By Conor Martin
Danny O’Keeffe’s was the headline grabber as his goal with six minutes left on the watch proved the difference as Athy upset Moorefield in the Kildare senior football championship final on Saturday. Claiming the senior football crown and wiping away nine years of hurt with a 1-11 to 0-12 win.
Athy had made the better start to the final and had a 0-5 to 0-1 lead after 20 gone on the clock and they’d lead by three (0-6 to 0-3) at the break.
Eanna O’Connor and Niall Hurley Lynch reduced Athy’s lead going into the second set of 30 minutes and the game would be all square at 0-8 apiece come the 47th-minute thanks to Moores marksman O’Connor who ensured that the tie wasn’t just one-way traffic
O’Connor who was Moorefield’s biggest threat in front of the posts edged the 2018 champions in front in the 51st minute, the momentum looked to be with Moorefield once O’Connor landed yet another score to keep Moorefield in contention.
Then came the defining moment in this decider when O’Keeffe broke through Moorefield’s defence and slotted the ball in the net and the game back in Athy’s favour.
It went bad to worse for Moorefield who lost Cian O’Connor who saw red after a second booking in the closing stages of the final.
Mark McDermott pulled back a point for the losing side but O’Keeffe wrapped up the final and his club’s first senior championship since 2011 just before full-time with a fine point.
Athy: James Roycroft; Mark Hyland, Sean Ronan, Darren Lawler; Brian Maher, Mick Foley, David Hyland; Kevin Feely (0-1, 1f), Paschal Connell; Liam McGovern (0-2, 2f), Tony Gibbons, Barry Kelly (0-1); John Moran, James Eaton (0-2, 1, 1f), Niall Kelly (0-3, 1f). Subs: Kieran Farrell (0-1) for Moran (39mins), Danny O’Keefe (1-1) for N Kelly (42), Paul Whelan for Maher (45), Cian Reynolds for Gibbons (60).
Moorefield: Tom Kinsella; Liam Callaghan, Liam Healy, Sean Dempsey (0-1); Ian Meehan, Mark Dempsey, Anthony Durney; Aaron Masterson (0-1), Kevin Murnaghan; Cian O’Connor (0-1), Adam Tyrrell (0-2), Ryan Houlihan; Eanna O’Connor (0-5, 2f), Jason Phillips, Ciaran Kelly. Subs: Niall Hurley Lynch (0-1) for Kelly (39mins), Mark McDermott (0-1) for Phillips (45), Daire Dunne for Callaghan (53), Ryan Moore for Meehan (59).