Benson Cup Final: Castleconnor 3-12 v Coolera 3-9 aet

posted 9 Apr 2012, 16:22 by Unknown user   [ updated 12 Apr 2012, 09:26 ]
What a game ..................... if you were not there you missed it and my words will do it no justice...........all types of emotions but in the end after 90 minutes of pure guts and never say die spirit we emerged victorious against last years senior championships runners up.

The match was in Dromard where the weather changed from hailstone showers to sunshine. 

The Coolera team got off to an absolute flyer, with two points in the first minute from play. This was quickly followed by a goal from an almost impossible angle to put them 1-2 up. From the following kickout they then found the range with a point. This was followed two minutes later with a goal after a free came back from the keeper and post to be punched in for a 2-3 v 0-0 after nine minutes.  The first tackle we actually got on them was in the tenth minute and then things started to change. 

We eventually kept Coolera off the scoreboard but we were not able to get a score either until the twentieth minute when Paul Kilcullen kicked a free in the 20th minute after Niall Judge was fouled. In the 23rd minute Kevin McDonnell drove through the Coolera defence to drive an unstoppable shot to the bottom of the net. Paul Kilcullen with a free and a Kevin Langan point from play in the last minute of injury time left the halftime score at 2-3 v 1-3.

The second half continued with us cutting into the lead and after a defence splitting move Brian Curley was at the end to finish to the Coolera net in the 34th minute. Brian had to go off afterwards as he got injured in the scoring of the goal. Coolera then got their first score in 30 minutes when breaking up the field. We then took a foothold in the game with Kevin Langan scoring four points on the trot two from play and two from frees. At this time the midfield of Michael Langan, Paul Kilcullen and centre back Patrick Naughton were pushing on their younger team mates. For the remainder of the half the game moved back and forth with scores being traded, John McDonnell and Kevin Langan put us 4 points up with injury time approaching. Coolera put in an extra effort and scored a point and with the very last attack managed to scramble  the ball over the goal line to equalise at 2-9 v 3-6. 

Extra time - The teams though both shattered with the testing conditions prepared for 20 mins of extra time. As with the original game Coolera took control early one and scored first from play. This was the result of and excellent point blank save from Anthony Kilcullen. Younger players like Ronan Keane and Martin Foody were driving on with David Carrabine putting his body on the line a number of times. In the last minute of the first half we scored from a Kevin Langan free. to leave the teams all square at the end of the half.

In the first minute of the half we took the lead again through Kevin Langan. Three minutes later we extended the lead to two points. As before the Coolera boys came back and reduced the lead to one point with 2 minutes to go. Going into injury time it was all bodies on deck with Coolera trying hard for another equaliser. This time we learned and an excellent through ball from Niall Judge put Kevin McDonnell through and he finished to the corner of the Coolera net to put us 4 points up in injury time. Coolera again narrowed the gap to 3 but in the third minute of injury time  we had secured the Benson cup.

This was a great team performance with our experienced warriors combining with the young guns throughout the field. Kevin Langan accepted the cup from county chairman Cyril Feehily where he thanked the squad  and management for their efforts so far this year and thanked new sponsor Tony Carrabine. 

Thanks to Mahoneys and Muddy Burns for their hospitality when the team arrived home.

Team: Anthony Kilcullen, Brendan Howley, David Fox, Ronan Keane, Martin Foody, Patrick Naughton, David Carrabine, Michael Langan, Paul Kilcullen (0-2), Alan Cawley, Kevin Langan (0-8), John McDonnell(0-1), Brian Curley(1-0), Kevin McDonnell(2-0), Niall Judge. Subs: Keith Earlis, Stephen Kilgallon, Tomas Cawley

Kevin Langan receiving the Benson Cup from county chairman Cyril Feehily after the teams extra time victory over Coolera. The squad on the day missing some injured lads and Michael McDonnells big new wrist warmer!