A last gasp point from St Laurences’ veteran, Liam Miley ensured his side ran out marginal winners in the Reserve C Championship Final in Kilcullen last Saturday, writes Eoin Beatty.
Senior Reserve C Football Championship Final
St Laurence’s: 1-12
Miley, a former Kildare player, sent the ball sailing over the black spot with virtually the last kick of the game not only to bring the Cup back to Laurences but also on a personal note, to win his first ever championship medal.
This game was a closely fought encounter and was hard to choose a winner the whole way through as neither side managed to break away.
Larries opened the scoring on the 2 minute mark with a 45’ from Jason McHugh but that was soon cancelled out by Alan Barrett who had the chance of a goal but opted to take his point.
Liam Miley then added three more points for Laurences all from play before Sarsfields midfielder Dean Domican broke through the opposing defence to loop the ball over Steven Hickey in the Larries goals to level the game for the third time.
It was inevitable that by the time the half time whistle went there would be little to choose between the two sides and they entered the break on a scoreline of 1-3 to 6 points.
The second half livened up dramatically compared to the first as both teams went for the win, they threw men forward and it was attack after attack.
Liam Miley got the first score of the half as he fisted over Eddie O’Dwyer’s long ball in to nudge his side into the lead but such had been the case many times in the opening half an hour, it was soon level, this time coming from a free from the boot of John Walsh.
Sarsfields then opted to make a change in personnel as Dean Harvey replaced Brian Donoghue and the switch certainly paid off as Harvey racked up two points in quick succession to give his side the lead for only the second time in the game.
With only 15 minutes to go, it looked as though the tide was turning in Sarsfields’ favour. But just as their opposition had done, Larries made some changes, this time a double substitution, bringing on Chris Fenner and Robyn Lawlor respectively.
It wasn’t long until Fenner made an impact as he outpaced his marker to slot the ball over the bar before Lawlor was quickest to react to Tom Mulreid’s rebounded effort to fumble the ball into the empty net despite the crowded penalty area.
Sarsfields, who now found themselves behind seemed to be sparked into life somewhat by their opponents’ electric response and hit back with 4 points unanswered from Steven Usher, John Walsh (2) and Dave Dineen.
This restored parity for the very last time in the game before Liam Miley picked the ball up on the Sarsfields 45 yard line, evading 3 challenges, to shoot against the wind and land and excellent point, sending the Larries fans into raptures.
There was one more chance for Sarsfields to force this game into extra time but the Laurences defence stood firm to clear their lines and ensure that the Cup would be making its way to the south of the county.
Steven Hickey, Mark Byrne, James McHugh, Derek O’Toole, Ross Hickey, Aaron Flood, David Byrne, Paul Waters, Eddie O’Dwyer, Tom Mulreid (0-2), Richie Whelan, Jason McHugh (0-4 2f), Richie Corcoran, Ronan Skeehan, Liam Miley (0-5). Subs: Robyn Lawlor (1-0) for Ronan Skeehan, Chris Fenner (0-1) for Richie Whelan.
Keith Hedderman, Tom Sex, Peadar Flanagan, Brian Donoghue, Steven Usher (0-2), Dave Dineen (0-1), Cian Sweeney, Dean Domican (1-0), Mick Beagan, Alan Barrett (0-1), Ricky Deegan, Brian Smith (0-2 1f), John Walsh (0-3 2f), Mick Dunne, Killian Smith. Sub: Dean Harvey (0-2) for Brian Donoghue.