Intermediate Football Championship – Round 1
FIGHTING COCKS 0-10
KILDAVIN-Clonegal were never headed at Bro Leo Park, Tullow on Sunday morning Wexford border, their 11 point margin of victory over the Fighting Cock providing a strong signal of their intent on being involved in the business end of the Carlow Intermediate Football Championship.
The men in red and black took early control of this first round game with a succession of points before goals from left full forward Paul Nolan and Daniel St Ledger left the Cocks with a huge mountain to climb, one which ultimately proved much too steep for them.
The Cocks had their feathers ruffled by that early stream of Kildavin-Clonegal stream of points. After that unhappy start it was a fight for the Cocks to maintain a significant presence in what was, overall, a scrappy affair.
Within 30 second of the game’s throw-in Paul Nolan stormed through the Cocks defence to blaze over the bar, when it might just as easily have been a three-pointer. Copnor ‘Byrne levelled with a 3rd minute free for the Cocks but it was the only time they were to regain parity.
For the opening 25 minutes Kildavin-Clonegal were deadly accurate, their goals coming in the 16th and 22nd minutes. They kicked no wide in compiling 2-6 before Daniel St Ledger was wide from a free on 25 minutes. The outstanding score was a magnificent point out of play from Joe Roberts on 4 minutes as his side regained the lead.
The goals underlined the clinical and opportunistic nature of the Kildavin-Clonegal play. For the first Daniel St Ledger’s well-directed free was cleverly deflected by Paul Nolan past Cocks goalie Craig Doyle. And minutes later, ignoring a slight set-to between a player from each side close to the sideline, Kildavin-Cloengal kept on playing and, with Niall Hickey centrally involved, Daniel St Ledger showed his predatory instincts by gaining possession close to goal, turning and shooting to net.
It was a real struggle for the Cocks, who depended greatly on frees left full forward Conor O’Byrne from frees to get their scores and they trailed 2-8 to 0-4 at the half-time break.
Their task was made harder three minutes into the second half when influential midfielder Liam Sheppard received a black card. However the Cocks had the better of the third quarter and with Alan Quigley their go-to man in attack they upped their play, with wing backs Tom Eustace and Kieran Nolan prominent.
At the second water break it was still a comfortable margin of 2-10 to 0-8 for Kildavin-Clonegal. On resumption two points from Alan Quigley and first half substitute Willie O’Brien reduced the leeway to those two first half goals.
But the Cocks could get no closer. Kildavin-Clonegal ran in five second half substitutes and they closed out the game with an injury time goal from one of those subs, Daryl Roberts, as they recorded a comfortable victory.
The winners were tight in defence where Donal Hickey, Barry Hickey and Liam Roberts were prominent. Cillian Redmond fielded well and worked hard all through in midfield while in attack the major scoring honours fell to Paul Nolan, who notched 1-4 from play in a fine personal display, free-taker Joe Roberts with 0-4 and Daniel St Ledger, who recorded 1-1.
Fighting Cocks never really recovered from a fretful first half in which they were constantly hit on the counter-attack by opponents taking all their scoring chances. They did improve considerable in the second half, which will give them some encouragement for future games. They were denied the consolation of winning the second half with 0-6 before Daryl Roberts late, late goal mean Kildavin-Clonegal finished with a tally of 1-4 for the half.
Jack McDonald, Tom Eustace, Eoin O’Byrne, Kieran Nolan, Liam Sheppard, Trevor Watchorn, Gary Nolan, Alan Quigley and Conor O’Byrne were best for the Cocks.
KILDAVIN-CLONEGAL: Ronan Brennan; Niall Murphy, Donal Hickey, Paul Kavanagh; Barry Hickey Liam Roberts, Liam McGuill (0-1); John Kirwan, Cillian Redmond; Niall Hickey, Eoin Roberts, Joe Roberts (0-4 0-2 frees); Daniel St Ledger (1-1), Aidan Kelly (0-1), Paul Nolan (1-3). Subs: Daniel Murphy (0-1) for J Roberts (46); Padraig Hickey for Redmond (46); Daryl Roberts (1-0) for Kelly (46); Robert St Ledger for E Roberts (52); Gavin Byrne for B Hickey (56).
FIGHTING COCKS: Craig Doyle; Jason Kelly, Jack McDonald, James Hickey; Tom Eustace, Eoin O’Byrne, Kieran Nolan (0-1); Liam Sheppard, Trevor Watchorn; Ryan O’Sullivan, Gary Nolan ( 0-1), D J Sinnott; Alan Quigley (0-2, 0-1 free), Mattie Dowling (0-1), Conor O’Byrne (0-4, 0-3 frees). Subs: Willie O’Byrne (0-1) for O’Sullivan (28); Seán McGrath for Sinnott (injured) (28); Seán Quirke for Watchorn (46).
REFEREE: Jonathan Murphy (St Mullins).
By Charlie Keegan
BALLINABRANNA 2-9 NAOMH EOIN 0-5
By Tommy Murphy
NAOMH Eoin started this intermediate football championship game against Ballinabranna in whirlwind fashion at Myshall on Sunday evening. Taking the game to the visitors they were first to score with two neat points from corner forward Cathal Tracey, Conor Foley and Martin Clowry added two further long range points as Naomh Eoin led by 0-4 to 0-0 after seven minutes.
Ballinabranna with a neat pass from Darren Lunny saw Robert Sansom box over their first score after eight minutes. Naomh Eoin were still attacking strong however the Ballinabranna defence was now breaking up attacks and moving the ball out of the danger area as they restricted the Naomh Eoin men for any more scores. The first water break saw Naomh Eoin holding a three point lead 0-4 to 0-1.
Ballinabranna lifted the tempo in the second quarter as they now began to get possession and run at the Naomh Eoin defence Darren O’ Keeffe kicked over from play followed by Darren Lunny to narrow the gap to a single score 0-4 to 0-3. Five minutes before the break the turning point for the winners came when David Cox was brought down for a penalty which Robert Sansom put in the corner of the net as his side took the lead for the first time, and full back Colin Byrne found himself way out from his own goal as he kicked their fourth point as Ballinabranna led by 1-4 to 0-4 at half time.
On the restart Roberts Sansom extended Ballinabranna’s lead and Eanna Kavanagh replied for Naomh Eoin. A move involving Darren O’Keeffe, Darren Lunny and the final pass to Sansom as he boxed the ball to the Naomh Eoin net as the second water break was called. Ballinabranna now on a rool finished with three points from Darren Lunny and one from Robert Sansom as they ran out ten point winners. Once Ballinabranna got going they were solid in all positions with the wily Bobby Daly working the computer from the no four position as all players handled the ball well and particularly Darren Lunny and Robert Sansom as they accounted for 2-7 of their 2-9 total. Naomh Eoin after such a good start will be disappointed that they only scored one point in fifty three minutes, they worked hard and created good opportunities but the Ballinabranna defence gave them very little room to score. Michael and Jack Kavanagh, Eoin Hosey, John Michael Nolan and Conor Foley until injured tried their best.
BALLINABRANNA: Kealan Byrne, Bobby Comerford, Colin Byrne (0-1), Bobby Daly, Jimmy Cahill, Gary Dunne, Darren Geraghty, Eric Robinson, Michael Jackson, Darren O’Keefe (0-1), James Kehoe, David Cox, Darren Lunny (0-4), Robert Sansom (2-3), Rory Hurley, subs, ben Dorgan for Eric Robinson, Conor McNally for David Cox
NAOMH EOIN: Damian Jordan, Tommy Nolan, Martin Doyle, Michael Kavanagh, Ross Smithers, Philip Smithers, Jack Kavanagh, John Michael Nolan, Kevin Foley, Eoin Hosey, Martin Clowry (0-1), Conor Foley (0-1), Eanna Kavanagh (0-1), Eoin Redmond, Cathal Tracey (0-2), subs, Scott Tracey for Conor Foley (inj),Micheal Mullins for Martin Clowry, Gavin Ruschitzko for Eoin Redmond, James O’Hara for Kevin Foley, Cillian McCabe for Eanna Kavanagh
REFEREE: Brian Deering (Rathvilly)
By Tommy Murphy
FENAGH 3-8 CLONMORE 1-14
FENAGH and Clonmore played out an entertaining draw last Friday evening at an immaculately laid out Bro Leo Park as the Intermediate Championship got underway.
It is a pity that there were no supporters present because it was the kind of see-saw tie that would have created a big atmosphere, certainly anybody who chose to spend their Friday evening in front of a laptop watching the streaming service on social media will it was time well spent.
Clonmore raced out of the traps and scored the first 1-4 of the game but in the end needed a free from Con Murphy in the sixth minute of injury time to prevent Fenagh, who were missing star player Sean Murphy, from taking the win.
Clonmore were electric in those early stages. Tom Pollard scored their goal after five minutes and every time they came forward they looked like scoring. They dominated around the middle as well and scored points through Sean Deay, Pollard, Paddy Gahan and Shane McGrath.
It took Fenagh until the 14th minute before Dylan Bradley opened their scoring from a free and they were glad of the opportunity to regroup during the first half water break.
Whatever was said during that break worked a treat as they looked a different there after. Five minutes after the resumption of play, following a good spell of pressure from Fenagh, Mark Foley stepped inside his marker and buried a low shot into the bottom corner of the net.
They got a second goal, and got back on level terms in the 29th minute, when a neat side step by Bradley opened up some space and he fed the ball to Jack Rowan who was able to go around the goalkeeper and score into the empty net.
There were points at both ends in injury time and the sides went in level at the break, Fenagh 2-2 Clonmore 1-5.
Fenagh went in front for the first time early in the second half when Jack Treacy, one of the best players on display on the evening, curled over a nice score.
The fine start they had made seemed a distant memory by then for Clonmore but falling behind seemed to rouse them and they replied with four points in a row.
Fenagh answered with two of their own before David McCarney scored a point that for Clonmore that Fenagh insisted was wide. Some of the Fenagh sideline were still querying the legality of that score as their players broke forward and a quick counter-attack ended with Bradley hitting the back of the net in the 45th minute.
The water break gave everybody a chance to draw breath but the final quarter was just as frantic.
Treacy and Bradley scored to put Fenagh three clear but with defeat looming, Clonmore answered back with three points in a row, two from substitute Murphy.
All square and deep into injury time, a free from Bradley in the 65th minute looked set to decide the tie but there was just about time for Clonmore to work the ball from the kick out to Muprhy and he completed a very important cameo spell off the bench with the equalising score. Indeed, there was time for Clonmore to win when one last play was allowed by referee Billy Fanning but even though Niall Humphreys got a good sight of goal from inside the 45 he couldn’t hit the target with his shot. It would have tough for either team to lose such an absorbing encounter.
FENAGH: Declan Murphy; Luke Bradley, Tommy Bric, Jack O’Connor, James Cummins, Jamie McCabe, Pat Hickey; Mark Foley 1-1, Keagan Bradley; Sean Smithers, Michael Murphy, Jack Treacy 0-3, Cormac Lomax, Dylan Bradley 1-4 (4fs), Jack Rowan 1-0. Subs: Dion Wall for Hickey, 43; Conor Treacy for D Bradley, 60.
CLONMORE: Jordan Kane; David McCarney 0-1, Shane Murphy, Sean Moran, Paddy Gahan 0-1, Enda McGrath, Cormac Cassidy; Anthony Byrne 0-1, Sean Deay 0-1; Daniel Quigley, Shane McGrath 0-1, Luke Connolly, Tom Pollard 1-4, Owen Coleman 0-2 (1f), Robert Bulmer. Subs: Con Murphy 0-3 (1f) for McGrath, 37; Billy Lawlor for Quigley, 38; Niall Humphreys for Pollard, 54; David Mulvaney for Deay, 54; Rory Maguire for Connolly, 60.
REFEREE: Billy Fanning.
By Ger McNally