Senior Football Championship Group B
Beaten finalists last season Kilrossanty got their 2019 senior football title challenge off to a winning start with a six-point victory over Portlaw.Played at the excellent St Molleran’s ground in front of only a handful of patrons on a bitterly cold evening it was the favoured Kilrossanty men that prevailed despite the difficult conditions.Portlaw had the benefit of the significant breeze in the opening half however it was men in green and gold that had three points on the board inside three minutes from Patrick Whyte, Conor Hayes and Martin Dunne.
Portlaw settled into the game with Captain Luke Woods and DJ Foran beginning to win possession around centre-field against the highly rate partnership of Tommy Prendergast and Martin Dunne. A good run by Foran forced a 45 which Michael Donnelly converted for their opening score after five minutes. Great interplay from Donnelly and the excellent Jordy O’Sullivan in the ninth minute set Kyle Gahan away to goal unopposed from close range (1-1 to 0-3). Joey Veale (2) and Stephen Prendergast (a free) replied with points to put the Lemybrien-based side back in the driving seat. Two excellent points from John Power, one the score of the half from near the sideline with the outside of his right foot, had the sides deadlocked on 1-3 to 0-6 at the break.
The floodlights were engaged for the second half and now with wind assisted Kirossanty took advantage. A Donal Fitzgerald point and a converted free from Stephen Prendergast put last year’s runners-up two points ahead early in the second period. A powerful run by DJ Foran and pass to Jordy O’Sullivan in the 38th minute had the Kilrossanty defence back-peddling.
When O’Sullivan’s march on goal was halted illegally, he quickly and smartly found John Power with the resulting free. Power turned his marker inside out before finishing low to the net for a superb Portlaw goal (2-3 to 0-8).County man Joey Veale settled the Kilrossanty nerves with two fine points to put his side back in front with twenty minutes remaining. While battling well against the elements Portlaw suffered a major blow when they lost their influential full-back Chris Mackey to a second yellow card after 41 minutes.
With numerical advantage and conditions worsening Kilrossanty hit five points in succession to lead 0-15 to 2-3 with just five minutes to play. Mark Morahan in the Portlaw goal had pulled off a fantastic save from substitute Jack Whyte to keep his side in the game. Michael Donnelly also had a goal effort come back off the post before converting a late free to reduce the margin to five points on 57 minutes.The remaining moments became fractious with Kilrossanty’s Conor Hayes and Donal Fitzgerald both receiving red cards for second bookable offences with Barry Prendergast also having to leave the field following a black card from referee Nicky O’Toole. Substitute Jack Whyte became the ninth different scorer for the winners with an injury time point and closing out a six point Kilrossanty victory.