Kill ended Straffan’s brief three year stay in Intermediate Football with a hard fought win over their near neighbours in Raheens last Sunday afternoon, writes Eoin Beatty.
Joe Fox Plant and Tool Hire Intermediate Football Championship Relegation Final
This relegation final, as the scoreline suggests, failed to ignite and never really turned into any major spectacle for the fans, but from a Kill point of view, a win is a win no matter what way it comes.
Straffan were promoted to Intermediate level in 2009 following their narrow 1 point victory over Two Mile House in the Junior A’ Final. However 2012 has proved a different story. Despite a relatively good league campaign, the men in blue and whites’ Championship season never took off and a relegation semi-final defeat to Kilcock condemned them to the dreaded relegation final.
As for Kill, they suffered a marginal loss at the hands of Kilcullen in Sallins two weeks back on a scoreline of 0-11 to 0-10. They came into this years Championship off the back of a poor Division 2 League season and were hoping to put an end to the bad form and did just that.
Despite the sudden downpour that fell over the Raheens pitch prior to throw in, resulting in greasy conditions, Kill raced into an early lead with a point from Shane O’Hagan with a mere 30 seconds on the clock.
Just 5 minutes later O’Hagan had his name on the scoresheet once again, this time firing the ball beneath the crossbar past a hapless Matthew Duggan and into the Straffan net.
It took Straffan themselves all of eight minutes to open their account for the afternoon but it was worth the wait. Full forward Austin Allen, who was quickest to the ball, cut inside from the right hand side and rattled the back of the net.
They only managed one more solitary point before Joe Dooley’s half time whistle, that of which came from the boot of Maurice Hanafin.
It was Kill who would finish out the first period the strongest and Tony Spain who would do all the scoring. Throughout the entirety of the game, Spain had taken seven shots, scoring seven points so his accuracy proved pivotal.
With the scoreline at 1-5 to 1-1 in favour of Kill at the interval, it was important that Straffan were quickest out of the traps in the second half and to their credit, they were. Austin Allen rose higher than any other Kill player on the edge of the six yard box to catch the ball, turn two players and slot past Brian Conroy and give his side a glimmer of hope.
However just five minutes later, Straffan’s chances of pulling off the comeback were heavily dented as wing back Steven Donovan received his second yellow card for a dangerous tackle on Shane O’Hagan reducing his side to 14 men. Tony Spain split the posts with the resulting free.
From then on in, Kill never looked in real danger. They did however have to withstand a late Straffan onslaught but managed to only concede an Austin Allen free kick.
Two more points from the boot of Spain gave Kill a more cushioned advantage and ensured triumph.
Overall, Kill were the better team and on the day deserved to win. Straffan’s cause wasn’t helped without the services of Rob Kelly nor the sending off, but it is they who will have to make-do with Junior A’ Football next season.
Brian Conroy, Jody Gilhooly, Kevin Corrigan, Ronan Kelly, Sam Temple, Ross Brosnan, Robbie Spain, Darragh Challoner, John O’Kelly, Shane O’Hagan (1-1), Kevin Cooney, Jack Healy, Alan Wren, Tony Spain (0-7 4f), David O’Kelly. Subs: John O’Brien for David O’Kelly, Alan Gilger for Alan Wren, Jack Purcell for Jody Gilhooly.
Matthew Duggan, Dean McElwaine, Niall Gaynor, Niall Devane, Steven Donovan, Cian Gaynor, Paul Moran, Domhnall Ashe, Paul Donovan, John Hanafin, Maurice Hanafin (0-1), James Devane, Hugh Breen, Austin Allen (2-2f), Rory Byrne.