Milltown/Castlemaine's Senior team wrapped up their 2020 Mid Kerry Senior Football League campaign on a cold and wet night under the lights at John Mitchels Sports Complex tonight against near neighbours Keel with a rather unorthodox 9:00pm throw-in undoubtedly being a first for many observers. Milltown/Castlemaine were looking to add to their win earlier in the competition over Glenbeigh/Glencar whilst Keel were looking to add to an earlier win over Cromane. Both sides were out of the reckoning to make this years final (Milltown/Castlemaine contested the 2018 and 2019 editions) but were looking to use it as another game closer to full match sharpness ahead of the County League Division 3 opener on Sunday week, March 8th where Milltown/Castlemaine welcome Currow and Keel play Laune Rangers.
Both sides whilst missing bodies fielded relatively strong selections from an onlookers viewpoint. Jonathan O'Sullivan and Aaron Murphy exchanged early frees for both sides in the opening five minutes. Jonathan O'Sullivan (Free) and a well worked attacking move from Milltown/Castlemaine soon after which went through the hands of Donal Dennehy and Cathal Moriarty before reaching Dylan O'Neil who rifled past Stephen Cahilane. Aaron Murphy replied almost instantly from play to leave it 1-3 to 0-2 after 12 minutes.
Jonathan O'Sullivan continued his hot vein of form further with two more pointed frees to extend the lead further whilst Cathal Moriarty popped up with his first of the night to widen the gap out further to seven by the 24th minute at 1-6 to 0-2.
Milltown/Castlemaine midfielder David Roche wrapped up the opening half with a well struck shot low to Cahilane's right hand side into the net to make it a commanding ten point lead. Keel finished the half on the front foot and scores from Martin Burke and another from Murphy left the half time score 2-6 to 0-4 in favour of Milltown/Castlemaine.
Keel continued where they left off immediately after the interval with two quick fire Gary Sayers points from play bringing the deficit down further at 2-6 to 0-6 now.
Killian O'Dowd made it 0-5 on the trot for Keel in the 38th minute to make it look like for a moment that a comeback was on as all the momentum was in their favour.
Milltown/Castlemaine who had gone without a score for near fifteen minutes at this stage needed a response to halt the surge and they got exactly that soon after as after a foraging run from full back Tadgh McCarthy straight through the heart of the Keel rearguard opened up a goalscoring opportunity and when McCarthy opted to pass to Jerome Flynn unselfishly instead of shoot himself, Flynn made no mistake burying low under Cahilane to make it 3-06 to 0-7.
Aaron Cahilane from play fired over for Keel from close range but this was responded to in equal measure as Milltown/Castlemaine wing back Kieran O'Carroll popped up 30 metres out and landed a beauty off his left leg to leave matters at 3-7 to 0-8 heading into the final quarter.
Aaron Murphy through a free took his tally to 0-4 for the night for Keel and brought the deficit back to seven again but it would be Milltown/Castlemaine substitute Brendan Delaney who would have the games final say and he palmed to the Keel net late on to ensure Milltown/Castlemaine would finish out the contest as ten point victors on a score of Milltown/Castlemaine 4-7 Keel 0-9
Cormac Leane, Jono O'Connor, Tadgh McCarthy, Stephen Roche, Kieran O'Carroll (0-1), Pa Wren, Dwight Bacalso, David Roche (1-0), Donal Dennehy, John Dennehy, Jerome Flynn (1-0), Paul Carroll, Dylan O'Neil(1-0), Cathal Moriarty (0-1), Jonathan O'Sullivan (0-5).
Subs: Michael Dennehy, Brendan Delaney (1-0), Eoin O'Brien, Eoin O'Mahony, Linus Og Burke, David Leane