Darragh Keaveney of Kilmeena celebrates scoring a point during the AIB GAA Football All-Ireland Junior Club Championship Final match between Gneeveguilla, Kerry, and Kilmeena, Mayo at Croke Park in Dublin.
Darragh Keaveney of Kilmeena celebrates scoring a point during the AIB GAA Football All-Ireland Junior Club Championship Final match between Gneeveguilla, Kerry, and Kilmeena, Mayo at Croke Park in Dublin. 

AIB Club JFC Final: Kilmeena edge out Gneeveguilla

AIB All-Ireland Club JFC Final


By Colm Gannon in Croke Park

After being pegged back right at the death in normal time Kilmeena dogged it out in extra time to claim the All Ireland Junior title.

Second half of extra time points from Joey Smyth and Darragh Keaveny saw them home against a stubborn Gneeveguilla side who refused to go away. After being locked level at 0-8 to 1-5 at the end of normal time, the sides were still level at the end of the first half of extra time, but in the final ten minutes the Mayo men found the extra gear they needed to see themselves home.

Padraig Doyle rattled the back of the net a minute into injury time to send this All Ireland junior final to extra time. Doyle made no mistake after being played in by John O’Leary after Kilmeena coughed up the ball as they tried to play it out from their own defence and see out the game.

The Mayo men looked like they had done enough to win this after Nellie Duffy had put them three points clear three minutes from the end of normal time - but the Kerry men kept plugging away and trying to create a goal chance.

They had a few goes at it in the final few minutes before Doyle’s goal, with Kilmeena looking like they had survived but the Gneeveguilla men wouldn’t say die.

Gneeveguilla led by a single point at the break - but Kilmeena were the dominate force in the second half, but failed to convert a number of chances that came their way,

Darragh Keaveney levelled the game up at four points each just after the start of the second half and five minutes later Sean Ryder fisted the ball over the bar to edge them in front. John O’Leary levelled it up for the Kerry men on 41 minutes from a free, with their last score until Doyle’s goal at the death.

Keaveney pushed Kilmeena in front from a free and then Joey Smyth put them two clear with a nice score as they began to dominate the game. But they failed to make it count on the scoreboard, with Duffy’s point three minutes from the end of time looking that it would see them home, but there was still plenty of drama to unfold.

The Kerry champions led by a single point at the end of an engaging first half, where both sides attacked each other at every opportunity, but both sides forwards found it difficult to deal with the swirling breeze.

Conor Herlihy looked to have broken through for a goal chance right from the throw-in, but opted to go for a point and his effort tailed wide on the breeze. Kilmeena hit the front a few seconds later when Darragh Keaveney got in on the end of a flowing move to raise the white flag.

It didn’t take Gneeveguilla long to level it up with Shane O’Sullivan pointing a mark from under the Hogan Stand three minutes in.

Both sides missed a number of chances before the next score arrived going to the Mayo side with John McGlynn pointing after being played in by Niall Feehan on the burst. Sean O’Keefe levelled it up 14 minutes in thanks to Sean O’Keefe who finished off a nice move involving Pa Warren and Michael Murphy.

Cornelius Buckley pushed the Munster men into the lead again from a free after Warren was fouled cutting in from the Cusack Stand side of the field.

After missing two frees from his hands Darragh Keaveney pointed his second of the day from the deck in front of the posts 25 minutes in.

The play leading up to that score saw Jack Carney break through the heart of the defence only to be hauled down by Conor Herlihy who was shown a black card for the foul.

Carney broke through in a similar fashion three minutes later, but pulled his effort wide of the far post. Despite being a man down the Kerry champions had the final say on the half with John O’Leary getting their fourth point, two minutes into injury time to give his side a slender lead at the break.

Scorers for Kilmeena: (0-6, 4f), J Smyth (0-2), S Ryder (0-1), J McGlynn (0-1), N Duffy (0-1)

Scores for Gneeveguilla: P Doyle (1-0), J O’Leary (0-2, 1f), S O’Sullivan (0-1, 1m), C Buckley (0-1), P Warren (0-1), S O’Keefe (0-1)

KILMEENA: P Groden; C McGlynn, J Keane, J Ryan; N Feehan, S Staunton, R O’Donnell; J Carney, N Duffy; K Joyce, S Ryder, C Madden; J McGlynn, N Ryan, D Keaveney. Subs:P Keane for C McGlynn (26), J Smyth for N Ryan (36), K Sheridan for R O’Donnell (52), S Moore for N Duffy (65), C McGlynn for S Staunton (69), T Gill for J McGlynn (70),

GNEEVEGUILLA: P O’Riordan; E Fitzgerald, P O’Connor, P Brosnan; M Murphy, D Brosnan, P Warren; P O’Leary, R Collins; P Doyle, C Herlihy, S O’Keefe; J O’Leary, S O’Sullivan, C Buckley. Subs: D Cronin for M Murphy (30), J Cremin for C Buckley (37), S Crowley for P O’Leary (47), Paudie O’Leary for S O’Keefe (54), C O’Connor for P P’Connor (54), M Murphy for R Collins (60), S O’Keefe for M Murphy (70),P O’Leary for P Brosnan(77)