U16 Division 1 Football Final
Fenagh 4-17 Rathvilly 1-9
By Kieran Murphy
THE dream season for these young sportsmen continues. Many of them had already won under-16 Division 1 hurling championship medals with Ballinkillen and here in Netwatch Cullen Park last Tuesday, a double was completed when Fenagh proved too good for Rathvilly in the Division 1 football decider.
One of the hallmarks of good sides is an ability to hit back when questions are asked of them. Rathvilly worried Fenagh supporters in the opening quarter when they took the game to their rivals.
Even though Mark Foley and Eoin Whelan pointed for Fenagh a mix-up in the Fenagh defence allowed Tadgh Walsh in for an opportunist goal.
While Jack Treacy found Eoin Whelan for a Fenagh goal, the Wicklow-border side created plenty of chances themselves.
The sides were tied at 1-3 each when an exchange of passes put in Rathvilly’s Ryan Collier but Rian Farrell in the Fenagh goal made life difficult for the full-forward and the chance was lost.
That was the cue for Fenagh to up their game and points from Padraig Nolan, Sean Smithers (2) and Treacy put a four-point gap between the sides.
A passing movement which started in their own half yielded a 23rd minute point for Rathvilly’s Kevin Murphy. After that Fenagh went on a scoring spree highlighted by another Eoin Whelan goal with Treacy again involved in the move.
Rathvilly keeper Tom Pilkington saved well from Treacy while just before the break Jack Nolan had the final score of the half for Rathvilly who trailed 2-10 to 1-6 at the break.
Rathvilly exerted a lot of early second-half pressure but had only a Tadgh Walsh point to show for their efforts. Dylan Sheridan was certain he had found the net but to his disappointment, his effort curled just around the right-hand post at the scoreboard end. In contrast Fenagh found the going easier in front of goal and two Sean Smithers points all but settled the outcome.
Mark Foley rose high to collect and off-loaded to David Murphy to score Fenagh’s third goal. With 15 minutes to go the cup was heading to Fenagh. Their rivals tried hard to ease the pressure which Fenagh applied. Cian Leonard, Kevin Murphy, Dara Curran and Tadgh Walsh led the Rathvilly squad well.
A fourth Fenagh goal arrived through Smithers and Treacy kicked over two more points. From a footballing point of view, it was wonderful to watch. Rathvilly might not totally agree. They went to the final whistle with Walsh having the last say with a well-directed free in the concluding seconds.
Fenagh: Rian Farrell; Craig Bermingham, Conor Treacy, Eamonn Normanly; Patrick Kavanagh, James Cummins, Pat Hickey; Jack Treacy (0-4), Sean Smithers (1-6, 0-3 frees); Mark Foley (0-2), Padraig Nolan (0-1), Louis Brennan; Eoin Whelan (2-2), Colin Byrne (0-2, 0-1 free), David Murphy (1-0). Subs: Jack McLoughlin for Hickey (37 mins), Jack Hickey for Murphy (47 mins), Aaron Lennon for Nolan (52 mins), Jack Ryan for Whelan (56 mins), Donnacha Murphy for Normanly (58 mins), Sean Maloney for Kavanagh (58 mins), Brooklyn Dermody, Liam Nolan.
Rathvilly: Tom Pilkington; Patrick Reilly, Conor O’Neill, Paraic Deering; Kyle Lawlor, Cian Leonard, Padraic Byrne; Kevin Murphy (0-2), Padraig Bolger; Pauric Whyte, Kyle Byrne (0-1), Jack Carroll; Jack Nolan (0-3, 0-1 free), Ryan Collier, Tadgh Walsh (1-3, 0-2 frees). Subs: Dara Curran for Carroll (40 mins), Dylan Sheridan for Collier (h/t), Kenneth Bello for Nolan (47 mins), Anthony Kelly