It was quite surprising to note that Athy’s win over Moorefield on Sunday guided them to just their first ever league title in their 130-year history.
The Barrowsiders have tasted success in the Senior Championship in recent years, but, quite oddly, league success always evaded them. With their large contingent of county players unavailable during regular rounds of the league unavailable each year, that’s understandable.
Manager Emmanuel Kennedy was happy with his side’s performance and the fact that they dethroned the reigning league champions, but he wasn’t getting carried away.
“It probably wasn’t the best quality of football in the world, but both teams went at it very physically, and fairly, as well I thought,” he told KildareNow.
“It was probably a tough game for the referee as well and for the linesmen to get a handle on – they did really well under the circumstances. It’s the end of the league now and that’s probably the first time we’ve seen the county lads for a good long time so we’ll just get back to basics now and start working towards championship.”
Niall Kelly was superb for the victors as he clocked up five points from play, and Kennedy was delighted to have the county star back in his side.
“Niall had a really good game. He probably didn’t play as much football with Kildare as he wanted to, so he just wants to play and when he’s giving the opportunities he can do some special things out there.”
The Athy manager will not be giving too much credence to this win however, admitting that an understrength Moorefield still pushed them hard and there is plenty of improvements to make ahead of their championship group stage against Carbury.
“I don’t think you could put any bearing on that for a championship match,” admitted Kennedy.
“Moorefield, the team they put out, there was about 10 lads in the subs who could have been starting. For us, it was really about getting a physical game and hopefully get out on the right side of it. It’s a bit of history for the club because we’d never won the league in 130 years, so it’s a nice thing to have but in a couple of hours this will all be forgotten about because we have to focus on Carbury which will be a huge game.”
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