The Cilles senior lads made a very welcome and a thoroughly deserved swift return to Division 1 League football after another titanic battle versus Blackhall Gaels. Going into this game it was always known that this was going to be a tough affair after the teams had drawn in the Senior Championship earlier in the year and so it proved. The Cilles at different stages went 4 points up, but on each occasion were pegged back. The half time score was 1-6 to 0-5 with the Cilles goal coming from Jack Reynolds who palmed the ball to the net following a fantastic face paced move up the field. Three of the Blackhall points in the first half coming from dead balls, however they also had eight first half wides which was in no small part to an excellant defensive display by the entire back line and also were thankful for an excellant save from Beaks in the Cilles goals. Blackhall came out fighting in the Second half but the Cilles team always maintained their lead, albeit had a scare after the concession of an unfortunate goal. With time running out the Cilles were four points up and what turned out to be the last play of the game the Blackhall team managed to get a late goal to leave the bare minimum in it. The Cilles had excellant displays from all players on the night and special credit to the full back line in particular to ‘Mossy’ Tomas O’Hoistin. Also special mention to Cathal Hilliard, Conor O’Byrne.
Team: ABeakey, J McDonnell, I Mullan, T O’Hoistin, E Woods, C Mullan, A Lynch, D O’Byrne, R McCloskey, C Hilliard, C O’Byrne 0-6 (4f), L Bree, G Reilly 0-1, J Reynolds 1-0, J Conlon 0-2.
Subs: C Kelly 0-2 (1f) for L Bree, C Ward for J McDonnell, J Sweeney for E Woods, J McElearney for J Conlan (B)
A fine year now ends for the Cilles with A and B league promotions to Division 1 achieved and that glorious run to the All-Ireland final the Seasiders can reflect on a very satisfying year of continued progress and look forward to a long rest after 2-3 years of continuous football. For team manager Des Lane, this victory assured successive promotions for the former Meath All Ireland winner who led Rathkenny to the title in 2016. It also marks a third promotion of his management career sitting complimenting his Louth Senior Championship victories. Well done to all the players and backroom team who have each played their part in the season. We look forward to the B league final on Friday and wish everyone the best of luck “to Dave Liam and all the squad !!