Home Gaelic Football Club Football Munnelly on form as Arles-Kilcruise clinch survival and plunge Crettyard in relegation...

Munnelly on form as Arles-Kilcruise clinch survival and plunge Crettyard in relegation peril

Ross Munnelly
Ross Munnelly

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Arles-Kilcruise 2-16 Crettyard 2-12
Laois Shopping Centre SFC Relegation Semi-Final

Arles-Kilcruise are safe for another season as Ross Munnelly inspired them to a victory over Crettyard in O’Moore Park this evening.

Kilcruise led by eight points at one stage in the second half but Crettyard refused to give up and two Evan O’Carroll goals had them just one point behind with five minutes to play.

However, Kilcruise were awarded a late penalty and Ross Munnelly converted it to ensure they will play senior again in 2020.

As for Crettyard, they will have one more opportunity to save themselves from relegation when they face the losers of Stradbally and The Heath in three weeks time.

The opening ten minutes of the encounter was close with Ross Munnelly and Evan O’Carroll both cancelling each other out twice – and although Kilcruise got the next two points via Munnelly and David Conway, Cormac Murphy had the gap back to one before Kilcruise began to pull away.

Right on the midpoint of the half, a Ciaran Lawlor kick-out broke to David Conway and he charged forward before laying the ball off to Ross Munnelly who delightfully popped it over the head of advancing keeper Eoin O’Shea.

Kevin Meaney and David Conway added further points and Kilcruise led 1-6 to 0-3 after 20 minutes.

The gap remained six until half time as the sides traded points from there until the conclusion.

Ross Munnelly, Chris Conway, Caomhan Brennan and David Conway found the target for Kilcruise while O’Carroll, Cristoir Maher, Cormac Murphy and Mark Lyons did likewise to leave the score at 1-10 to 0-7 at the break.

Munnelly and Cormac Murphy exchanged scores on the resumption but Munnelly and David Conway moved Kilcruise eight clear.

Crettyard needed a goal and they moved Evan O’Carroll in full forward to get one – which he did after 40 minutes when he robbed John P Conway of possession and delicately slipped the ball into the top corner with his left foot.

Caomhann Brennan hit back but Evan O’Carroll’s first point from play left the score at 1-14 to 1-9 as we entered the final quarter.

Kilcruise then had a chance to kill the game when Ross Munnelly picked out Chris Conway in front of the Crettyard goal but his shot was excellently saved by Eoin O’Shea.

Evan O’Carroll landed a free and then the gap was back to one with ten minutes to play. Cristoir Maher’s floated ball picked out Evan O’Carroll who swiveled and smashed it into the net.

Kilcruise were rattled but a Chris Conway free gave them some breathing space and the gap was still two points after 55 minutes as O’Carroll and David Conway traded scores.

But then Kilcruise were awarded a penalty when referee Maurice Deegan adjudged Ross Munnelly to have been fouled while trying to fist the ball over the bar.

Munnelly took it and although keeper Eoin O’Shea got a hand to it, he couldn’t keep it out of the corner of the net.

Crettyard needed another goal but the best they could muster was an O’Carroll point as they fell to a four point loss.

SCORERS – Arles-Kilcruise: Ross Munnelly 2-6 (1-0 pen, one free), David Conway 0-5, Chris Conway 0-2 (two frees), Kevin Meaney 0-1, Caomhan Brennan 0-2 Crettyard: Evan O’Carroll 2-7 (three frees), Cormac Murphy 0-3, Cristoir Maher 0-1, Mark Lyons 0-1

ARLES-KILCRUISE: Ciaran Lawlor; Sean Meaney, Colm Munnelly, Padge Conway; Cialann Mulhall, John P Conway, Conall Brennan; Stephen Miller, Kevin Meaney; PJ Lawlor, David Conway, Francis Egan; Ross Munnelly, Caomhan Brennan, Chris Conway. Subs: Kevin O’Neill for S Meaney (18, inj), Jason McLoughlin for P Conway (28, inj), Liam Whelan for Brennan (59), Dylan Waters for C Conway (62)

CRETTYARD: Eoin O’Shea; Niall Purcell, Jason Dunne, Sean O’Shea; Conor Mulhall, Cormac Phelan, Ciaran Hosey; Patrick O’Reilly, Evan O’Carroll; Cormac Murphy, Philly Brennan, Conor Barry; Mark Lyons, Patrick Brennan, Cristoir Maher Subs: Michael Jordan for C Mulhall (18, inj), Shaun O’Reilly for Barry (38), Seamus Dowling for Lyons (59)

Referee: Maurice Deegan (Stradbally)

SEE ALSO – Sadness in Portlaoise at passing of local business woman Mary-Emma Fergus

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.