Elphin ease to Minor Division Four title

Abbey Hotel Minor Division Four Championship Final Elphin 2-11 Kilbride 1-2 Elphin enjoyed a comfortable win over Kilbride in Ballyforan on Friday night to take the Abbey Hotel Minor Division Four Championship title. They opened the scoring through Cillian Fox and Kilbride equalised in the eleventh minute, courtesy of a free from Kevin Battles but it was to be their last score until a second free from Battles in the 26th minute. During the quarter-hour in between Elphin dominated the play and scored 1-5; the goal coming in the 14th minute from Aidan Murray, following good work from Cillian Fox, and points from Dylan Shanagher, Joseph Beirne, Aidan Murray and the score of the night from Nessan Lenehan, who’s shot from the outside of the left boot swerved over from about 30 meters. Their solid defence, high work rate and ability to break quickly with accurate kick passing enable them to make good use of space and gave them a number of scoring opportunities throughout the game. The last score of the half came when Kilbride’s Rian Biesty was pulled down when running through on goal. Ciarán Beirne received a Black Card and Biesty stepped up and scored the resulting penalty with an unstoppable shot which hit the underside of the crossbar and the post before finding it’s way to the net. The goal left the half-time score at Elphin 1-6 Kilbride 1-2 and gave supporters the prospect of a real contest in the second half but unfortunately it wasn’t to be. The second half was a scrappy affair with a number of stoppages due to injuries and indiscipline. Elphin continued to attack and Kilbride Keeper Tomás Simpson made a great save after 33 minutes to deny a certain goal. With the score at 1-8 to 1-2 Kilbride’s challenge was made all the more difficult with the dismissal of Sam Neary in the 39th minute, following an off the ball incident, and they were reduced to nine men just four minutes later when Shane O’Hanrahan was sent off for a second yellow card. Following one of the injury stoppages the Kilbride defence was caught napping and a quick ball found Joseph Beirne who sent the ball to the back of the net. Despite the deficit the Kilbride players continued to work hard and create chances, thanks to good runs from Conor Shanagher and Jamie Feerick, however many of the resulting shots were sent into the arms of Aaron Brady in the Elphin goal. Conditions deteriorated with the arrival of rain but Elphin added further points courtesy of Beirne and Lenehan however a hail shower with five minutes to go made conditions extremely difficult and put an end to the scoring. Teams and scorers: Elphin: Aaron Brady; Christopher O’Connor (C),Ciarán Beirne; Dylan Shanagher (0-1), Luke Mollahan; Gavin Higgins, Cormac Beirne; Aidan Murray (1-3), Nessan Lenehan (0-3); Cillian Fox (0-1), Joseph Beirne (1-3) Subs used: Paddy Giblin for Ciarán Beirne; Dima Kelly for Higgins; Gavin Higgins for Shanagher, Daithi Kennedy for Higgins Kilbride: Tomás Simpson; Eabhan Tully, Ryan Murray, Sam Neary, Shane O’Hanrahan; Connor Shanagher; Jamie Feerick; Kevin Battles (0-2, both Frees); Aran Kenny, Rian Beisty (1-0, Pen), Callum Feerick Subs used: Conor O’Dea for Beisty, Brian McDonnell for Battles, Liam La Pina for Kenny, Kevin Carroll for J Feerick
Source: Match Reports