Kilcock duo Daniel Courtney and Eoin Powderly have been invited to train with an extended Kildare Senior Football panel over the coming months in preperation for the 2018 season.
Both men played a vital part in Kilcock reaching the Intermediate final, where they eventually fell to an impressive Raheens side.
The pair have previous inter county experience with Courtney a member of the 2015 Leinster minor winning side, where he lined out in midfield. Corner back Powderly was part of O’Neill’s senior panel in 2015 before suffering a cruciate ligament injury but to his credit he made a remarkable recovery in returning to full fitness to aid Kilcock’s run to the recent county final.
Only this week Emmet Bolton retired from inter-county action and O’Neill will be looking replace him and any future losses by blooding some more youth as his side look to close the gap on Dublin in the coming years.
Kilcock have been drawn to play Monasterevan in the semi final of the Kildare Intermediate football championship.
Declan Gibbons men reached the last four after a 1-11 to 1-8 victory over Ballyteague in Hawkfield on Sunday evening.
A game that looked like it was going to be a routine win for the North Kildare men when they led 1-9 to 0-4 midway through the second half, turned into a nervous ending as Ballyteague rallied with a flutter of scores including a penalty. Willie Bright kicked a couple of late points to settle those nerves and put his team within one win of the county final.
Standing in their way though is a dogged but decent Monasterevan team who defeated Suncroft 3-10 to 0-11 in the last of this weekends quarter finals.
Kilcock avoided favourites Raheens, who were pitted against another useful side Clogherinkoe in the other semi final.
It’s a difficult one to call now, with little to seperate all four sides but one thing is for sure whoever does turn senior in the next few weeks will have worked hard for it.
I fancied Raheens from the start and after a diappointing loss to Kilcock in round 2, they bounced back with two impressive wins against Rathangan and St.Kevins. For that reason I am sticking with them to be playing in the senior championship in 2018.
Kilcock’s adopted son Brian Murray was honoured along with his Donegal team mates during half time of last Sunday’s Ulster final between Tyrone and Down in Clones for their success in capturing the title in 1992.
The occassion marked the 25th anniversary of his sides 0-14 to 1-9 victory over Derry at the same venue.
The players and management were kitted out for the day by Magees of Donegal Town, where they met up on the Sunday morning before departing for St Tiernach’s Park.
The team travelled to Clones, just like they did 25 years earlier, courtesy of Marleys Coaches with Francie Marley, just like he was in ’92, behind the wheel.
After the game the entire squad and management were the special guests at a celebratory meal in the Four Seasons Hotel, before going their seperate ways.
Except for Jim McGuinness (Beijing), Charlie Mulgrew (holidays) and John Joe Doherty (family bereavement), all the rest of the ’92 squad turned out on the day.
Murray and his team mates went on to beat Mayo in the All-Ireland semi final by 0-13 to 0-09 before defeating Dublin 0-18 to 0-14 in the final. They will be honoured again before the All-Ireland football final in September.
Murray now resides in Kilcock along with his wife Della and two children Ciaran and Lorna. All four are heavily involved in the local Gaa scene, where Brian himself played and managed for a number of years.
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
The Intermediate footballers of Kilcock get their championship campaign up and running tomorrow against 2016 Junior A champions Kilcullen at 2pm in Hawkfield.
It is expected that manager Declan Gibbons will field a youthful looking side as the club continues to go through something of a transitional period. Many of these lads were part of the 2016 minor league winning team so are no strangers to success but it is all about been able to make that step up to the adult ranks.
Fearghal O’Brien and Shane O’Rourke are definitely on the absentees list as they spend the summer Stateside but Daniel Courtney is expected to feature.
Kilcock should have too much for the team known as ‘The Rags’ but they cannot take anything for granted as the men in black and white look to write another chapter in their rags to riches story!!
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.