Charleville win the league but loads of positives for the blues.

Charleville win the league but loads of positives for the blues.

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Charleville win the league but loads of positives for the blues.

June 22, 2022

Killavullen and Charleville played out a tactical and pulsating game of football in the final of the Cavanagh’s of Fermoy Avondhu Division 1 football league last night in Buttevant in a game that was delayed by 10 minutes, while a deep rut, in one of the goalmouths was filled in. It was a bit like a council job thereafter with 10 people looking on, and only one man with the shovel, doing the actual work but that is a tad unfair on the maligned council.

When the game got underway, Charleville were dominant around the middle of the field where their fine size, age and athleticism came to the fore. They scored the opening point in the 2nd minute and then, Brian Cotter somehow raced across the goals to prevent Danny O Flynn palming the ball into the open net, after the Charleville forwards undid our backs with a neat exchange of passes. Charleville scored next in the 5th minute and again in the 8th, and using a boxing parlance, we were on the ropes. That lead was pushed out to four points from a free in the 13th minute, but trying resolutely to gather a foothold in the game; we gained more composure around the middle of the field and minded the ball better. We got our opening score in the 15th minute when Padraig Looney gathered an excellent inside mark, and coolly slotted over the resultant difficult kick. We got another reprieve at the other end, when Charleville were unlucky to see a shot of theirs cannon back off the post, and into a Killavullen players hands. At this juncture, the game was as good a game as has been played in North Cork in a while, both sides probing both sides of the field, drawing players around the ground, seeking openings. We got a point from a free from Jamie Magner in the 22nd minutes, a free that he won himself, and the Charleville opponent may have seen black, on another day, with the high neck challenge. When the resultant kick out was coughed up by Charleville, under pressure from a swarming Killavullen pack of players, Eoin Buckley stripped the ball from the Charleville player, fed Jamie who offloaded to Padraig and overn the bar. Charleville replied in the 26th minute with a beauty of a point, Killavullen read guard structure was in place, but the halfback from Charleville, kicked from distance and that is one way to overcome a blanket defence. Padraig scored another point from a free in the 28th minute after impressive work from Eddie Cotter and Joe Cagney. The game flip flopped entirely in the 29th minute, when the Killavullen forwards ran hard at Charleville, offloading quickly before they came into contact, isolated Padraig whose goal bound shot was stopped but Jamie was loitering with intent, and nonchalantly pivoted and slotted into the net. Charleville got a point back in the 30th minute, from a free, and the teams left the field at the short whistle on the same score. 0-07 to 1-04.

On the resumption Killavullen scored the opening point and it was a beauty, when Cian O Connor,  cut inside his man, with a side step that would not be out of place in ballet, and slotted over the bar. Impressive score, from a player who has used this league campaign to impress on several occasions.  We went two points up with another hard earned free from Padraig Looney. At the other end, James in our goals, bravely blocked at the feet of an incoming Charleville attacker. Darragh O Grady was introduced for Billy Norris in the 12th minute and was immediately up to speed with the game. Charleville got a contested free in the 13th minute, when Killavullen thought it should be coming out, but at the other end, Jamie scored after Colm was fouled. Again, with a player inside his man, and bearing down on the goals, though the angle was tight, it is debatable whether a yellow card is the fitting punishment for a foul clearly designed to impede progress. In the congestion of the middle third of the field, Killavullen were now matching Charleville, in terms of effort, but ultimately , going man to man with a physically bigger and older specimen does take its toll on a younger, less developed body. We got another fine point from the introduced Darragh, when he bent the ball over the bar, from about 35 metres out. That was in the 17th minute.

Charleville though are a fine team, and displayed why they are favourites to win the North Cork championship again, after wins in 2018 and 2020 and in a devastating 5 minute spell, the overcame our lead. They scored a point from a free in the 18th minute and a point from open play in the 20th. The defining moment of this game though came in the 20th minute of the game. The Charleville player was close in, on the end line, he went to off load the ball to an outside forward with a hand pass, but the Killavullen backs had that avenue cut off. The ball left his hand though, he effectively hand passed the ball to himself, which is not allowed. Still with possession of the ball, he bore down on goals and scored the decisive goal. The referee missed the indiscretion, and the goal stood despite protestations. Charleville then with momentum added another point in the 22nd minute. Padraig Looney got a point back for us in the 23rd minute, but Charleville used all of their experience to see out the game, with clever minding of the ball. They scored again in the 30th minute, but we answered that one ball, in the 32nd minute from another free by Padraig.

Afterwards the cup was presented to the impressive Charleville captain and centre back by John Roche, treasurer Avondhu GAA Board, and the man of the match to Danny O Flynn, from Charleville who orchestrated  much of the positives for Charleville. In his fine address, the Charleville captain, thanked his team, supporters, Buttevant grounds, and acknowledged that Killavullen are getting better, year on year and closing the gap on them.

Though ultimately beaten, Killavullen capped a fine league campaign in which they have unearthed several new players, and expanded their playing base considerably. It will not be easy for Dave our manager and selectors Kevin and Ian to nail down a starting 15 in the championship, when the five or so Leaving certificate students come back into the fold.

Final Score. Charleville 1-12; Killavullen 1-10

  1. James Angland
  2. Joe Cagney
  3. Fionn Magner
  4. Patrick Angland
  5. Brian Cotter
  6. Liam Cronin
  7. Cian O Connor (0-01)
  8. Mikey O Connor
  9. Eoghan Buckley
  10. Eddie Cotter
  11. Jamie Magner (1-02 0-01F)
  12. Billy Norris
  13. Colm Looney
  14. Padraig Looney (0-06, 0-03 F)
  15. Kian Lane


  • Darragh O Grady(0-01)  for Billy Norris
  • Gary Lane for Colm Looney

There was a very fine crowd at the game, with Killavullen support definitely in the ascendancy, including a lot of the Killavullen underage teams. This correspondent had a great conversation with a bunch of the 11 year old's as I left the field.

The conversation goes as follows;

11 year Old – Great game John, but that was a free

Me: When

11 year Old – When Charleville scored their goal; he caught the ball after playing it up in the air. Our coach and My Dad says, that is not allowed.

Me. Are you sure, did you see it.

11 Year old and big group of friends – we all saw it. Is that not a free.

Me. Yes it is a free, but I guess the referee did not see it – it was a fast game, he can’t see everything

11 year old. But we all saw it. He should have seen it.

Me; Sometimes that happens in games, you can’t always get what you want.

11 year old – My Dad says that all the time, the Rolling Stones

Me- the Rolling Stones – (somewhat taken back, that he was aware of the band)

11 year old – (Kind of singing ) Yes, You can't always get what you want But if you try sometime,  you'll find, You get what you need

They left, laughing and giggling away, probably not thinking of school the next day - definitely not thinking of school.

I left, chuckling away to myself. My faith in the youth of today is restored – they know the Rolling Stones, and they know the rules of football.

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