shot ended up going over the bar for a point. We led at half-time: Kildimo/Pallaskenry 2-8 Oola 0-1.

We knew Oola would come out fighting and they did enjoy a lot of possession in the second half but we repelled them excellently. Stephen Hodnett was a powerful figure at full-back, ably assisted by Kevin and Evan who also burst forward on occasion. Tony McCarthy and Lorcan O'Leary seemed to be everywhere while Mossy Sheehan and Conor Staff were launching many attacks. Keel Moloney in particular was an absolute powerhouse in midfield, tackling hard as always but bursting through tackles with the ball.

And if Peter Nash was the man with the golden touch in the first half, it was definitely Darragh Deegan in the second half as he bagged a second half hat-trick of goals. They were typical finishes, dispatched with aplomb past the goalkeeper. We added points also, Tony and Peter getting on the scoresheet and after Liam O'Sullivan was tackled high as he went through on goal, Peter popped over a close-range free, our only score from a placed ball in the entire game. Late on, James Pomeroy set up Darragh Deegan who saw a deflected effort go over the bar before he rounded things off with his third goal to seal the hat-trick.

All in all, it was a very good performance and now we're back in a quarter-final, determined to make amends for last year. Thanks to those who came out to support the lads, it was a long way to come late on a Tuesday evening, we do appreciate it! I'd especially like to thank those players who travelled long distances from Dublin/Galway etc to play in the game and have to go to work/college in the morning. Your commitment to the cause is greatly appreciated, and integral in getting the win, so thanks again! But well done to all the panel & management on a fine win!!

Team: John Chawke; Evan Carroll, Stephen Hodnett, Kevin O'Connell; Mossy Sheehan (0-1), Tony McCarthy (0-3), Barry Walsh; Keel Moloney, Bob McKeogh; Liam O'Sullivan, Shaun Barry (0-1), Conor Staff; Darragh Deegan (3-2), Lorcan O'Leary, Peter Nash (2-5, 0-1 free)

Subs: Micheal Keating for Shaun Barry (39 mins), James Pomeroy for Liam O'Sullivan (44 mins), Kieran Bourke for Conor Staff (52 mins)