Stirring second half sees Fulham rule the Kingdom

Fulham Irish 2-06 Kingdom/Kerry Gaels 1-08
Wednesday, July 31 2015

In the proverbial game of two halves in good conditions at Ruislip, Fulham Irish staged a stirring second half comeback to edge out Kingdom/Kerry Gaels by a solitary point and secure a place in the Division 1 league final this Sunday.
Fulham Irish needed at least a draw to reach the final while nothing less than a win would be enough for Kingdom/Kerry Gaels to secure the remaining spot in the decider.
Adding a further twist to proceedings was the fact that these teams will meet in the first round of the Senior Championship in 10 days’ time, so there was much at stake in this match.
Kingdom/Kerry Gaels exploded out of the blocks with a first minute point from Stephen Kilcoyne and found themselves 3 points to no score up after 10 minutes, having slotted over two frees.
Kingdom Kerry Gaels’s pacey possession game was causing problems for the Fulham Irish rearguard, and Kilcoyne helped himself to a quick fire brace of points in the 14th and 15th minutes to further their advantage.
This was followed immediately by a Kingdom/Kerry Gaels goal from Joe Callan, the result of some fine passing and support play, orchestrated by the lively Ronan O Boyle who benefitted from a poor turnover by Fulham Irish in their own half.
A 20th minute point from Paudy Poland stemmed the flow somewhat, and as Fulham Irish slowly gained a toehold in the game, Lorcan Mulvey, on as an early substitute on his return from injury, slotted over a further point.
With half time approaching, a Fulham Irish turnover released Andy O’Regan through on goal and after turning down the chance to pass, shot weakly into the keeper’s arms to leave the half time score Fulham Irish 0-02, Kingdom/Kerry Gaels 1-06.
With nothing to lose, Fulham Irish started the second half on the front foot and the first attack saw Mulvey palm the ball to the Kingdom/Kerry Gaels’ net, meeting Poland’s fisted pass from the edge of the square.
This reinvigorated the Fulham Irish effort and they enjoyed the majority of possession in the early part of the half. Poland slotted over a free before Mulvey struck his second goal of the evening on 7 minutes.
Kingdom/Kerry Gaels responded with a Kilcoyne free, but defensively Fulham Irish had become much more alive to the job in hand and increasing dominance at midfield created opportunities for O’Regan and Conor Sheridan to claim a point apiece after some persistent attacking play.
With 15 minutes to go the teams were level and much of the remainder of the game was a tense and attritional battle to retain possession and open up a scoring chance.
The result was put beyond doubt with two minutes remaining when Mulvey drove over the final point of the evening and Fulham Irish held on to the single point lead to the final whistle, after a late miss from Kilcoyne to secure a draw.
This was a high intensity effort from both sides and set down a marker for the future battles ahead

Fulham Irish: B Kavanagh, J Gilfedder, J Scully, A Savage, B Martin, R Morgan (S Mulligan), P Davis, A O’Regan, S O’Sullivan, C Sheridan, H Dockry, D McGovern (L Mulvey), P Poland, J O’Rourke, R Kealey