September 8th, 2019

Death, taxes and Gary Arkins lifting a trophy for Gaeil Colmcille. The proficient forward ended the day with 1-03 including a goal where he lobbed the Kilbride keeper to send the Gaeils on their way.

Kilbride went into the game as favourites would have certainly fancied themselves after their unbeaten run in the regular season started the stronger but it was Gaeil Colmcille who would register the first score when midfielder Sean King looped around the back and his effort curled over lovely to set Kells away.

Kilbride then found their rhythm and hit two unanswered points and followed that up with a well worked goal that started with them winning the ball on their own end line. Manager Justin Carry-lynch found his inner Al Pacino and rallied the team and a point from fireman Barry Balfe who instead of using Deep Heat uses WD40 to help his ageing body and a point from midfield supremo Phili Ward drew Kells closer.

Gary McGovern who came dressed in a suit and tie just in case The We Are Meath boys were around looking for another interview grabbed his first score and when Arkins pointed a free the sides were on level terms.

The Kells forwards were pressing the Kilbride kickouts in such force and with great worth ethic from Shane Bennett, Niall Williams and Adam Donnelly the next kickout was turned over and Arkins seen the keeper off his line and looped it over his head to see Gaeil Colmcille go three points clear with 10 minutes remaining in the half.

The goal gave the Kells men a lift all over the field and the backs of Butcher Boy Robbie Fox, Full-Back Liam Byrne and the powerhouse Eanna Ryan were all winning their individual battles and with Jonathan Hogg marshalling the centre-back position with such authority it allowed wing backs Darren Tormay and Jordy Muldoon to Express themselves going forward. All these were commanded by goalkeeper James Flanagan who, after tonight shrugged off the title of (Robbies Brother).

There was time for one more point each before the half with McGovern pointing a free to see Gaeil Colmcille lead 1-08 to 1-05 at the break.

The second half proved to be all one sided with Ward opening scoring for Gaeil Colmcille and early on Balfe got arguably the score of the game when Arkins completely caught the Kilbride back off guard when he actually passed the ball, a cross field was exquisitely caught by Balfe who, when he landed was two yards goal side of his marker and Balfe held his nerve to finish well.

Manager Carry-Lynch rounded the changes and brought on nearly 80 years of experience when Mickey Foley and Niall Flanagan entering the fray and both had huge impacts on the game with Foley getting his hands on a lot of ball and instantly got on the scoreboard with a well hit point. Flanagan followed that up with a point of his own and Kells saw themselves 8 points clear heading into the final quarter of the match.

With Kells on top and en-route to victory more subs was rolled on and the team that finished the match emulated the one that took part in the “Miracle of Ardcath” match and one of those was Joe Flanagan who chipped in with a point, another one of those who took to the field that night was Stephen Quigley who, due to international clearance couldn’t make it home in time for throw-in. As the Gaeils closed out the game credit must be given to the team who, labelled “The nickname team” with the likes of Jammy, Britch, One Eye, Bob, Lumpy, Rooster, Foxy, Sugar, Bubble, Jelly, Magoo, Cuz and Billy Elliot all on show you can see why.

There was still time for the trademark Niall Flanagan dummy solo and when Arkins pointed with his right all the evening was missing was a full moon. In the end referee Patrick Clarke blew for full-time and it was Gaeil Colmcille who would lift the Dillon Cup to complete the A & B League Double for Kells.

Gaeil Colmcille: J Flanagan, R Fox, L Byrne, E Ryan, D Tormay, J Hogg, J Muldoon, S King (0-01), P Ward (0-03), N Williams (0-01), S Bennett, A Donnelly, B Balfe (1-01), G Arkins (1-03), G McGovern (0-02)

Subs: M Foley (0-01), N Flanagan (0-02), J Flanagan (0-01), M Fox, A Tormey, S Mooney.
Photo © Declan Lynch

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