Michael Davitts 0-14
By Kieran Murphy
AFTER winning the under-19 A final last year, Michael Davitts are on the march again as they came away from Rathvilly with a hard-fought victory against the home side in the under-20 football A championship on Wednesday.
Around the field there were plenty of 50-50 tussles. In front of goals the eventual winners had an edge and it was the performance of the front three and Aidan Lillis in particular which proved to be decisive.
At the back Davitts were rock solid and Rathvilly struggled to make an impression on the scoreboard.
The visitors started well with Lillis, Liam Ryan and Jason Daly all knocking over points. A Darragh Murphy free at the dressing-room end of the ground got Rathvilly off the mark. Davitts always had their noses in front.
At one stage an excellent Kevin Murphy point for Rathvilly narrowed the gap to two – 0-4 to 0-2 – and even though Davitts produced another surge it was back to 0-6 to 0-3 with 10 minutes to go to the end of the half.
Mikey Bambrick then drove forward and found the Rathvilly posts and at the other end Darragh Murphy was on the end of a patient passing move. Holding his composure he pointed from a tricky angle. Aidan Lillis and Murphy traded frees to leave the visitors with a 0-8 to 0-5 edge at the break.
Scores were hard to come by after the interval. On 40 minutes, Lillis, Davitts’ leading scorer, landed a free and then added another. Jack Malone’s point suggested the leaders were set to win comfortably but Rathvilly had their moments. It took an excellent Bambrick interception to prevent Rathvilly getting through on goal while on the other hand a brilliant point-blank save from their keeper kept out the marauding Davitts forwards.
Even though Darragh Murphy scored a 45 and a free for the Wicklow-border side, Davitts gradually got on top. With only minutes remaining Darren O’Keeffe produced the insurance point. There was a little bit more to come from Davitts as substitute James Dowling improvised when fly-kicking over the crossbar while O’Toole tipped a rocket from the same player over the bar.
That ended the scoring. Davitts will surely get stronger now with this tough game under their belts.
Michael Davitts: Shane O’Reilly; Andy Mulleney, Cathal Brennan, Jamie Doyle; Jamie Lunney (0-1), Mikey Bambrick (0-1), David Lillis; Ben Dorgan, Robert O’Byrne; Jason Daly (0-1), Darren O’Keeffe (0-1), Liam Ryan (0-1); Sean Taylor, Aidan Lillis (0-6 frees), Jack Malone (0-1). Subs: James Dowling (0-2) for Taylor (40 mins), Fiach O’Toole for Ryan (45 mins), Dylan Kavanagh for Malone (57 mins).
Rathvilly: Dillon O’Toole; Padraig Deering, Cian Leonard, Kyle Lawlor; Padraig Bolger, Sennan Molloy, Jack Carroll; Don Colgan, Conor Doyle (0-1); Diarmuid Gavin, Darragh Murphy (0-5, 0-2 frees, 45), Ethan Smith; Dean Cassells, Kevin Murphy (0-1), Adam Byrne. Sub: Jack Nolan (0-1) for Deering (19 mins).
Referee: Martin Murphy (Tinryland)