AFTER 200 minutes and three pulsating games, Round Towers ended their 58 year wait to bring home the Kildare Minor A Football Championship last Saturday.
The winning manager, James Leavy, admitted that finally triumphing in an epic trilogy of games was a special way for the club to lift their first minor title since 1954.
“It’s a great way to win, it was a great battle, fair dues to both teams. It was a great display of football, I thought the three games were very exciting. To be fair, neither team gave up and neither team were going to give up. It’s 50-odd years since we won the championship, it was great to win it anyway but especially this way,” said Leavy, and he was quick to praise both teams for the entertainment they provided.
“Both teams were quite skilful, both teams were extremely fit and both teams were very determined. I think it shows a healthy sign for the GAA when we can put a display like that,” he said.
Towers had to come back from being so close to winning the first two games but Leavy felt the long, barren spell without a title at this grade stood to his team.
“It was a huge advantage the fact that we hadn’t won for so long. They were at a disadvantage in that they had won one last year. Our hunger was there and was only growing. Lads were just so up for it,” he said.
Aaron McConville’s second minute gave the team the perfect start.
“We worked on it for the last two weeks. We felt that coming to third match that the start was vitally important,” he said. And the team then hit 1-5 without reply in a purple patch between the 14th and 23rd minute.
“As they say, they were the championship minutes, that’s when the match was going to be won and lost. We knew we it would go in ebbs and flows and if we could curtail them and make the most of ours we would have a chance,” he said.
It was certainly hard to pick out a star player for Round Towers but two goals, and four across the three games, from 15 year old Matthew Kelly marks him down as one for the future.
“Fantastic talent and I hope, a big name for the future. I’ve been singing his praises for so long, he is only 15 but he is as good a forward as is out there,” said Leavy.
It’s been a traumatic year for Round Towers after the senior side fell to the intermediate ranks but this win means the future now looks bright for the club.
Or as Leavy put it: “To quote somebody else, we haven’t gone away.”