Denny Division 1A League Final 2013/14

Denny Division 1A League Final 2013/14

Kerry District League
Sunday 15-06-14
Skeliga FC 1-2 AC Athletic

By Tommy Naughton

AC Athletic have been crowned league champions after they defeated Skeliga FC in the Division 1A League final in Mounthawk Park on Sunday June 15th. Skeliga will feel bitterly disappointed having got through the league campaign undefeated but on the day AC Athletic were just the better side on show and claimed the title. Skeliga know they can perform better but maybe the long lay off without a match took its tool against an AC side who have been playing in cup competitions in recent weeks.

The game was played in glorious sunshine and saw both sides playing some excellent football in the souring heat and it only took 30 seconds for the opening chance of the game when John Mike Dooley saw his header stopped by Ronan McCarthy and cleared of the line by Shane Horgan.

John Mike was again next to threaten the Skeliga goal but McCarthy was alive to the danger and tipped the curling effort around the far post.Skeliga had their first chance in the 9th minute when Sean Cournane got in space on the left wing and picked out Steve Boyle but his header just rose over the crossbar.

AC were beginning to look the more dangerous as they were gaining more and more possession. John Mike Dooley picked out a run by Mark Murphy with a cross field pass but his first time shot was again saved by Ronan McCarthy. On the twenty minute mark Skeliga were to take the lead from the penalty spot after Mark Walshe took down Jimmy Stapleton and Sean Cournane put the spot kick home.

The lead didn’t last long and with in eight minutes it was all level when Joseph Diggins played a through ball passed the Skeliga defence which Mark Murphy ran on to and rolled the ball passed McCarthy for a great finish.

Soon after Jimmy Stapleton found Sean Cournane with a long ball over the top but his attempted flick over the keeper had to much on it as it sailed over the bar. The final chance of the opening half saw Stephen Goggin send a low cross into the box and as McCarthy waited to gather the ball John Mike Dooley got a toe in front of him but the ball bounced wide of the near post.

Within four minutes of the restart the game AC took the lead. Brandon Barrett gave the ball to Joseph Diggings who went through the gap in the Skeliga defence and slotted the ball passed the advancing keeper. Steve Boyle nearly responded straight away but his effort was tipped away for a corner by Paul O’Grady who had to go full stretch to deny the equalizer.

Both teams began to tire in the heat and chances became less frequent. Just after the hour mark Ronan McCarthy made a great save from Brandon Barrett after the ball fell to him inside the penalty area from an Athletic corner.

With ten minutes remaining Skeliga nearly got level when Sean Cournane’s thunder bolt shot from long range swerve and clipped the outside of the post with the Athletic keeper only a spectator. Skeliga were throwing everything forward as time was running out and Steve Boyle again came close but his header was wide of the target.

Skeliga’s final chance came in the 91st minute when from a long free kick down field Sean Cournane managed to put the ball in the back of the net but for the lines man to raise the flag for off side. Moments later the final whistle went to the delight of the AC Athletic team, management and supporters.

Skeliga FC: Ronan McCarthy, Darragh o Sullivan , Jason Stapleton, Barry o Sullivan, Shane Horan, Rory Keating, Johnny Clifford , Steve Boyle, Sean Cournane, Ritchie Taylor, Jimmy Stapleton .

Skeliga Fc

AC Athletic: Paul o Grady, Mark Walshe, Anthony o Carroll , Adam Whyte, Stephen Goggin, Barry Walshe , John Mike Dooley, Mark Murphy, Joseph Diggins, Paul o Carroll , Eamonn Fitzgerald . Subs ; Brandon Barrett for Eamonn Fotzgerald ( 39 mins ) , Shane Leahy for Mark Murphy ( 60 mins ) , Conor Diggins for Stephen Goggin ( 83 mins ) .

AC Athletic

Referee ; Eddie o Mahony
Assistant ; Adrian o Shea
Assistant ; Mike Dempsey

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