Magpies at the double
Tuesday, 3 December 2013
KILCOO made a little bit of history at the weekend when they completed a senior League and Championship double for the first time.
The Magpies defeated Burren in the Championship Final about a month ago and they beat the St Mary's side again last Wednesday to qualify for Sunday's Final at Pairc Esler against fierce rivals Castlewellan
And when the teams met, Kilcoo were determined to create history and win the double. And although Castlewellan did put it up to them at various stages during the match, one always felt that Kilcoo could ease into another gear if the occasion demanded it. And that's how it panned out.
Manager Jim McCorry was delighted with the way his team played, saying: "It's good to finish the season on a winning note, especially after exiting the Ulster Championship. We created a wee bit of history today by completing the double."
And after all the hard work the club put in during 2013, McCorry was looking forward to putting his feet up as he said: "After the hard season, the players and myself are going to have a nice relaxing time, have a wee rest and see what the new year brings."
The Magpies began like the proverbial house on fire and were five points in front before Shorty Treanor's men reacted. Conor Laverty grabbed the opening scores, one from the right and one from the left. Ryan Johnston added another before free-takers Paul Devlin and Darragh O'Hanlon did the business.
In the opening quarter Castlewellan rarely threatened but on 15 minutes Liam McKibben opened his side's tally on 15 minutes. However, Laverty was back on target on 18 minutes as he hit over a superb point from a tight, tight angle.
Still five points in arrears but Castlewellan showed character to reduce that to just a couple with points from McKibben and two from Fintan McGreevy.
As the half ended Kilcoo added scores from Sean O'Hanlon and Paul Devlin with Castlewellan replying via the excellent Kevin Duffin and McGreevy.
The Magpies began the second half with a Darragh O'Hanlon freekick but the Town battled back and cut the gap to two with Sean Dornan and McGreevy pointing.
At this stage the match was up for grabs but on 48 minutes Kilcoo hit a game-changer. The Champions displayed class in depth with the move of the game. With a series of passes, played at bewildering speed, Kilcoo cut the Town defence to shreds. Aaron Morgan and Niall McEvoy combined to set up Jerome Johnston who read the situation perfectly to fist into the net past a bemused Michael Cunningham.
Still Castlewellan refused to buckle and on 53 minutes they fired home a goal of their own. Liam McKibben lobbed in a long ball with Castlewellan's ace marksman McGreevy rising high to flick into the Kilcoo net.
Two points in arrears with seven minutes left. Would the Town rise to the challenge? Certainly they tried but after referee Kieran Trainor red-carded Castlewellan corner back Barry Travers for an apparent strike and after Ryan Johnston and Darragh O'Hanlon pointed, the game was up for the gritty Town and Kilcoo went on to add the Division One League Cup to their trophy cabinet.
Kilcoo: S Kane, N Branagan, N McEvoy, N Morgan, D O'Hanlon (0-3), S O'Hanlon (0-1), G McEvoy, P Greenan, A Branagan, P Devlin (0-3), R Johnston (0-2), J McClean, J Johnston (1-0), C Laverty (0-3) and G McEvoy with subs: D Branagan and A Morgan.
Castlewellan Town: M Cunningham, B Travers, R McArdle, R Brogan, C Flanagan, K Duffin (0-1), D Morgan, F McGreevy (1-04), P Boyle, A Brogan, D McKibben, L McKibben (0-2), A Burns, S Dornan (0-1) and C Crilly with subs: D McGrady, D Gilmore, M Strattan and R Burns.
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