Charlestown took on Kiltimagh in the East Mayo U16 “A” Final Friday evening at a dreary Centre of Excellence in Bekan. Fresh from defeating Ballaghaderren in the semi-final on Tuesday, the green and white were keen to get off to a quick start but what followed was in truth, probably their worst 30 minutes of the season.
The game started off with both teams trading scores. Ruairi Cullen opened up the scoring for the green and white which was quickly followed by a Ciaran Honeyman goal after a high looping effort. The ball zipped from end to end with Kiltimagh adding their own scores midway through the first half, two of which were goals. Cullen pointed again, while Honeyman also bundled another goal over the line to make sure that the Sarsfields stayed in touch despite not setting the world alight. A good move which started with Ben Conway in midfield, who was one of Charlestown’s only performers in the first half; also involved Jack Mahon who played in Ben Crean. The wing forward coolly dispatched the ball low to the corner to ensure that we stayed in contact with Kiltimagh at the break, trailing 3:03 – 3:02. The scoreline flattered the Sarsfields but also showed their ability to stay in games when not performing to their best and but for defenders Darragh Casey and Luke O’Donohue the scoreline could have been far worse.
There was a clear pep in the step of the ‘town upon the resumption as Mahon kicked two fine points within the opening minutes. This was followed by a well taken goal by the midfielder after some good work involving Jack Brennan, Niall Drudy and Martin McCormack. Cullen goaled soon after as the Sarsfields blew their opponents away in the first few minutes after the resumption, now leading 5:04 – 3:04. Kiltimagh to their credit did not throw in the towel and took a couple of tidy scores, one giving goalkeeper Niall Fleming no chance. The third quarter was our most dominant of the game with David Doherty and Marty Beirne tightening things up in the full back line couple me with good decision making from goalkeeper Fleming.
Jack Corley was sprung from the bench midway through the second half and made an immediate impact, as he linked well with Honeyman to set up Crean for another fine score, adding a point to his earlier goal. Mahon then kicked a free and it looked as if Charlestown were going to bulldoze their opponents as the game entered the final 10 minutes. However, Kiltimagh put together another fine move that resulted in a further goal for the blue and white. The game was still in the melting pot at this stage with Charlestown leading 5:06 – 5:04, despite dominating proceedings in the second half. This determined group were not going to relinquish their grip on the trophy however and Darragh Casey marauded forward and kicked a fine score from 35 metres. This was followed by a well worked team goal involving Corley, Mahon and Eoin Goldrick which was in turn finished by Martin McCormack; a fine reward for his unselfish work in the second half. Jack Brennan who worked tirelessly, particularly in the second half also kicked a good point and the game was capped off with Mahon finding the net once more which ensured Charlestown’s name would be on the Vincent Walsh perpetual trophy. Brendan McCormack, Dillon Curry, Micheal Durcan and Tomas Goldrick were added to the fray and all acquitted themselves well. Final score: Charlestown 7:08 – 5:06 Kiltimagh.
Captain Ben Conway accepted the trophy on behalf of the team on what topped off a fantastic season, having won the division 2 County League title against The Neale earlier in the season. The group also competed in the County “A” Championship and were very unlucky not to make the semi-final stages, underlining the undoubted ability in the team. It will be very interesting to see how this team develops over the coming years! Many thanks to the huge crowd of supporters that cheered the lads on to victory and have done so all year.
Team: Niall Fleming; Brendan McCormack, Darragh Casey (0-1), Luke O’Donohue; David Doherty, Niall Drudy, Marty Beirne; Ben Conway, Jack Mahon (2-3); Ben Crean (1-1), Ruairi Cullen (1-2), Jack Brennan (0-1); Ciaran Honeyman (2-0), Martin McCormack (1-0), Eoin Goldrick; Jack Corley, Dillon Curry, Micheal Durcan, Tomas Goldrick, Sean Dunleavy.
Gareth O’Donnell, Ronan Kenny & James Brehany.