Player Profile

Joe Johnson

Division 1 Football Champions   16/08/2017

Buttevant 3-05 Kilavullen 0-05

Buttevant's Division 1 footballers capped off a terrific campaign with a dominant victory in the Final over Killavullen on Friday evening last, becoming champions of the Cavanaghs of Fermoy Division 1 Football League for the very first time.

The game was played in windy conditions in a fabulous Kildorrey venue. Going by the scoreboard, a neutral would assume that it was goals that were the sole difference between the sides. While this has been true of many of our league games this year, throughout the final we were in command as Kilavullen set themselves up very defensively and didn't have many opportunities to score.

Denis O'Connell set the tone for us on his way to picking up a well-deserved Man of the Match performance, as he got the opening score of the game, a terrific goal in the seventh minute, Buttevant 1-0 to 0-0.

Kilavullen answered with a point, and then John O'Neill scored our opening point after 11 mins, 1-01 to 0-01.

On the ensuing kickout, a Kilavullen player was given a straight red card, and this would prove to make life very difficult for Buttevant. Up to this point, we had been controlling the play and looking for opportunities against a resilient defence, but from here on out, Kilavullen piled their fourteen remaining men into their own half and forced us into several turnovers as the sheer number of bodies became difficult to make progress against.

A long-range snapshot from Seanie Madigan was our second point, and we racked up several wides by launching ball in around the goalmouth. Whilst this tactic became a little bit frustrating to see the wasted possession, it did result in one juicy goalmouth scramble where Tadgh Healy managed to get a leg to a loose ball and give us our second goal of the game, 2-02 to 0-1.

Before half time, John O'Neill scored his second point, and Kilavullen stole one back also, so at the break it was 2-03 to 0-02.

Again, Denis O'Connell popped up to get the opening score of the half, sending over a free from a difficult angle. 2-04 to 0-02, 35 mins gone.

Our strength in depth was on show, as despite missing several starters and receiving two black cards, the players that came made seamless transitions into the tempo of the match, Denis O'Sullivan and Adrian Noonan steadying the ship after the blows dealt to us with the black cards.

The determination of Kilavullen has never been in question, and they began to ask some serious questions of us, working tireless in defence and using some opportunistic counter attacks to gain some traction on the scoreboard, bringing the game back to 2-04 to 0-05 points.

The wind made carrying the ball difficult for both sides, and the game hung dangerously for Kilavullen to potentially steal if they could get a goal. But who else to tilt the scales back in our favour but Denis O'Connell, scoring his second point of the match in the 46th minute and in the 62nd, he soloed through and lobbed the keeper from range, a truly spectacular finish from a player in scintillating form. 3-05 to 0-05.

The third goal broke the Kilavullen spirits, and for the remainder of the game we took care of possession, and our fitness carried us through to the final whistle, where there were celebrations by players and supporters alike.

Captain Micheal Broe collected the cup, and Denis O'Connell picked up Man of the Match, and players and management shared a moment of reflection in a ring around our prize, where we embraced our success to date. An unbeaten campaign is a remarkable achievement. 

Celebrations lasted long into the night back in Buttevant, but the mantra by the end of the weekend was unanimous. This team is on a journey, and they will not allow it to end with a league title. A championship semi-final lies just around the corner on Saturday the 26th of August, and this is now our only target. We now have the taste of success, and we're hunting for more.


TEAM: Ronan Donovan, Jack O'Riordan, Tadgh O'Sullivan, James O'Keefe, Seamus Madigan, Micheal Broe, David Walsh, Anthony O'Neill, Tadgh Healy, JD Murphy, John O'Neill, Kevin Lenahen, Denis O'Connell,  Kevin O'Keefe, Seanie Madigan. Subs used: Denis O'Sullivan, (black card) Adrian Noonan (black card), Chris O'Toole, WIlliam Fitzgibbon, Fergal Lenahen, Brian O' Shaughnessy.

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