Naomh Eoin 0-6
GOALS in the 18th and 23rd minutes for Kildavin-Clonegal laid the foundation for their first win in the 2019 intermediate football championship over Naomh Eoin at Netwatch Training Centre on Friday evening.
In a teak tough encounter scores were hard to come by and it was the seventh minute before Daniel St Ledger kicked Kildavin-Clonegal’s opening point. A minute later Donal Smithers opened Naomh Eoin’s account.
With play swiftly moving from end to end it was the same two players who tied the sides for a second time at 0-2 each at the end of the first quarter.
In between there was drama as Joe Roberts bore down on the Naomh Eoin goal. He was hauled down in the small square and a penalty was conceded. As a result Naomh Eoin goalkeeper Ronan Nolan received a black card. True to form Philip Smithers deputised back on the goal-line and saved a hard shot from penalty taker Joe Roberts.
Martin Clowry took over in goal for Naomh Eoin.
Kildavin-Clonegal hit a purple patch in the next six minutes as they tacked on 2-2 and left a mountain for Naomh Eoin to climb.
Daniel St Ledger converted two 45s and in the 18th minute the same player sent in a high dropping ball that deceived everyone as it hopped in the square and into the net to give Kildavin-Clonegal a 1-3 to 0-2 lead.
Naomh Eoin battled back but saw two good efforts go the wrong side of the posts. Breathing a sigh of relief, Kildavin-Clonegal came again as Daryl Roberts saw his shot for goal saved by Martin Clowry, but he regained composure to put the rebound into the net for the red and black men’s second goal.
Donal Smithers kicked over Naomh Eoin’s third point to leave his side trailing by 2-4 to 0-3 at the break. The second half was again end to end, but no more goals looked on the horizon for either side.
The game was robust and tended to boil over at one stage with a number of yellow cards being issued to each side. One or two players can count themselves lucky that they didn’t receive red cards.
The difference in the last half was Kildavin-Clonegal put good moves together which resulted in scores for Joe Roberts and Daniel St Ledger.
Naomh Eoin also put good moves together and worked the ball well to the 30-yard line but then come unstuck and relied too much on Donal Smithers to get the scores. Donal scored all of Naomh Eoin’s points.
The defences on each side had to work extremely hard to break up attacks and get the ball out of danger, which they did effectively.
Kildavin-Clonegal are strong and will be there or thereabouts in the final stages. Naomh Eoin, with a bit of tweaking, will also be a force to be reckoned with. Interesting times ahead.
Kildavin-Clonegal: Ronan Brennan; Gavin Byrne, Paul Kelly, Niall Murphy; Niall Hickey, Liam Roberts, Barry Hickey; John Kirwin, Liam Conway; Eoin Roberts, Joe Roberts (0-2), Dan Murphy; Paul Nolan, Dan St Ledger (1-6), Daryl Roberts (1-0). Sub: Aidan Kelly for J Roberts
Naomh Eoin: Ronan Nolan; James O’Hara, Martin Doyle, Michael Kavanagh; James O’Hara, Philip Smithers, Ross Smithers; Conor Foley, Kevin Foley; Martin Clowry, Donal Smithers (0-6), Anthony Hogan; Cillian McCabe, Eanna Kavanagh, Cathal Tracey. Subs: James Smithers for R Nolan (BC), Eoin Doyle for C McCabe, Jack Kavanagh for J Smithers (inj), Dwaine Kavanagh for A Hogan.
Referee: Martin Murphy (Tinryland)