Joy for Brian Dillons as they win John Kerins Memorial Shield 

Northside club were successful in the U11 tournament at Páirc Uí Rinn for the first time
Joy for Brian Dillons as they win John Kerins Memorial Shield 

Brian Dillons players celebrate after defeating Blarney in the John Kerins Memorial Shield football final at Pairc Ui Rinn. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

IT was a day to remember for the young footballers of Brian Dillons as they won the John Kerins Memorial Shield at Páirc Uí Rinn.

It was the first time the club had reached the finals and they travelled the short distance home with the shield safely in their possession after two great games, against Passage and Blarney.

In the semi-final, they took on Passage, and goals from Liam Vallely and Harry Browne saw them reach the final. Others who impressed in that win include the likes of Jack Callaghan, James Coyne, and Cormac McDonnell.

Whilst forwards will always get the plaudits the displays of Coyne and McDonnell in their defence are deserving of a special mention as both had superb games in the semi and final.

Credit must also go to Passage who gave it their all, with Tiernan McCarthy and Robert Allen the pic of their side.

The other semi-final saw Blarney take on the defending champions Crosshaven, in another close game, with a goal from Ben O’Connor a big score for the winners. Mark Spratt and Eoin Kelly also impressed for Blarney, with Cillian Jeffers getting Crosshaven’s goal as Cathal Murphy was also to the fore for them.

Close all through late points from Kelly and Spratt secured the win for their side to see Blarney advance to take on Dillons in the final.

Brian Dillons' Liam Vallely breaking through the Blarney defence. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Brian Dillons' Liam Vallely breaking through the Blarney defence. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Judging by the semi-final this was always going to be another close game and credit must go to both sides for the standard of football they served up.

At half-time, there was only a point in it, but in the end, it was Dillons who emerged winners by two points, 0-6 to 0-4.

Danny O’Brien opened the scoring for Blarney, with Vallely equalising for his side. Ben O’Connor put Blarney back in front before Dillons made it 0-2 apiece. Just before half-time, Jack Callaghan put Dillons in front to make it 0-3 to 0-2 at the break.

At the start of the second-half Dillons were unlucky not to get a goal, with Callaghan’s effort coming back off the crossbar before Vallely added their fourth point. Callaghan added another but Blarney weren’t going to be beaten easily with Kelly raising a white flag, to make it 0-3 to 0-5.

A free from Browne put three between the sides, but again Blarney responded with a point from Christian Walsh. However, time wasn’t on their side as Dillons ran out deserving winners after a game worthy of the shield final.

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