Friday, November 10, 2017

Eire Og players and fans celebrate their win over Rathvilly.
Photo: Thomas Nolan Photography.

ÉIRE Óg are the senior football champions for 2017. In Netwatch Cullen Park on Sunday their 2-8 to 1-8 replay victory over Rathvilly was more comprehensive than the score line suggests.A goal in each half from Eoghan Ruth and Jordan Morrissey was the difference between the sides. Only at the end with the finishing line in sight did the eventual champions lose their composure slightly but by that stage they had done enough to ensure victory. Going into the last quarter Éire Óg led by 2-7 to 0-6 and looked all over winners. Rathvilly, down to fourteen players because of the straight red-card dismissal to Alan Kelly, made a late effort to save the game but despite five minutes injury time had left themselves with too much to do. Who knows what might have happened if Robbie Moore hadn’t got his hand to JJ Smith’s 55th minute penalty. Rathvilly’s only goal came with the last kick of the game when Gary Dempsey converted another penalty. Winning manager, Joe Murphy, admitted his side owed a lot to their goalkeeper. “As things panned out Robbie Moore’s save was massive on the first penalty,” he said. “Maybe our focus went a little early. Maybe lads were looking up to the stand a little early which you wouldn’t be happy about. “Experience brings that. We will be high-lighting that again. The game is never over until it’s over.”At the final whistle there was no sign of Murphy as he maintained a low-key presence. “I left it with the players and their families. At that stage my job was done. It was nice to sit down and relax for a few minutes with my own thoughts,” he confessed. A serial winner in an Éire Óg jersey Murphy has now managed both Old Leighlin and Éire Óg to senior championship success. Long after the final whistle had blown he was still coming to terms with what Éire Óg had done on Sunday.“I would rather be a player. It is nerve-wracking on the sideline and it is out of your hands as soon as the ball is thrown in.” Meanwhile Kilbride were coming to terms with what many considered to be a “bizarre” development of events which saw six players and one of their water-bottle carriers sent off in their 2-10 to 1-8 Leinster intermediate club championship defeat to Louth champions, O’Connell’s in Castlebellingham on Saturday. The home side lost two players in the first half with the entire Kilbride contingent making their exit in the second period. Carlow senior football manager, Turlough O’Brien, was at the game. “I would say four of the cards were justified. The two blacks were deserved and two of the reds but the rest were ridiculous. They were way over the top. It was not a bloodbath or anything like it,” he said. O’Brien has never been afraid to voice his opinions and he had a lot of sympathy for Kilbride. “I just thought some of the decisions were bizarre. I know referees have a hard job. The conditions were poor but some of the decisions were ridiculous.”In the curtain raiser to the senior final on Sunday Palatine lifted the junior hurling championship title when a first half goal from Jamie Kenny saw them beat Erin’s Own by 1-10 to 0-7.

 

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