Michael Davitts 3-17
By Tommy Murphy
MICHAEL Davitts and Fenagh under-20 footballers served up a highly skilled championship encounter at Pairc Molaise, Old Leighlin on Thursday evening.
Both sides played an attractive brand of football, particularly Davitts whose mission was to move forward and get scores as quickly as possible, something they did with accuracy, and this was enough to see them finish top of their group and set up a semi-final meeting with Éire Óg.
Fenagh may not have been as strong as Davitts in all sectors but they tried their best and they finished second in the table which means they have a semi-final date with neighbours Bagenalstown Gaels.
Once Davitts corner-forward Sean Taylor shot the game’s first goal in the opening half, they began to move up in gears as they led by 1-12 to 1-6 at the break.
Both goalkeepers, Ryan Farrell for Fenagh and Cian Kavanagh for Michael Davitts, also had their moments as they had to bring off heroic saves during the hour.
In the last period, Davitts were composed as they picked off some excellent long-range points with a minimum of fuss. Goals from Mikey Bambrick and Darren O’Keefe and the accuracy of Aidan Lillis saw the margin rise.
The Fenagh defence were under pressure, however Ciaran Dowling and Luke Bradley worked hard and denied Davitts scoring opportunities.
Ben Dorgan and Liam Brennan were strong at midfield for the winners, aided by two solid lines of defence behind them where Cathal Brennan, Jamie Doyle, David Lillis were prominent.
All six forwards made it happen, particularly the full-forward line of Sean Taylor, Aidan Lillis, and Mikey Bambrick with their quick thinking for scores. But it was a final overall team effort from Davitts.
Fenagh were disappointed as they were reduced to 14 men after 20 minutes. They showed great resilience and enjoyed good possession but they found it hard to get scores. However Sean Smithers, Conor Tracey, Pauric Hynes, and Colin Byrne with 1-3 did all in their power to stem the tide.
Michael Davitts: Cian Kavanagh; PJ Aughney, Cathal Brennan, Jamie Doyle; Jordan Kelly, Tadgh Roche, David Lillis (0-1); Ben Dorgan (0-2), Liam Brennan; Jason Daly (0-2), Damian O’Keeffe (1-1), Robert O’Byrne (0-1); Sean Taylor (1-3), Aidan Lillis (0-5), Mikey Bambrick (1-1). Subs: Craig Lawlor for PJ Aughney, Dylan Kavanagh for T Roche, Andy Mulleeney (0-1) for J Kelly
Fenagh: Ryan Farrell; Ciaran Dowling, Jamie McCabe, Craig Bermingham; Mark Foley, Luke Bradley, Jack Tracey (0-1); Sean Smithers (0-1), Conor Tracey; Jack Nolan, Cormac Lomax (0-3), Michael Murphy (0-2); Jack Hickey, Pauric Hynes (0-2), Colin Byrne (1-3). Subs: Eamonn Normanly for C Bermingham, Padraic Nolan for J Hickey, Donnacha Murphy for J Tracey
Referee: Pat Keogh