Arles Killeen 1-10
Arles Kilcruise 0-11
By Denis J. Croke
GIVEN the rivalry between these two close neighbours, this game was seen as the pick of the second round, but it never really lived up to expectations. While there was never more than a few points separating the sides, there was distinct lack of championship atmosphere about the encounter.
In some way Arles Killeen’s tactics contributed to this. Already this season they have shown that there are well capable of playing keep ball, and did so against Kilcruise on Saturday in O’Moore Park. While this might not be the most attractive type of play for spectators, it matters little to Joe Higgins and his team as it has proven successful for them to date.
The early exchanges were shared with Donie Kingston converting two frees, Chris Conway replying for Kilcruise also from a placed ball.
But in the sixth minute Killeen took a firm grip on affairs. When Paul Kingston cut through three challenges before finding the net. Sean O’Shea added a point for Killeen but they could not shake off a resilient Kilcruise.
Francis Egan landed a superb point which was cancelled out by a Donie Kingston free. And Kilcruise were right back in the game when Chris Conway (free), Kevin Meaney with a long range effort and Ross Munnelly (free) each raised white flags to leave just two between the sides with 23 minutes gone.
Donie Brennan got Killeen back on track with their first point in 17 minutes but a brace from Ross Munnelly cut the deficit to the minimum by half time.
Kilcruise came out determined and within four minutes of the restart after David Conway (free) and Ross Munnelly hit two points.
But that lead lasted just 30 seconds after Paul Kingston found the target. Both sides were to kick wides before Killeen took the initiative with a brace of Donie Kingston frees.
But again Kilcruise battled back, this time frees from Ross Munnelly, a super effort, and another Chris Conway had the sides together again after 51 minutes. But amazingly they were not to score again.
Instead it was Killeen who finished the stronger. Paul Kingston landed what looked like being the point of the game from 35 metres out wide on the left. But that honour went to Brendan O’Shea who dissected the uprights from 25 metres out under the terraces.
Kilcruise did battle to the very end and won two 45s but which were delivered into the danger area in the hope that someone might get a goal, but it never came.
Killeen are now into the quarter-finals while Kilcruise face a third round pouting against the winner of the Stradbally v Portarlington replay.
ARLES KILLEEN: Michael Leigh; James Mahon, Joe Mulhare, Niall O’Rourke; Alan Ryan, Dermot Julian, John Mahon; Donal Kingston (0-5f), Shane Julian; Sean O’Shea (0-1), Enda O’Rourke, Brendan O’Shea (0-1); Paul Kingston (1-2), Donal Brennan (0-1), Brian McDonald.
Subs: Enda McDonald for S. Julian (41m, black card), Conor Keightley for Brennan (53m), Brian Kennedy for S. O’Shea (60m, black card)
ARLES KILCRUISE: Jimmy McDonald; Caomhan Brennan, Patrick Conway, Ciaran Lawlor; Mikey Wall, Colm Munnelly, Jason McLoughlin; Alan McLoughlin, Kevin Meaney (0-1); Dermot Nolan, Ross Munnelly (0-5, 1f), J.P. Conway, Francis Egan (0-1), Chris Conway (0-3f), David Conway (0-1f).
Subs: Brendan Conway for J.P. Conway (54m)
Referee: Eddie Kinsella (Courtwood)