Mickey Boyle goal secures Premiership for Killeavy

May 1, 2017

Carnbane Premier League

Cleary Celtic  0  Killeavy United  1

Killeavy United are the 2016 -17 Carnbane Premier league champions. At Willie Davis Park before a bumper crowd, with cars lining the roads to Mayobridge and into Ballyholland, as the two League favorites to lift the Premier Crown flexed their muscles. It was the game of the day, possibly the game of the season, Killeavy went into the game needing a point to secure the title, Celtic needing to win to bring on a play-off.

This was never going to be a football game for the purist, there was just too much at stake for that scenario, mistakes had to be kept down to the minimum, a goal would decide the champions, or a play off, it was as simple as that.

Cleary, in many ways, went into this game as slight favorites, Mid-Ulster Shield winners a couple of weeks ago, but they needed to be at their very best to realize that.

Admittedly there was very little between the sides, twelve wins  each,   but a  win over Villa Rovers midweek shot the South Armagh side into the  position they were in going into this game.

In the opening period, Killeavy possibly shaded the exchanges, Anthony O’Hare with one on one with Stephen Havern should have done better,  then Kieran Duffy getting down the inside left channel beat Havern with a flick only for  Paul Donergan to clear off the line. Celtic also had opportunity, Andrew Woodward had to be  alert to knee a ball out for a corner kick,   0-0  at the break all to play for.

The second half was tight and tough, still the break through for Cleary wasn’t forthcoming, but as time drew to a minimum, they started, mistakes started to  ripple through the Killeavy defence  to get a few  men forward.

Midway through the half came the talking point a big Killeavy call for a penalty kick, Kieran Duffy chasing a long ball through themiddle, goalkeeper Stephen Havern  came off his line, grabbed the ball, it bobbled out of his hands as he crashed into the Killeavy striker, the ball falling for  Anthony O’Hare who hammered it off a defender out for  a corner-kick, which was over ruled by referee Peter Cunningham who instead awarded  a free out to the ‘keeper, a big call indeed.

Then it all happened, deep into time-added on, 90-3 minutes nearer to the point, Anthony O’Hare broke down the right side, slipped a couple of tackles worked his way to the bye-line and with the most delicate of  chips [ not the fish and chips one]  he lofted the ball over  Paul McElroy, Paul Donergan and Stephen Havern who struck off a despairing hand, and could only agonisinly watch as Michael  Boyle, scorer of the only goal  on Tuesday night in the  last minutes against Villa Rovers,  arrived in the six yard box late, stooped low to  head into a now vacant net, 1-0 Killeavy United. Cleary now needed to score twice to save the title, which they were never going to do.

It was all celebrations afterwards as Killeavy United enjoyed the moment, and when the final whistle sounded, you had ecstasy and dejection within the two different camps as they took in what was achieved in those last minutes of time added on.  Cleary Celtic are still waiting for the Premiership title that has eluded them since in 1994, Killeavy have now won the title 3 times since then. Just how cruel is football.

Champions Killeavy United Line-out: Andrew Woodward, Jason Long, Darren McConville, Raymond Taggart, Karl O’Hare, Paddy Mooney, Barry Magee, David Reel, Ciaran Duffy, Anthony O’Hare, Michael Boyle-

Killeavy Substitutes- Mark Stanfield, Paddy Morgan, Shea Gregory, Niall Quinn, Darren O’Hanlon.

Cleary Celtic line-out: Stephen Havern, Fergal Lavery, Shay McAllister, Paul McElroy, Paul Donergan. Owen Donaghy, Robert Quinn, James McParland, Stephen McDermott,  Mark Cahill, Karl Shields,

Cleary Celtic substitutes: Danny Cushnan, Adam Higgins, Stephen Quinn, Caolan Gray, Conor Hanna.

Referee Peter Cunningham.