Faulkner goals help Kingscourt to victory

ACFL Division 1

Killygarry 2-12

Kingscourt 2-15

The first senior club football of 2020 was played on a glorious day in Killygarry. Players and supporters had waited a long time for and the crowd enjoyed a close contest.

Conor Smith got the home team off the mark with a point but Paddy Galligan had to be fully alert in the early stages to save a couple of very good Kingscourt goal chances.

Kingscourt went ahead with points from John Oates and Barry Reilly before Martin Reilly popped over a ’45. Kingscourt took the lead again with another Barry Reilly free. Both sides had their chances as the game entered the second quarter when three points from play from Conor Smith, Oisín Brady and Darragh Kennedy put Killygarry into a two-point lead.

Kingcourt pulled a point back through Cian Shekleton but then Darragh Kennedy and Conor Smith exchanged a number of passes before Smith rifled he ball to the roof of the net giving the home side a 1-5 to 0-4 lead.

Padraig Faulkner scored a fine point along with a Reilly free for Kingscourt before Martin Reilly converted a free to leave the score at the break Killygarry 1-06(9), Kingscourt 0-06(6).

Martin Reilly started the second half scoring with a point from play. Then a Conor Smith effort hit the crossbar and went over for a point leaving the spectators guessing if he had been trying to lob the keeper for a goal.

This stretched Killygarry’s lead but county man Faulkner pulled Kingscourt back into the game when he plucked a ball out of the air in the square and buried it in the net. Kingscourt narrowed the gap with another point from Oisin Cunningham to leave just one point between the sides.

Paddy Galligan had to be on hand again to stop another Kingscourt goal effort midway through the half. County men Martin Reilly and Faulkner then exchanged points.

On 52 minutes Daniel Walsh robbed a Kingscourt defender on the ’40 before tucking the ball under the advancing goalkeeper to give Killygarry a three-point lead.

Conor Smith punched over another point in the 54th minute but Killygarry critically lost their mojo during the closing period. It started with a lapse of concentration when Barry Reilly popped in a quick free to Faulkner who made no mistake in netting. Kingscourt full-back Paddy Meade added a rallying point to draw the sides level with just a few minutes of normal time left.

Conor Smith pointed as the game entered injury time but Kingscourt heads were up and they hit a purple patch with five unanswered points during injury time from Burke, Cunningham, Reilly (2f) and Micheál Gargan. With Killygarry chasing the game Kingscourt counter-attacked to open space brilliantly.

Killygarry’s only response was a point from Ian Costello. The main difference was that Killygarry didn’t convert their chances in the closing period while Kingscourt did to run out deserving three point winners.

Kingscourt: Darragh McKenna, Cathal McKeon, Paddy Meade(0-1), Killian Farrelly, John Oates(0-1), Noel McIntyre, Kevin Curtis, Padraig Faulkner(2-2), Sean Burke(0-2), Peter Corrigan, Alan Clarke, Shane Duffy, Cian Shekleton(0-1f), Joe Dillon, Barry Reilly(0-5f)

Subs: Micheál Gargan (0-1), Robbie Rowntree, Oisin Cunningham(0-2)

Killygarry: Paddy Galligan, Cian Reilly, Conor Connolly, Padraig Cahill, Oisín Brady (0-1), Daryll McKenna, Daniel Walsh (1-0), Fergal Clarke, Ryan Brady, Martin Reilly (0-4,(1f, 1’45)), Darragh Kennedy (0-1), Danny Talbot, Conor Bates, Conor Smith (1-5), Jack Mooney

Subs: Ross Sheridan, Andy O'Brien, Darragh Gannon, Ian Costello (0-1).