County Senior Football Championship Final
The Nire 0-09
The Nire marked a quarter of a century after winning their first Conway Cup by capturing a ninth title at Fraher Field on Sunday evening last in a game witnessed by 2454 patrons, one of the biggest SFC Final gates in recent times.Scores were hard won by in this game as both defences proved hard to break down over the course of the hour.
A number of players on both sides put their bodies on the line in a bid to take home the title and for the right to represent the county in the Munster Championship on Sunday afternoon away to Limerick champions Adare at the Gaelic Grounds.Kilrossanty full back Paul Keating paid a price for his bravery as he was helped off the field after just 15 minutes with what looked to be a serious arm injury, after he brilliantly blocked down Conor Gleeson when a rare goal chance did happen.
Despite losing their full back and rearranging their side placing centre forward Stephen Prendergast, no stranger to playing in such a position, in front of his own goalkeeper the side in green and gold, who brought a huge support to the venue, went to the dressing rooms at the break leading 0-5 to 0-3.Former inter county duel player Shane Walsh, gave his side the lead on five minutes.
However they were finding it difficult get inside or to create further scoring chances in the first half and it was no surprise to see Kilrossanty level matters on twelve minutes through former Moyle Rovers player Martin Dunne.Kilrossanty hit the next two scores to take a deserved lead the first coming from a Paul Whyte free on the quarter of an hour mark and six minutes later with the help of a bounce off the top of the crossbar Tommy Prendergast saw his effort went over the crossbar to put his side two in front.
Shane Ryan responded with a converted free on 22 minutes but points from Paul Whyte, a delightful free taken out of his hands outside the 45-metre line, and Patrick Cunningham put Kilrossanty in control with two minutes of the first half remaining.
But a converted free from Darren Guiry just before the break gave his side plenty of hope as they headed to the dressing rooms.Playing into the town goal, often perceived to be the scoring end at Fraher Field, The Nire were on top throughout the second half.Jamie Barron opened the second half scoring two minutes after the restart and it was followed with an effort from Conor Gleeson six minutes later to lock the sides together on the scoreboard at the end of the third quarter.A brace of points from Darren Guiry, frees in the 46th and 48th eight minutes, the latter which appeared to be harshly awarded against Mark Prendergast, handed the advantage to The Nire and they never gave it up.Shane Ryan converted a free for his side six minutes short of the hour mark to extend his side’s lead but he was immediately withdrawn having picked up what looked to be a hand injury minutes earlier.
Kilrossanty ended a 28 minute spell without a score four minutes short of the hour mark when Paul Whyte put over a free, but Shane Walsh responded with an effort from play at the other end to keep his side a comfortable three points in front.Kilrossanty piled on the pressure in added time in an effort to send this game to a replay on Wednesday evening and Tom Barron was forced to concede a free just outside the area in the first of four added minutes which Paul Whyte calmly sent over the crossbar.Kilrossanty just couldn’t break through the Nire defence , which in the fourth added minute thad Tholom Guiry sent to the line