Under 14 League Div 1 Semi-final – Killygarry 5-19, Ballymachugh 4-17 (AET)
Killygarry came out on top in a thrilling game in Killashandra between two very evenly matched teams which required extra time to separate them. Killygarry started the more lively, playing towards the town end but they were very wasteful until Ballymachugh punished them when Shane Tynan got the first point of the game from play. It was the seventh minute before Killygarry got its first score from Ben Mooney and they continued to spurn scoring chances until the eleventh minute when the lively Darragh Lovett found the net. Jack Mooney added another point but sharpshooter Shane Tynan pulled back two points only for Jack Mooney to turn the screw when he found the net to give Killygarry a five-point lead. Ballymachugh must have decided at this stage that it was their turn to dominate. Thomas Kiernan, Jack O’Reilly and Evan Cribbin each added points from play to cut Killygarry’s lead to two points. Jack Mooney stopped the rot with two points from play but Ballymachugh had a head of steam up and Evan Cribbin found the net for them to cut Killygarry’s lead to a point. Darragh Lovett replied with a point but Ballymachugh finished the half strongly, scoring a further 1-3 with Evan Cribbin scoring his second goal. The points came from Shane Tynan (two frees) and Thomas Kiernan to leave the half-time score at 2-5 to 2-9 in favour of Ballymachugh.
Killygarry couldn’t make any inroads into Ballymachugh’s lead in the third quarter. Both sides exchanged points when defender Conor Coyle and Peter Devine scored for Ballymachugh. Kevin Lovett and Ben Mooney got Killygarry’s scores. At the beginning of the final quarter, Ballymachugh found the net again to give themselves a seven-point cushion. Things looked ominous for Killygarry but they didn’t want to be heading to the All-Ireland Féile in Kerry on a losing note. They dug deep and found the perfect response when Darragh Lovett rifled to the net followed by three quick points from Ben Mooney. A few minutes later Patrick Breslin punched over a point on the edge of the square from a long ball to pull Killygarry level. Then Darragh Lovett popped up again with another goal to mark an incredible recovery by the boys in red and black. But Ballymachugh weren’t finished yet! Shane Tynan pointed a free and Jack O’Reilly found the net to put them a point ahead. At the end of an exhilarating final quarter, Killygarry’s Ben Mooney converted a free to send the game into extra time with the score at 4-13 each.
Jack Mooney converted a free at the start of extra time but Shane Tynan matched his score. Tynan converted another free to give Ballymachugh the lead but it would be the last time for them to be ahead. The Mooney twins scored two points each from play to give Killygarry the lead at the interval by 4-18 to 4-15. Ben Mooney hit the post early in the second period but he went one better almost immediately when he scored another goal. Brother Jack followed with a point from the resultant kick-out. Killygarry now lead by seven points. It was too big a mountain for Ballymachugh to climb at this late stage with tired limbs taking their toll. Shane Tynan pulled back two points from play to add to his impressive personal tally of ten points on the night. The final whistle was met with jubiliation by the Killygarry players, mentors and supporters.
Ballymachugh will be disappointed to lose this game but they were a credit to their club with the level of skills their players showed throughout this game in all areas of the field. In fact, the players from both sides gave a wonderful display of football for everyone’s enjoyment. If one was to pick outstanding performers, Ballymachugh’s Shane Tynan gave a wonderful display of scoring from both play and placed balls. Killygarry’s Adam Butt was also impressive in defence, particularly when the chips were down in the final thirty minutes of the game.
Killygarry: Cormac Lynch, Adam Butt, Paul McCabe, Conor McCabe, Cian Reilly, Dylan Mulvany, Dara Brady, Patrick Breslin (0-1), Ben Mooney (1-9, 2f), Mark McDermott, Kevin Lovett (0-1), Jack Mooney (1-7, 1f), Darragh Lovett (3-1), Conor Cusack, Shane McCabe, Gerry Murphy.
Ballymachugh: Declan Goldrick, Niall Briody, Tadgh Larkin, Ben Tierney, Conor Coyle (0-1), Joshua Sheils, Jack O’Reilly (1-2), Evan Cribbin (2-1), Peter Devine (0-1), Shane Tynan (0-10, 7f), Dwayne Mulvey, Thomas Kiernan (0-2), Jamie Masterson.
Referee: Conor Dourneen