Having won the Kilkenny Community Games football final some weeks earlier, the Galmoy/Urlingford/Johnstown team had to give best to Bagenalstown Area 15 (4-10 to 1-3) in the next round in Galmoy.
This was a Leinster group final and the Carlow side, drawn from a combination of Bagenalstown, Fenagh and Ballinkillen, were more adept with the big ball than their Kilkenny counterparts. In addition, they had four very strong players down the spine of their team in Eoin Whelan, Darragh Nolan, Eoin Hickey and Jake Doyle with Adam Lee also impressive up front.
For the home side, David Sherman brought off some great saves in goal while further afield Billy Drennan, Cillian Doyle, Shane Whyte and Matt Delaney tried hard.
Bagenalstown got off to a tremendous start. Adam Lee goaled in the first minute. Eoin Hickey (twice), Darragh Nolan and Jake Doyle added further points to open up a 1-4 to 0-0 lead.
It was the 13th minute before Billy Drennan pointed a free for the home side following a foul on Cillian Doyle. Another foul on Callum Lonergan earned a second pointed free for Billy Drennan. Eoin Hickey kicked over a free for the visitors to leave them ahead by 1-5 to 0-2 at half-time.
Bagenalstown began the second half like the first, except this time they raised two green flags in quick succession. The first came from the boot of impressive midfielder Darragh Nolan, while full-forward Jake Doyle kicked another to swing the pendulum firmly in favour of the visitors.
Adam Lee had moved to the wing with good effect and slotted over two neat points almost immediately. Clad in a scrum cap, synonymous with another famous Carlow man, Lee showed great strength in the tackle in that second half.
Galmoy/Urlingford/Johnstown got a break in the seventh minute. A long delivery from a free by Billy Drennan was booted to the net by Cian Barnaville to give a glimmer of hope to the Kilkenny boys.
The Carlow side were physically stronger and they dominated the remaining exchanges. When a Darragh Nolan free went all the way to the net, victory was sealed for the visitors. Shane Whyte kicked an opportune point as consolation for the home side who, it must be admitted, never gave up.
The Galmoy/Urlingford/Johnstown Community Games organisation thanked all their sponsors, especially Lisheen Mine, who sponsored gear and also Templetouhy Foods and Michael and Helen Doyle, Urlingford, who hosted a recent barbecue.
Bagenalstown Area 15 - Kuba Budzicz, Tiernan Dean, Conal Scully, Steven Lillis, Sean Nolan, Eoin Whelan, Shane Coonan, Eoin Murphy, Darragh Nolan (2-1, 0-1 free), Oisín Dillon, Eoin Hickey (0-5, one free), Tom Gardiner, Ciaran Hanafin, Jake Doyle (1-2), Adam Lee(1-2). Subs - Aidan Dowling, Liam Nolan, Sean Wall.
Galmoy/Urlingford/Johnstown - David Sherman, Padraig O’Grady, John Doheny, Jay Maguire, Daniel Hanrahan, Billy Drennan (0-2, frees), Gearóid Phelan, Shane Whyte (0-1), Callum Lonergan, Matt Delaney, Cillian Doyle, Billy Garrett, Darragh Queally, Cian Barnaville (1-0), Cathal Phelan. Subs - Aine Duggan, Darren Kelly, Adam Phelan.
Referee - Podge Butler (O’Loughlin Gaels).
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