Arles-Killeen 2-15 Clonaslee St Mamman’s Gaels 1-8
Laois Shopping Centre SFC Relegation Semi-Final
Arles-Killeen have preserved their senior status for another year after defeating Clonaslee-St Manman’s Gaels in O’Moore Park this afternoon.
Killeen led by 11 points at one stage in the second half and while the Gaels rallied somewhat after that, they never threatened to catch the eventual winners who restored that margin before the end.
As to be expected in a relegation semi final, this one was tense in the beginning with both teams guilty of routinely squandering possession and kicking poor wides.
The first score of the game came after two minutes via Sean O’Shea and we had to wait another ten for the second score which was delivered by Jason Enright for Killeen.
Glen McEvoy replied with Clonaslee’s opening point from a free but Paul Kingston restored Killeen’s two point lead at the midpoint of the half.
Donie Brennan soon opened his account but two in a row for Clonaslee, via McEvoy and Ger Dunne made it a one point game after 19 minutes.
But it was from here that things went badly wrong for Clonaslee. Willie Murray’s sideline ball deep inside his own half went horribly wrong. Dermot Julian intercepted it, played the ball to Donie Brennan who got around Conor Gorman via a one-two to score the game’s opening goal.
Donie Brennan then adds a point with Donie Kingston kicking another to extend the lead.
Elliott Scully replied for Clonaslee but Donie Brennan took his tally to 1-3 to end the first half with Killeen leading 1-8 to 0-4.
Clonaslee needed a good start to the second half but instead Killeen put the game to bed as Donie Kingston carved their defence apart and curled the ball into the bottom corner of the net.
Killian Horgan kicked Clonaslee’s fifth point but Killeen pushed 11 clear after 40 minutes thanks to Donie Kingston and Sean O’Shea.
Clonaslee were given a glimmer of hope after 42 minutes when John Scully was pulled down in the area by Shane Julian. He received a black card and Clonaslee keeper Conor Gorman beat his opposite number Mick Leigh from the spot.
Damien McCaul and John Scully then sent over points to leave six in it as we entered the final quarter.
Donie Brennan stemmed the tide with a much needed point for Killeen and that was followed by another from substitute Brendan O’Shea.
Clonaslee kept going with a Killian Horgan point and then almost had a goal when Glen McEvoy set up Ryan Kilroe but his effort ended up in the side-netting.
And the game fizzled out from here. Donie Brennan took his tally to 1-5, Paul Kingston kicked another and Jason Enright finished things off to leave 11 in it at the finish.
So Killeen will be senior in 2019 while Clonaslee-St Manman’s Gaels will have one more opportunity to save themselves when they face the losers of The Heath and Ballyfin Gaels in three weeks time.
SCORERS – Arles-Killeen: Donie Brennan 1-5, Paul Kingston 0-2, Donie Kingston 1-3, Sean O’Shea 0-2, Jason Enright 0-2, Brendan O’Shea 0-1 Clonaslee St Mamman’s Gaels: Glen McEvoy 0-2 (one free), Conor Gorman (1-0, 1-0 pen) Ger Dunne 0-1, Elliott Scully 0-1, Killian Horgan 0-2 (one free), Damien McCaul 0-1
ARLES-KILLEEN: Mick Leigh; Niall O’Rourke, James Mahon, Brian Kennedy; Conor Keightley, John Mahon, Joe Mulhare; Donie Kingston, Shane Julian; Enda O’Rourke, Dermot Julian, Paul Kingston; Jason Enright, Sean O’Shea, Donie Brennan. Subs: Evan McDonald for Kennedy (38m, inj), Brendan O’Shea for S Julian (43m, black card), Paul McDonald for N O’Rourke (56m, inj)
CLONASLEE ST MAMMAN’S GAELS: Conor Gorman; Willie Murray, Ger Reilly, Diarmuid Conroy; Ger Dunne, Willie Young, Liam Senior; Seamus Rosney, John Scully; John Rigney, Glen McEvoy, Niall Hogan; Paddy Hyland, Killian Horgan, Elliott Scully. Subs: Damien McCaul for Dunne and Michael Hyland for Murray (both ht), Ryan Kilroe for Scully (42m), Fergal Scully for Rosney (50m), Sean Dunne for McEvoy (59m)
Referee: Brendan McCann (Portarlington)