On Friday 24th June Killygarry U14 boys made the long trip to Listowel in Kerry for the anxiously awaited Féile tournament. 23 players, 3 mentors and 1 mascot (Frankie Lovett Jnr.) left the Killygarry grounds at 7.45AM to start their journey. They arrived in Listowel at 1.00PM and were given the warmest of welcomes by Breda McVeigh and their host club Listowel Emmets. They fed the squad and the travelling parents who followed to support the team. The first fixture of the weekend would take place 45 minutes away in the grounds of Knocknagoshel at 5.45PM
Friday Game 1 v Padraig Pearses (Roscommon)
This game got off to a flying start with both teams attacking on goal like it was their last game in the competition. The Killygarry backs worked tirelessly to try and keep the opposition out and not concede any goals. The forwards were showing well and the ball winners inside were winning everything they got. The sandy underfoot conditions were difficult to get used to and Killygarry went in at the break trailing 1-1 to 2-4. After a brief rest the 2nd half kicked off and Killygarry again pushed forward. Jack Mooney was on fire as every ball he got, he seemed to find a way towards goal. Killygarry brought the scores back to 1 point but a few errors let Pierse attack and punish us on the break ,
The game finished Killygarry 2-2, Padraig Pearses 2-7.
Killygarry Scores – Jack Mooney 2-2
Game 2 v Brosna ( Kerry )
Killygarry knew now that anything less than a victory would eliminate their chances of advancing to the cup. From the off they started to hunt down every ball and create anything that they could in order to get a score. From the goalkeeper up the effort was immense. Adam Butt and Paul McCabe showed pure grit and determination in the defence, blocking balls and chasing so-called lost causes. Paddy (“The Beast”) Breslin was catching everything in midfield and pumping the ball into the forwards. Mark McDermott, Kevin Lovett and James Gannon were collecting all the breaking balls and turning poor positions into scoring ones. The inside men of Darragh Lovett and Jack Mooney were the men doing the damage. They won all balls and either scored or laid off to the incoming men. Ben Mooney worked as a third midfielder and covered every blade of grass from the full back line to corner forward and also clocked up 2 points in the process. Conor McCabe, Conor Cusack & Dylan Mulvany all did man-marking jobs to prevent any scores while Cian Reilly kept an eye on the whole proceedings eliminating any counter attacks. Our subs on the night, Gerry Murphy, Banjo Komolafe, James Reilly, Shane McCabe and Aaron McGovern all made vital inputs to the game. Killygarry ran out winners by 2 points.
Killygarry 2-6 Brosna 2-4
Killygarry Scores – Jack Mooney 1-2, Darragh Lovett 1-1, Ben Mooney 0-2, Mark McDermott 0-1
Saturday Game 3 v Listowel Emmets (Kerry)
Killygarry’s last game in the group stages was another must-win game because the winner would qualify for the cup. From the outset Killygarry were always on target. Their attitude and determination showed. A few team changes saw Paddy Reilly man the goals with Gerry Murphy and Shane McCabe starting. Just like Friday evening, Killygarry chased everything from the start. Their backs in particular pushed the opposition out while the BEAST Breslin dominated in the middle along with his partner Dara Brady to win every kickout. Ben Mooney again played as a third midfielder. He carried the ball from the defence to the forward line, covering the ground like a greyhound. The forwards won possession and scored when required. Killygarry ran out winners by 6 points. There was a mighty sigh of relief as Killygarry progressed to the cup quarter-final. At this stage, every man of the 23-man squad had got playing time which showed strength in depth. Paddy Breslin had received the nickname “The Beast” from the locals. They also nicknamed Paul McCabe “The Bull” for their pure strength and determination. This, however doesn’t take away from every other player on the field who wore the red and black jerseys with pride and will to win.
Killygarry 1-8, Listowel Emmets 1-2
Killygarry Scores – Jack Mooney 1-4, Darragh Lovett 0-2, Ben Mooney 0-2
Quarter Final v Kiltoghert (Leitrim)
This fixture was played at Cordal and Killygarry was now into the knock-out phase of the competition. They were determined to progress in the competition so that they would be playing in the final stages on Sunday. Killygarry were straight out of the traps and hit the net through Jack Mooney. The backs again held the opposition to the bare minimum, only conceding 1-1 in the first half. Killygarry’s other first half scores came from Kevin Lovett, Ben Mooney and Darragh Lovett. The half time score was 3-2 to 1-1. The second half started and Killygarry introduced more men from the bench who all played an important part. They eventually ran out winners by 11 points. Cian Reilly had a brilliant game in the centre half position .
Killygarry 6-6 Kiltoghert 3-4
Killygarry Scores – Jack Mooney 2-1, Paddy Breslin 1-0, Kevin Lovett 1-0, Ben Mooney 1-3, Darragh Lovett 1-1, Mark McDermott 0-1
Sunday Semi-final v Grangemockler (Tipperary)
After playing football for two days, Killygarry were in top form. The tired legs and travel times had passed and the lads were ready for another test. Upon seeing a huge team from Tipperary enter the field Killygarry had fire in their eyes to gain victory here. A perfect start was the key to this game and Killygarry provided this with a goal from the ever impressive Jack Mooney. His speed and ball control was brilliant and none of the teams could control this. Again the back of Paul McCabe, Conor McCabe, Mikey McCabe, Adam Butt and Gerry Murphy were at the front line to stop any attack on the goal of Cormac Lynch. Cormac’s kickouts were finding the correct men at all times and his shot stopping was excellent. The link from defence to attack was again marshalled brilliantly by Cian Reilly. Dara Brady and “The Beast” Breslin held their own while upfront Kevin Lovett, Mark Mc Dermott and James Gannon all played superb football. Inside Shane McCabe, Darragh Lovett and Jack Mooney were a thorn in the defence’s side. Killygarry led 3-4 to 1-0 at the break. Killygarry emptied the bench again – Alex Brady, Aaron McGovern, Conor Cusack, Banjo Komalfe and Paddy Reilly all made vital inputs to a most impressive win. Killygarry ran out winners by 8 points
Killygarry 4-5, Grangemockler 2-3
Killygarry Scores – Jack Mooney 1-3, Kevin Lovett 1-1, Mickey McCabe 1-0, Ben Mooney 1-0, Darragh Lovett 0-1
Final v Ardfert (Kerry)
This was the game everyone was waiting for. On a wet greasy pitch Killygarry prepared to face the biggest test of the competition so far. They faced a local team with huge support. Just before the throw-in there were cheers and roars as the Killygarry girls arrived after their All-Ireland victory earlier in the afternoon. It lifted the Killygarry lads another gear and from the start they attacked to put the game away from the Kerry men. Killygarry had the advantage of a slight breeze but this made things even harder to judge. Excellent defence work again by the backs allowed the forwards to thrive on the good quality ball been sent in to them. Early scores were again the key and the inside men of Darragh Lovett and Jack Mooney converted the scores. The Kerry team started to get more physical around the pitch with a few rash challenges on the Killygarry players. Dara Brady, Paddy Breslin, Paul McCabe and Conor McCabe were not going to let this happen and started using their physical strength to tighten up the team. Half time came and Killygarry led 2-3 to 1-0. Against the wind in the second half, Killygarry had to hold the ball until the correct option was on. Cian Reilly played a sweeper role again and did this to perfection as the Killygarry backs kept the Kerrymen at bay. Ben Mooney carried the ball from defence to the forward line again to relieve the pressure and hope for a few scores. Kevin Lovett slotted over to give some breathing space, With an additional 5 minutes played the Red & Black men held out for a 5 point victory. This was the success they had travelled for. They made history for Killygarry in Kerry when the Mooney twins lifted the All-Ireland Cup. A super effort from all the players made this dream come true.
Killygarry 2-6, Ardfert 2-1
Killygarry Scores – Jack Mooney 1-2, Darragh Lovett 1-0, Ben Mooney 0-3, Kevin Lovett 0-1
Féile Squad who all played for the winning team – Cormac Lynch, Paddy Reilly, Dylan Mulvany, Paul McCabe, Conor Cusack, Gerry Murphy, Conor McCabe, Cian Reilly, Adam Butt, Dara Brady, Paddy Breslin, Ben Mooney, Mark McDermott, Kevin Lovett, James Gannon, Shane McCabe, Aaron McGovern, Alex Brady, Mickey McCabe, Banjo Komolafe, James Reilly, Jack Mooney, Darragh Lovett