The 2003 Minor Final was played before the senior final between Clonkill and Castlepollard. Castletown were the defending champions and also billed as favourites as we had already beaten St. Oliver Plunketts in the league championship on a score line of 4-9 to 1-7.
Our backs were to the wall in the second half of the match as Plunkett’s threw everything at us. A Blaine Lahart converted free being the only score registered by the Black and Ambers for the entire final thirty minutes. We were very fortunate to hold out for a draw.
The replay was an entertaining contest with the game not being decided until stoppage time when a goal by Sean Whelan put some daylight between the teams. Not much separated the sides during the first half and it was no surprise when the half time whistle blew they were level at 0- 6 each with E Clarke, J Clarke, Blaine Lahart and Whelan all raising white flags. An early point from Lahart and another from E Clarke doubled the lead. When Joe Clarke added a further 2 points there were 4 points between the teams.
Plunkett’s pulled one point back from a free before Castletown restored their four point advantage. With time running out a goal for Plunketts left the minimum between the teams and the game was set up for a grandstand finish. But Sean Whelan’s late goal was enough to give his side the Ben Kelly Memorial Cup. This was accepted by our captain, Joseph Clarke.
Team and Substitutes:
Patrick Maloney, Mick Kirby, Christy Maloney, Shane Heraty, Liam Corcoran, Mick Garvin, Shane Carey, David Langan, Joe Clarke (Captain), Eddie O’Neill, Michael Bohan, Sean Whelan, E. Og Clarke, Pat Ryan, Blaine Lahart, John Gallagher, Brian Garvin, Paul Kirby, Robbie Jackson, Colm Mackey, Mark McDermott, Michael Dillon, Mark McCormack, John Salmon, Robert Burge, Graham Jackson, Gerry Clarke, Diarmaid Kirby, Michael Maloney, Davin Clarke