ATHY 1-11 MOOREFIELD 0-12
By Ger McNally at St. Conleth’s Park
Report from official GAA.ie website
Danny O’Keefe climbed off the bench to become the Athy hero as his 54th minute goal proved crucial as Athy overcame Moorefield today in Newbridge to lift their first Kildare Senior Football title since 2011.
It had seemed that Athy’s hopes had suffered a major blow when their star forward Niall Kelly limped out of the game at a time when Moorefield were coming on strongly but it was his replacement O’Keefe who came up with the game’s big moment.
O’Keefe was sent clear by a clever flick from James Eaton and held his nerve to score the most important goal of his life.
It was a story of goal chances because although Athy were the better side overall and deserving winners by the end, Moorefield will look back with regret over three missed goal chances. Liam Callaghan shot wide from a great position in the first half, Ciaran Kelly struck a post in the second from a similar as where O’Keefe scored from and then Eanna O’Connor was denied by an excellent save from James Roycroft.
All those chances came before Athy fashioned their first chance of a goal but when their moment arrived, O’Keefe finished with aplomb and once back in the lead they never it go.
Athy had started the game brilliantly and with the wind at their backs scored the first four points of the game inside the opening 11 minutes but gradually as the half wore on, they missed chances to go further and Moorefield found a way back into the game.
Athy led 0-6 to 0-3 at half time but by the time of the second half water break, Moorefield were back level at 0-8 each.
It seemed the game was shaping up as Moorefield would have liked and it looked like they were kicking for home when Eanna O’Connor put them ahead for the first time at 0-9 to 0-8 in the 51st minute and then again at 0-10 to 0-9 in the 53rd minute.
But the O’Keefe goal came at the most opportune moment for Athy and they were able to protect their lead in the latter stages, Moorefield’s cause not helped by a second yellow card shown to Cian O’Connor, to seal a memorable win for the club.
Scorers for Athy: Danny O’Keeffe 1-1 Niall Kelly 0-3 (1f), Liam McGovern 0-2 (2f), James Eaton 0-2 (1f, 1M), Kevin Feely 0-1, Kieran Farrell 0-1, Barry Kelly 0-1
Scorers for Moorefield: Eanna O’Connor 0-5 (2f), Adam Tyrrell 0-2, Sean Dempsey 0-1, Aaron Masterson 0-1, Cian O’Connor 0-1, Niall Hurley-Lynch 0-1, Mark McDermott 0-1,
ATHY: James Roycroft; Mark Hyland, Sean Ronan, Darren Lawler; Brian Maher, Mick Foley, David Hyland; Kevin Feely, Paschal Connell; Liam McGovern, Tony Gibbons, Barry Kelly; John Moran, James Eaton, Niall Kelly. Subs: Kieran Farrell for Moran (40), Danny O’Keeffe for N Kelly (42), Paul Whelan for Maher (50), Cian Reynolds for Gibbons (50), David McGovern for B Kelly (65)
MOOREFIELD: Tom Kinsella; Liam Callaghan, Liam Healy, Sean Dempsey; Ian Meehan, Mark Dempsey, Anthony Durney; Aaron Masterson, Kevin Murnaghan; Cian O’Connor, Adam Tyrrell, Ryan Houlihan; Eanna O’Connor, Jason Philips, Ciaran Kelly. Subs: Niall Hurley Lynch for Kelly (40) Mark McDermott for Philips (45), Daire Dunne for Callaghan (57), Ryan Moore for Meehan (59)
Ref: Niall Colgan.
Report from official GAA.ie website: