Minor A C’ship, Round 2

Kilnadeema-Leitrim 2-21 Pádraig Pearses 0-21
Report by Martina Donnellan.

In a high scoring Minor ‘A’ encounter vs Kilnadeema-Leitrim yesterday evening in sun drenched Ballymacward, the old adage of goals win matches proved vital once more. A goal in each half at a crucial time by the visitors was enough to inflict sufficient daylight between the sides to ensure Pearses had a mountain to climb. 

Although Leitrim-Kilnadeema started the scoring spree with their first from play, Pearses started aplomb and hit the next four through Jonah Donnellan, Cillian Fahey (2) and Paddy Kenny to leave Pearses in charge 0-4 to 0-1 on 10mins. The visitors fired over 0-2 from play but Fahey kept Pearses ahead with a fine effort from play after a clean fetch of the puck out. County minor panellist Jack O’Malley fired over 0-2 from play; the pick of them over his left shoulder from an acute angle to draw up proceedings at 0-5 apiece. Orin Burke converted the first of his 0-7 contribution from placed balls after Diarmuid Ryan was fouled before Kilnadeema – Leitrim’s Jack O’Malley scored the first of their crucial goals on 18mins and from there on kept their noses in front. 

They added a free and pointed from play from their lively No.15 to make it 1-7 to 0-6. Cilly Fahey scored his 4th of the evening after a clean fetch, shook off a few tackles before firing over. Pearses had a great chance of a goal after Dara Scarry rounded his man, cut in across the end line and his scooped pass found Paddy Kenny whose mid-air pull was just off target. Then came an onslaught from the visitors as they hit 0-4 on the trot (0-2 from frees) but Pearses responded valiantly with 0-5 on the bounce as two confident attacking teams showed their wares. Orin Burke converted 2 frees & 0-1 from play; Jonah Donnellan & Cilly Fahey also got in on the act to drag it back to 0-2 between the sides at the break. 1-11 to 0-12. 

Within 4mins of the restart Pearses had clawed the lead back to 1 point in their first attack as Fahey, Donnellan & Orin Burke were involved in the act and when Paddy Kenny fired the final effort wide, the ref called play back for a foul on Paddy which Orin calmly took care of to put the minimum between the sides. Then came another blow to Pearses 8mins on the resumption when their No. 19 was dragged down & immediately Kerril Wade signalled a penalty. Although Harry Mitchell’s antics tried to dissuade the taker, he dispatched well just inside the post to raise their second green flag. Cilly Fahey scored a super effort from play in an almost Cian Lynch style effort as he was half genuflecting citing the rosary and simultaneously fired over from near enough to the stand for a wonder score. 

However it was Kilnadeeema- Leitrim who didn’t look back from there as they hit a purple patch culminating another 6 points (0-2 F) by the half way point of the 2nd half as their No. 15 was playing puck. Orin Burke dragged Pearses back into contention with a fine fetch in the air and was chopped down as he throttled forward. He converted the free himself but the visitors responded quickly with a free of their own. Fahey scored Pearses 16th point while it could easily have dipped under than sailed over. Paddy Kenny added another & Orin from play after good work from young Conor Walsh to initially win a 65’. 

Kilnadeema – Leitrim found another gear as they added another 0-2 (1F) as Pearses finished out with 2 more Orin Burke frees, both earned by Fahey & Jonah Donnellan from play. Deep into stoppage time, the visitors scored another from play to win comfortably by 0-6 on a scoreline of Pearses 0-21; Kilnadeema – Leitrin 2-21. 

Nevertheless it was an enjoyable high scoring game with some super scores and long range efforts from both sides. Although young, the backline of James Queeney, Conor Kelly & Conor Hillary were fearless. Diarmuid Ryan, Anthony Feeney & Jack Reilly put in plenty of crunching tackles, Orin & Ronan Hynes gave plenty of timber in midfield. Conor Walsh, Fahey & Donnellan played their part while Scar, Paddy Kenny & young Dillon Roche did what was asked of them in the full forward line. These lads will no doubt be back on the horse for Round 3 as games are coming thick & fast these days. 

Panel: Harry Mitchell, James Queeney, Conor Kelly, Conor Hillary, Diarmuid Ryan, Anthony Feeney, Jack Reilly, Orin Burke, Ronan Hynes, Conor Walsh, Cillian Fahey, Jonah Donnellan, Dara Scarry, Paddy Kenny, Dillon Roche, Keith Kitt, Darren Moran. 

Scorers: Orin Burke 0-9 (0-7F); Cilly Fahey 0-7; Jonah Donnellan 0-3; Paddy Kenny 0-2.