Its a cliché as old as football itself but goals winÓgames and they certainly did for Kiltubrid last Saturday afternoon as their more clinical finishing deservedly gave them victory over Aughawillan in the GWP Junior B Championship Semi-Final in Aughnasheelin.
With the opening minutes played in torrential conditions that nobody should be subjected to, it is a wonder that the game went ahead but when it did, both teams served up an entertaining hour despite the difficult conditions.

Great credit is due to the Aughnasheelin club for the wonderful condition of their pitch as few other venues would have stood up as well to the conditions which saw sheets of driving rain assault the pitch just minutes ahead of the throw-in.

Aughawillan must be wondering exactly how they let this one get away as the dominated the first half and looked vastly superior but without ever making it really tell on the scoreboard.

Kiltubrid were having difficulty getting out of their own half, with full-back Barry McKiernan and centre-back David McCormack holding them together.

But when Kiltubrid did finally score, they changed the course of the game with a goal after a penalty was first saved. Within another two minutes, the ball was again nestling in the back of the Aughawillan net and that was that.

Kiltubrid were hugely buoyed by the two scores against the run of play and lifted their performance considerably while a shell-shocked Aughawillan were unable to reproduce the verve and style of their opening salvos.

Kiltubrid’s Paul McGirl took the Scóring honours as his knack of being in the right place at the right time saw him plunder three goals over the hour.

Aughawillan started brightly and two Peter Prior points, both from frees, in the first seven minutes gave them a solid opening despite misses from Prior (2) and RyanÓgavin.

Aughawillan also saw their keeper Ciaran McTague make a good save to deny Paul McGirl a goal but, 18 minutes into the game, the course of the contest took a major turn when a ball broke in the Aughawillan parallelogram.

Whether the ball was picked off the ground or a sliding tackle came in is hard to tell in the difficult conditions but referee Jimmy Stenson had no hesitation in awarding a penalty and booking corner-back Patrick Prior for dissent.

Conor Doherty’s shot was well saved by McTague but Paul McGirl rushed in to force the rebound home ahead of teammate Paddy Whitlow for a dramatic first score for Kiltubrid.

If Aughawillan were stunned to see their lead wiped out, it got worse for them two minutes later when a long range shot from Aidan McKiernan dipped at the last moment and ended up in the back of the net.

Keelan McKeon emphasised Kiltubrid’s new dominance with a monster 50-yard free but Aughawillan’s efforts to get back into contention were thwarted whenÓgerard Conlon’s shot cannoned off the post and was cleared.

RyanÓgavin scored a great point from a tight angle on 26 minutes but Paul McGirl scored a nice point on the turn two minutes later.

Aughawillan had the last word in the half when Sean Flanagan’s fine point left the halftime score at 2-2 to 0-4 in favour of Kiltubrid.

Aughawillan again started best in the second half but three missed chances were emphasised when StephenÓguckian fired over a sixth minute quick free.

Aughawillan, who introduced Gerry Flanagan and Jerome Quinn at halftime, took a double blow when Mickey Quinn was forced out of the game through injury and then Paul McGirl dribbled the ball soccer-style through the defence and round the keeper for an easy seventh minute goal.

Gary Maxwell pulled back a point for Aughawillan who were denied a goal thanks to a fine Adrian Lee save from Conlon on ten minutes. Peter Prior and Conor Doherty swapped points before Kiltubrid killed off the game after 19 minutes with their fourth goal.

Keelan McKeon did all the heavy work, soloing through the Aughawillan defence before presenting Paul McGirl with an easy finish. Conor Doherty added a point for the winners with a late Sean Prior the only remaining score of the game for Aughawillan.

Kiltubrid

Adrian Lee, RonanÓgeoghegan, Barry McKiernan, Neil Slevin, EamonÓgeoghegan, David McCormack, Michael McGirl, Richie Mahon, StephenÓguckian, Aidan McKiernan (1-0), Conor Doherty (0-2), Paddy Whitlow, Keelan McKeon (0-1), Paul McGirl (3-1), Gavin Kelly. Subs: Anthony Tighe for Kelly (38 mins), Michael Scollan for Slevin (39 mins), Alan McGovern & Michael Geoghegan for McGirl & Whitlow (45 mins), Brendan Meehan for Guckian (50 mins).

Aughawillan

Ciaran McTague, Patrick Prior, Olly Plunkett, Barry McBrien, Declan McGovern, Kevin McTague, Sean Prior (0-1), Mickey Quinn, Sean Flanagan (0-1), Niall Doonan, Gerard Conlon, Damien McGovern, Gary Maxwell (0-1), RyanÓgavin (0-1), Peter Prior (0-3). Subs: Gerry Flanagan & Jerome Quinn for S. Prior & D. McGovern (HT), John Prior for M. Quinn (36 mins).

Referee: Jimmy Stenson.

 

This full report is available thanks to John Connolly and Leitrim Observer
– its available in this weeks edition of the Observer

 

 

14-Nov-08 by Leitrim Observer.ie