A magnificent and most enjoyable contest saw Piltown win their first minor Roinn A football championship title when defeating Dicksboro in Palmerstown on Saturday.
The game was originally scheduled for Thomastown, but was switched to the Dicksboro grounds.
After a point in the opening stages from Billy O’Callaghan, Dicksboro got a grip on things with an Aran Murphy goal in the fifth minute.
Oisin Timmons shot a free goalwards but the ball crashed off the crossbar, and Murphy reacted quickly to rifle a rasping shot into the bottom corner (1-0 to 0-1).
Sean Maher and Oisin Timmons pointed in quick succession to extend the lead (1-2 to 0-1) before Piltown were awarded a penalty.
This was in the tenth minute. The imperious Daryl Maye Dunleavy converted before Braedon Wheeler pointed moments later to level proceedings, 1-2 each.
O’Callaghan and Timmons exchanged points from frees before the ever lively Sean O’Neill was on target from play to restore Piltown’s lead (1-4 to 1-3).
The ’Boro replied when Vinny Roberts set-up Sean Maher for a well taken goal to shoot them 2-3 to 1-5 in front.
The two Dicksboro goal scorers, Aran Murphy and Sean Maher notched additional points to extend the advantage to three, the margin at the interval.
Billy O’Callaghan (free) and Dicksboro midfielder, Rory O’Connor with a sublime effort, added to the accounts as the city outfit led by 2-6 to 1-6 at half-time. The football was good, very good, in fact.
Despite the fact they were leading, the ’Boro made a triple substitution at the break, introducing Colm O’Hara, Luca Loli and Mikey Raggett.
There was a change of tactical approach too as they became more defensive by operating a sweeper.
Within seconds of the restart, Piltown pegged them back.
A long range free from Daryl Maye Dunleavy sailed all the way to the net. From that moment, the tide began to turn.
Piltown out-scored their opponents by 0-6 to 0-2 afterwards as they displayed the greater hunger with Dunleavy and O’Callaghan pulling the strings around the middle third area.
Full-forward Sean O’Neill was the go to man for Piltown. He was a constant threat to the opposition.
O’Neill, O’Callaghan (free) and Francis Moore all pointed between the 35th and 40th minutes to shoot Piltown into a three point lead.
Dicksboro substitute Mikey Raggett pointed in the 42nd minute to narrow the gap (2-9 to 2-7).
Sean O’Neill and Daryl Maye Dunleavy replied with points in quick succession to double Piltown’s lead before Sean Maher and substitute Brendan Grace exchanged points in the 46th and 49th minutes.
Piltown maintained their four point lead to the end.
This Dicksboro group of players enjoyed a memorable year as they completed the league/championship, and they dominated possession during the closing 10 minutes.
However, their best efforts were repelled by a stubborn and determined Piltown defence, led by the exceptional Aidan Walsh at full-back, who denied Mikey Raggett a goal with a brilliant block in the 41st minute.
The losers created another goal chance in the 58th minute when a darting run from James Carroll found Aran Murphy unmarked in front of goal.
However, Piltown closed him down and survived to claim a deserved victory in what was a terrific advertisement for football in Kilkenny.
Piltown - Pauric Wall; Neil Moriarty, Aidan Walsh, Conor Power; Rian Anthony, Tom Reid, Conor McGowan; Daryl Maye Dunleavy (1-1, goal penalty), Conor Hogan; Francis Moore(0-1), Billy O’Callaghan(1-4, 1-3 frees), Braedon Wheeler (0-1); Gavin Flynn, Sean O’Neill(0-4, three frees), Evan O’Shea.
Subs - Eoin Morgan, Brendan Grace (0-1).
Dicksboro - Nick Doheny; Eoghan O’Neill, Tom Carroll, Eamonn O’Reilly; Charlie Delahunty, Niall Rowe, Andrew Brennan Smyth; James Carroll, Rory O’Connor (0-1); Eoin Dalton, Padraic Moylan, Oisin Timmons (0-2, one free); Aran Murphy (1-1), Sean Maher (1-3), Vinny Clifford.
Subs - Colm O'Hara, Luca Loli, Mikey Raggett (0-1).
Referee - Paul Cahill (Dunnamaggin).