U17 Div 1 Champ Final 2021 – Killygarry 2-15(21), Knockbride 1-08(11)
Congratulations to our gallant Minor team who won the Club’s first ever Division 1 Minor title on Sunday last in Kingspan Breffni. It’s a fantastic achievement for this team which has never been intimidated when playing at the top level at all grades. In fairness to Knockbride, the final score was not a true reflection of how close this game was for most of the hour. The first quarter was a very even affair although our lads took their chances much more clinically. Cian Keaney got the first two points before Knockbride got off the mark. Darragh Lovett opened his account and then Darragh Noonan thundered an effort off the crossbar for a point after a strong run from the wing. Shane McCabe and Darragh Lovett kept the scoreboard ticking over but Knockbride added two more points to leave us leading 6-3 at the water break. Ciaran Sheridan, Kevin Lovett and Nik Serga were keeping things very tight at the back in that first quarter.
Darragh Lovett and Cian Keaney took advantage of Knockbride mistakes to score two quick points on the resumption to stretch our lead. Knockbride came more into the game but solid defending from Cosgrove, Glynn, Moran and Oyeleye kept them at bay. The rest of the second quarter was a scrappy affair until the closing stages. Jamie McDonald had ventured forward effectively and on one occasion set up Shane McCabe for a fine point as the game entered first half injury time. Knockbride pulled a point back but then came the move which tilted the contest in our favour. Cian Keaney was fouled from a line ball. Shane McCabe surveyed his options and lobbed the free into Darragh Lovett on the edge of the square. He saw the goalie advancing and cleverly punched it over his head into the net. The halftime score was Killygarry 1-09(12), Knockbride 0-04(4).
Jamie McDonald had an early rasper well-saved by the goalie but we also failed to capitalise on other scoring chances in the early stages of the third quarter. Knockbride took heart from this and were good value for the two points and a goal that they scored with less than ten minutes gone. Now there was only three points between the sides. Cian Keaney broke the Knockbride momentum with a well-taken point. Then we had to replace goalie Oscar Brady due to an injury. Knockbride continued to snap at our heels and pulled another point back before the water break to leave just three points between the sides.
It was a sluggish third quarter for Killygarry but Darragh Lovett scored a fine point on the resumption to keep us on track. Darragh Noonan stretched the lead with another punched effort after battling his way in from the wing. Knockbride had plenty of possession but Cosgrove, Lovett, Murphy and Co. kept shutting the door. Neil Reilly was also mopping up plenty of ball and probing for that scoring pass. Darragh Noonan showed great bravery to win a ball in midfield which set up another vital point from Darragh Lovett. Dean McNamara was also putting in a good shift breaking up Knockbride moves since he came on as a substitute. Cian Keaney converted another free after Darragh Noonan was fouled. Knockbride pulled a point back but our lads seemed to have weathered the storm. Darragh Lovett replied with a point from a mark as the game entered injury time. Knockbride’s spirited efforts weren’t reaping rewards and the icing on the cake was Darragh Lovett’s mazy run from the ’40 evading tackles and sliding the ball to the net.
This title is a great achievement in the Club’s history and these lads must be very proud of what they’ve done. Well done to each and everyone in the 24-man squad. It was proud moment for Darragh Lovett when he stepped onto the podium to receive the trophy from club stalwart John T. Gilsenan and deliver his victory speech. Darragh was also presented with the Man of the Match award for his performance in the final. Frank, Austin and Neil can also be very proud of their achievement in managing the team. They’ve spent countless hours as GAA volunteers coaching and managing these lads through all age levels since their days in our Killykickers academy.
Killygarry: Oscar Brady; Dylan Glynn, Gabriel Cosgrove, Jamie McDonald; Ciaran Sheridan, Nik Serga, Gerry Murphy; Cillian Moran, Daniel Oyeleye; Cian Keaney (0-05, 2f), Shane McCabe (0-02), Dean McNamara, Neil Reilly, Darragh Noonan (0-02), Darragh Lovett (2-06, 1f), Kevin Lovett, Callum Kelly, Sean Beirne, Ciaran Carty, Jude McManus, Kevin White, Conor Gilsenan, Darragh Carty, Charlie Fallon.