Arles-Killeen 0-15 Killeshin 1-17
Laois Senior Football Championship
Killeshin got the better of Arles-Killeen after extra time to keep their Laois SFC hopes alive in 2021 after a dramatic encounter on Saturday night.
A strong second half of extra time eventually got them over the line but there were plenty of talking points here, with the game ending in a mass brawl involving players and supporters. It was a shocking end to what had been a poor game overall, as Killeshin salvaged their season while Killeen are in danger of relegation.
Arles-Killeen made the brighter start of the two sides, with Donie Kingston curling over an early free after he had been fouled trying to cut in from the left wing.
Killeshin almost made the perfect response as they broke forward and worked the ball to Evan Lowry in the penalty area, but his effort cannoned off the crossbar. Luckily for Killeshin the rebound was picked up by Michael Doran who managed to salvage a score from the attack, as he popped it over the bar.
Killeen responded well to that scare by rattling off three points in a row as Donie Brennan (free), Sean O’Shea and Donie Kingston (from play this time) all hit the target to push them three ahead by the 11th minute, although Killeshin would be level by the water break.
They were finding scores a little harder to come by but Arles-Killeen helped them out by having an Eoin Lowry free brought forward for dissent, allowing the Laois attacker to slot it over from 14 yards.
Wing-back James Davis then landed a superb point from the right wing and then, just before the water break, goalkeeper Killian Roche curled over an excellent long-range free.
Both teams traded points around the 20 minute mark through Donie Kingston and Eoin Lowry before Killeshin took the lead for the first time. It was Ross Bolger who landed that score and they quickly doubled it, when Adam Deering hit a peach of a score from 35 yards out.
Arles-Killeen then mixed the good with the bad, the good coming as Donie Brennan won a free which Donie Kingston pointed. The bad came when Billy O’Loughlin picked up two yellow cards in three minutes to be sent off, leaving his side to play over half the game with 14 men.
As often happens, the team at a disadvantage responded better and Arles-Killeen hit the best two points, both from the boot of Donie Brennan, to take the lead approaching half time.
To Killeshin’s credit though they managed to draw level on the stroke of half-time as Eoin Lowry’s free sent the sides in tied at 0-8 to 0-8.
The opening stages of the second half saw Arles-Killeen on top and it was thanks to the accuracy of Donie Kingston that they took advantage, as he hit three frees on the trot to put them in the driving seat.
Killeshin took a while to get going but Eoin Lowry finally jolted them awake with a brilliant point from the left win in the 39th minute. Adam Deering then made a soaring catch from the kickout to set Michael Doran up for another, and they had reduced the gap to one in less than a minute.
Arles-Killeen hit back with a point from Paul Kingston, a lovely score off his left after Donie Brennan picked him out from a 45. On the stroke of the second water break, however, a lovely move from Killeshin saw sub Paddy Doyle blast over from 20 yards to leave just one in it heading into the final quarter, 0-12 to 0-11.
Donie Kingston’s free on the restart pushed Killeen two clear again but Killeshin finally showed the urgency the situation required after that. David Aston curled over a wonderful free from the left wing and Adam Deering and Eoin Lowry hit the target from play to see them edge into the lead.
The Killeen response was swift as Donie Kingston pointed from play off his left, levelling the scores at 0-14 each and setting the scene for a tense finale.
Both sides tried to fashion chances, the closest being a David Aston free that went narrowly wide, but the game ended level, forcing extra time.
That meant Killeen could go back to 15 players and they went ahead too, Donie Kingston winning a free and slotting it over from 14 yards. That would be only score in the opening period of extra time, leaving Arles 0-15 to 0-14 ahead at the changeover.
The drama kept coming after that, as Killeshin drew level with a wonderful point from play by their goalkeeper Killian Roche, who landed a super score from long range. He then came forward to curl over a free and put them ahead.
Ross Bolger made it a two point lead and then with time almost up David Aston scored a wonderful goal, but sadly there would be further talking points to come.
Shane Julian was shown a straight red card for striking after Aston’s goal and then, on the final whistle, a mass brawl broke out with supporters and players getting involved. A disappointing end to a poor game, Killeshin now remain in contention as Arles-Killeen edge towards relegation.
SCORERS – Arles-Killeen: Donie Kingston 0-10 (0-8 frees), Donie Brennan 0-3 (0-2 frees), Paul Kingston 0-1, Sean O’Shea 0-1. Killeshin: Eoin Lowry 0-5 (0-2 frees), David Aston 1-1 (0-1 free), Killian Roche 0-3 (0-2 frees), Michael Doran 0-2, Adam Deering 0-2, Ross Bolger 0-2, Paddy Doyle 0-1, James Davis 0-1.
ARLES-KILLEEN: Ciaran Bizzell; Dermot Julian, James Mahon, Niall O’Rourke; Michael Wall, Enda O’Rourke, Conor Keightley; Donie Kingston, John Mahon; Donie Brennan, Sean O’Shea, Billy O’Loughlin; Shane Julian, Paul Kingston, Colin Dunne. Subs: Shane Julian for Dunne (56 mins), Cathal Moran O’brien for Sean O’Shea (64 mins)
KILLESHIN: Killian Roche; David McDermott, Mark McDermott, Brendan McDonald; Jeremy Mahon, Conor Heffernan, James Davis; Adam O’Connor, Luke Attride; Ross Bolger, Adam Deering, Evan Lowry; Arnie Mahon, Michael Doran, Eoin Lowry. Subs: Simon Attride for McDonald (28 mins), David Aston for L Attride (34 mins), Paddy Doyle for Bolger (40 mins), Cathal Byrne for Doyle (49 mins, inj), Evan Galligan for M McDermott (59 mins), Ross Bolger for Deering (64 mins), Gavin Deering for Davis (68 mins, inj)
Referee: John Flynn (The Rock)
SEE ALSO –