Europcar Keogh Cup Final
Allenwood with the help of a Billy Maher hat-trick landed the Keogh Cup with victory over Straffan in Manguard Plus Hawkfield.
Allenwood scored more goals than points in a lethal attacking performance that ensured they got the first piece of silverware on offer for the year.
Billy Maher who is part of the Kildare under 20 squad got three of them with Jack Turbett and Joe Carroll also on target.
The scoreline probably doesn’t do Straffan justice as they were competitive for long periods with Rob Kelly having a fine first period but ultimately the goals killed them.
On a bitterly cold evening for football Straffan’s Rob Kelly showed he hasn’t lost any of his class as he kicked the first two points of a very open contest with an excellent free off the ground followed up by an effort from play.
Allenwood didn’t score their first point until the 14th minute but luckily for Brian McGrogan his side had already racked up three goals by that stage with the first of these arriving courtesy of Billy Maher when he finished to the net on the back of Johnny Byrne feeding Johnny Doyle and the experienced former Kildare star went on a storming run towards goal before offloading to Maher.
James Gannon then levelled up the game for Straffan but the joy didn’t last long as Allenwood soon found the net for the second time with Maher breaking free before passing off to midfielder Jack Turbett who stroked the ball under Matthew Duggan in the Straffan goal.
Maher was proving incredibly elusive in attack for the Blues and he brought his goal tally to two when he brilliantly beat a couple of defenders on the endline before also rounding Duggan in goal to kick to an empty net.
Darragh Malone was a late introduction to the Allenwood team and he extended the margin with a fine point at the halfway mark of the half as Allenwood moved into a 3-1 to 0-3 lead.
The second quarter almost solely belonged to Straffan though as they kicked five points in a row before the break.
Kelly got three of those with two from frees while John Tracey and Ed Neenan also got nice efforts from play as they got to within two points after playing with a stiff enough breeze.
Allenwood weren’t without chances though and they missed a few opportunities before the break as they had to be content with a 3-1 to 0-8 advantage on the whistle.
The second half wasn’t as hectic as the opening period but Johnny Doyle who was relatively quiet by his very high standards up to then kicked a fine point from out the field almost straight from the throw-in after Allenwood broke on the counter.
Straffan then bounced back with points from Neenan who had his goalbound effort tipped over the bar with Declan Reilly also splitting the posts after being found in space by good combination play from Kelly and Neenan.
Trailing by a point at that stage Straffan would have felt they had a real chance but Allenwood were really in the mood for goals and Duggan was again taking the ball from his net in the 37th minute after Maher completed his hat-trick when an inside pass from Darren Judge evaded Cian Gaynor and Maher made no mistake in getting his third goal.
That effectively put the game beyond Straffan’s reach with just solitary frees from Kelly and John Tracey registering on the scoreboard afterwards.
With the sleet heavily in vogue for the last few minutes Allenwood cantered to victory with points from Maher and Darragh Johnson while substitute Joe Carroll put the seal on the seven point win after a goal with his first touch.
Allenwood: Luke Anderson; Craig Lenehan, Killian Darling, Cillian Moran, Darragh Malone 0-1, Ronan Guilfoyle, Mark Byrne, Johnny Byrne, Jack Turbett 1-0, Aaron Dunne, Johnny Doyle 0-1, Scott Dunne, Darren Judge, Billy Maher 3-1, Eric Judge.
Subs used: Sean Moran for D.Judge 38 mins, Darragh Johnson 0-1 for S.Dunne 44 mins, Fionn Moran for A.Dunne 56 mins, Tom Byrne for Turbett 56 mins, Joe Carroll 1-0 for Johnson 57 mins.
Straffan: Matthew Duggan; Alan Byrne, Niall Gaynor, Tom McGoldrick, Rory Byrne, Niall Devane, Cian Gaynor, Paul Donovan, Anto Devane, Ed Neenan 0-2, Declan Reilly 0-1, Rob Kelly 0-6 (0-4fs), James Gannon 0-1, James Devane, John Tracey 0-2 (0-1f).
Subs used: Sean O’Connor for J.Devane 38 mins, John Hanafin for Donovan 45 mins, Austin Allen for Gannon 49 mins.
Ref: Alan Archbold
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