Arles Kilcruise 1-11
St Joseph’s 1-10
By Denis J. Croke
HAVING played second fiddle for much of the game, Arles Kilcruise looked on their way to defeat in O’Moore Park on Thursday. But the men in maroon are a dogged outfit, never beaten, and so it proved once again.
In the opening half they were not able to cope with St Joseph’s pace and movement and went in at the break trailing by five points. Whatever was said in the dressing room worked as they re-emerged in a far more positive frame of mind and played with far more urgency.
They ate into the Saints’ lead, who contributed to their own downfall by their wastefulness, but it looked like their efforts would be to no avail until Francis Egan struck with the winning goal in the 64th minute.
By the tenth minute St Joseph’s had a four point lead, Dan Dunne, Adam Campion, Dylan Doyle and Matthew Campion on target.
Arles Kilcruise looked to be struggling, affected by the loss of Ross Munnelly who missed the game due to an injury. They got off the mark with points form Kevin Meaney and David Campion which were duly cancelled out by Matthew Campion and James Doyle.
The trend followed as Dermot Nolan and Chris Conway swapped points with James Kelly and Dan Dunne, while Egan’s 27th minute left Kilcruise trailing by three with 27 minutes played.
In the blink of an eye that was doubled. Kevin Campion won possession in the middle of the field and sent a perfect pass into James Kelly. The Laois minor star, steadied himself and sent a fabulous shot to the top corner.
A Chris Conway fee on the pip of half time left St Joseph’s leading 1-8 to 0-6 at the interval.
Things were not looking good for |Kilcruise but they came out guns blazing and quickly struck for points through David Conway and Egan. Dan Dunne settle St Joseph’s nerves with a well struck free in the 37th minute, but amazingly they were not to score for another 15 minutes.
In this period Kilcruise dominated the game but were finding it hard to get the scores they so badly needed. David Conway, despite being dragged out of, landed a great point. Egan further narrowed the gap from a free while JP Conway landed a massive point from 30 metres out close to the sideline.
And so with ten minutes remaining just a point separated the sides. Another Doyle free doubled the gap two minutes later.
The clock was ticking down and while both sides had their share of possession neither could seem to find the score they so desperately wanted.
And when it was announced there was to be five minutes of added time the supporters nerves were on end. Just when it seemed the Saints would hang on, Meaney delivered a great pass into Egan, who gathered, turned and sent a pile driver past Daniel Nelligan.
The result were jubilant scenes form the maroon clad gang which cpontinued when the final whistle sounded shortly after.
ARLES KILCRUISE: Jimmy McDonald; Caomhan Brennan, Patrick Conway, Anthony McElroy; John P Conway (0-1), Michael Wall, Colm Munnelly; Dermot Nolan (0-1), Kevin Meaney (0-1); Alan McLoughlin, Chris Conway (0-2f), Ciaran Lawlor; Jason McLoughlin, Francis Egan (1-3, 0-1f), David Conway (0-3).
Subs: Brendan Conway for J McLoughlin (43m), Mark Wall for P Conway (53m), David Lawlor for C Lawlor (54m), J McLoughlin for McElroy (62m)
ST JOSEPH’S: Daniel Nelligan; Adam Campion (0-1), Tom Dunne, Cian Maher; Danny Hickey, Donal Ramsbottom, Liam Kealy; Kevin Campion, Ian Donnelly; Matthew Campion (0-2, 0-1), Dylan Doyle (0-2f), Dan Dunne (0-3, 0-2f, 0-1 ’45’); James Doyle (0-1), Michael Keogh, James Kelly (1-1).
Subs: Colin Campion for M Campion (h/t), M Campion for Dunne (54m, inj), Murtagh Condron for Doyle (62m), D Dunne for Maher (66m)
Referee: Maurice Deegan (Stradbally)