Apollo 13 was the seventh manned mission in the American Apollo space programme and the third intended to land on the Moon. The craft was launched on April the 11th 1970 from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida but the Lunar landing was aborted 2 days later following an oxygen tank explosion….
Fast forward 47 years and Kilcock Celtic senior footballers had a mission of their own to try and complete on a visit to a Moone of different sorts. Al Myles men faced division 2 side Moone Celtic in round 1 of the Lumsden League cup and after sharing 13 goals the away side finally returned home with their the name in the hat for round 2.
From the early stages of the first half to the later stages of the 2nd period of extra-time the Celtics were made to work hard for the result from Moone and according to Myles his side could have have easily lost the game.
Myles said; “On any other day we could have lost that game but we manged to battle on for the 110 minutes of the match and somehow came away with the result and a not such a safe passage into round 2”.
Despite the concession of 6 goals, Kilcock can be very thankful to goalie Aaron Stone who pulled off two great saves to keep out the Moone attack late on with the tie very much in the melting pot.
If Myles and his men want to progress any further in the League cup they will need to make a massive improvement, especially at the back and will also need to shut out the game when it is required.
Once again the mecurial Shane Fitzgerald was on the score sheet with a brace, while Mark Munnelly (2) and Remi Kareem (2) were also on target before Michael Shaw calmly slotted home a penalty in extra time to secure the win.
Apollo 13 was a failed mission all them years ago and Al Myles will be quick to bring his players back down to earth following such a mixed mission in Moone on Sunday but at the end of the day his side are through to the next round of the cup. In anyones language, that’s mission complete.
Kilcullen were promoted to the intermediate ranks after overcoming Milltown in a replay of last year’s junior final, before going on an impressive run through the Leinster Championship that saw them lose at the semi-final stage to Bracknagh. They have a team that is well set up to keep their heads above water in this year’s campaign, and Sunday’s tie against Kilcock presented the perfect opportunity to settle into their new surroundings.
From the get go this was an intriguing encounter in which neither side ever looked destined to pull away from the other, and it remained that way right through.
The first half finished all square, with Kilcullen hitting the major score of the half through Brian Bell as he rustled the net in the 22nd minute. That goal came at an important time for the Rags as they had conceded four points in a row as Kilcock powered into a 0-6 to 0-2 lead, with Eoin McArdle striking three points from play during that period for the leaders.
Points from Darragh Timolin and Paul Jones before the interval helped Kilcullen to go in level as the scores stood 1-4 to 0-7 at the break.
The second half was every bit as even as both sides traded blows continuosly, with David Marshall landing two for the Rags while Daragh McArdle and Willie Bright were on target for Kilcock. Outside of the excellent Marshall, Paul Bell was Kilcullen’s only other scorer before the end of the game as he floated over a beautiful long range point, and at the other end Eoin and Daragh McArdle pointed frees either side of an excellent score from Bright as Kilcock led by one with 10 minutes to go.
Marshall levelled matters with a free from the right wing in the 53rd minute, and it looked like anyone’s game by this stage.
A frantic final 10 minutes ensued in which both sides squandered gilt-edged chances to find a winner in almost comical fashion, but a draw was probably a fair outcome and these two sides will meet again on Thursday night to determine a winner.
Scorers for Kilcock: E McArdle 0-5(1f), D McArdle 0-3 (1f) and W Bright 0-3(1f), D Courtney 0-1.
Scorers for Kilcullen: D Marshall 0-5(2f), B Bell 1-0, P Bell 0-2, P Jones and D Timolin 0-1 each
Kilcock’s Cormac Daly marked his first appearance in an Irish jersey with a 2nd half try as his u20 side went down 15-10 to a Munster development team at Thomond Park today, Saturday May 13th.
Daly and his team mates, who continue their build up to the World Rugby U20 Championships in Georgia next month, were much better in the second half and were back to within two points heading into the final quarter after the Kilcock man touched down following a strong maul.
But it was the province who went on to hold out for a 15-10 victory.
Ireland U20(Munster representatives in bold):Colm Hogan; Mark Keane, Gavin Mullin, Ciaran Frawley,Calvin Nash;Conor Fitzgerald, Jonny Stewart;Joey Conway, Tadhg McIlroy, Charlie Connolly; Jack O’Regan,Fineen Wycherley; Marcus Rea, Paul Boyle,Gavin Coombes.
Replacements from: Ronan Kelleher, Greg McGrath, Peter Coper, Cormac Daly, Sean Masterson, Ryan Fehily, Conor Dean, Sean O’Brien, Liam Coombes, Rory Mulvihill.
Talented Kilcock midfielder Findlay Nairn has been named at wing forward for the Kildare minor footballers’ Leinster Football Championship round one clash with Carlow.
Nairn and his team mates must travel to Netwatch Cullen Park, Carlow this Saturday where they will look to clear the first hurdle with victory over their dangerous hosts from 1pm.
Kilcock have been well represented at this level in recent years by Daniel Courtney and Jason Gibbons, both of whom won Leinster titles before falling at the All Ireland semi final stage and Nairn will be hoping to replicate their achievements.
Findlay is joined on the panel by club mate Lee Loughnane but unfortunately for Lee he is currently out with a hand injury.