Division 1 Relegation Play-Off
Feenagh 1 Rathkeale B 0
A close range finish 3 minutes into this tie from Thomas O’Sullivan was to prove decisive and it ensured our Division 1 status for next season. Rathkeale, with a stiff breeze at their backs, dominated the possession stakes for the remainder of the opening half but there were near misses at both ends of the park. Rathkeale hit the crossbar direct from a corner on 15 minutes and again in open play in stoppage time in the opening period while on 44 minutes a free kick from Ronan Gilbourne found its way to James Dillon at the far post who smashed a shot off the crossbar.
Four minutes into the second half a teasing cross from O’Sullivan found Donal Madigan who shot just over the crossbar. 9 minutes later a phase of pinball in the Feenagh penalty ended with a shot at goal well saved by Dan Gayer. On 20 minutes, some good combination play on the left flank finished with a tempting centre from Luke Ryan into the penalty area that was headed clear by a light blue shirt. Two minutes on, the ever industrious James Dillon soloed past a few challenges but his shot was swallowed up by the Rathkeale keeper. Crucially, we finished the game strongly, and in the final 20 minutes we looked the more likely side to add to the scoreline. Madigan, playing on the shoulder of the last defender, was close to connecting to a few balls over the top. On 37 minutes a searching cross from Damian O’Riordan found Thomas O’Sullivan at the far post but he blasted his effort over the crossbar. Another ball over the top landed at the feet of O’Sullivan who sprinted clear and squared for O’Connell to tap home but he was adjudged to have been offside. We saw out the closing minutes comfortably yet it was still a relief to hear Pat King’s whistle for full time.
A sound defensive display was the cornerstone for this essential victory. Gayer displayed a safe pair of hands throughout particularly on crosses. Billy O’Sullivan was a commanding presence at the centre of defence throughout. Dillon and Hannigan worked tirelessly in the middle third while Ryan and O’Sullivan showed occasional flashes of inspiration in the wide areas. However it was left back O’Riordan who was our top performer on the day. He combined a resolute defensive display with offensive forays whenever the opportunity arose.
The 2016/2017 season proved a difficult season for us after such a promising campaign the previous year. After a particularly disappointing Reidy Cup semi final exit to Creeves Celtic in March, demotion to the third tier of the Desmond League seemed a fait accompli. Our small panel of players therefore deserve a lot of credit for taking 13 points from a possible 18 thereafter which led to this play off tie to secure our Division 1 status for a fourth consecutive season. We also thank PJ Kinsella for his efforts during the season.
Foireann: Dan Gayer, Diarmuid Coleman, Billy O’Sullivan, John Coleman,Damian O’Riordan, Ronan Gilbourne, Luke Ryan, Dáire Hannigan, James Dillon, Thomas O’Sullivan and Donal Madigan. Subs used: John Nix, Ger O’Connell and Timmy Lynch.
For the 2017/2018 season, we will be reverting back to Feenagh at underage level as we feel we have adequate numbers to field sides on our own. It is our intention to field sides at under 6, under 8, under 10, under 12 and under 14 levels.
The numbers drawn in The Village Inn on Thursday May 18 were: 2,11,20 and 26. The jackpot of €18,000 was not won. Lucky dip winners: €40 to Syd Blenkinsop, Highmount, seller McGuinness’s, €30 to Deirdre Fitzgerald , Monagea, seller Donal Madigan, €20 to Mike Sheehy, Feohanagh, seller Kim Geary, €20 to Des Flanagan, Castlemahon, seller Glen Bar and €20 to Mary White, Tuar na Fola, seller Donal Madigan. The next draw takes place in McGuinness’s on Thursday May 25 for a jackpot of €18,000. Tickets on sale in local pubs, shop and promoters. Thanks for your continued support.