Combo side prevail at Kilmacthomas
St. Brendan’s . . . 0-13; John Mitchell’s . . . 0-10
This all Eastern senior football championship affair was played in ideal conditions at Kilmacthomas on Sunday.
St Brendan’s laid down a marker, when they accounted for newly promoted John Mitchell’s in an interesting second round encounter in front of a fair sized attendance.
It was one of those games which could easily have gone either way, but the winners, who started and finished well, were full value for their 0-13 to 0-10 victory.
It was a game punctuated by a few passages of good football, but scarcely of a standard to send shock waves reverberating through most of the other contenders for county honours. In fairness, St Brendan’s were short a number of first team players, but they stuck resolutely to their task. even when it looked as if John Power’s unerring place kicking in the second half would eventually tilt the issue in favour of the Fewsmen, three good points in the final 10 minutes without reply, proved good enough to tilt the scales in the group outfit’s favour in the end.
The game started on a very lively note with the teams sharing two points in the space of as many minutes. It fell to corner forward Peter Torpey who out paced his marker to give St Brendan’s the lead in just 60 seconds after the throw in, and when Fergal Fogarty equalised in even more impressive fashion inside a minute, the stage was set for a keenly contest game.
Fogarty was denied a second white flag a couple of minutes later, when his high floating delivery came back into play off the upright before it was scrambled to safety. Winning a fair deal of possession around the middle of the field, the combination side surged ahead in style and a foul on Dermot Casey provided Ray Hennessy with the free to put the maroon and white colours back in front.
Fellow Kill colleague Ben Gallagher showed that he was equally good from placed position when he obliged with their third point and when Peter Kirwan set up Ray Hennessy for another a minute later. John Mitchell’s despite their growing degree of possession, had little or nothing to show for it, until John Power came up with their second point on the quarter hour from a free, and when he repeated the process shortly afterwards, the deficit was down to the minimum.
As the tempo of the contest improved and defences in turn found themselves subjected to more pressure. St Brendan’s regained their grip in the centre where Mick Ahearne combined well with his inter-county colleague Dermot Casey, and additional points set up a double score situation of 0-6 to 0-3. John Power again converted a close in free for the Fewsmen, but the group side rounded off the half in style and further points from Ben Gallagher (free) and Peter Kirwan left St Brendan’s the happier of the two going into half time.
Even though the group team took up where they had left off when the second half action resumed, ‘Mitchell’s response was more than encouraging. John Power brought the best out of Thomas Wall before settling for a point and Fergal Fogarty got his name on the score sheet for the second time in the 37th minute. A well worked reply as Ray Hennessy set up Peter Kirwan for the winners 10th point in the 41st minute, clearly suggested to the Fewsmen that they had considerable work to do in order to make their senior debut a winning one.
To their credit the 2007 Intermediate champions came back strongly and in a dominant six minute spell they fought their way to parity in telling fashion. Tony Kirwan started the resurgence with a fine point that was followed by three more white flags in quick succession from frees by John Power. With the score standing at 10 points a piece, this game was there for the taking with 10 minutes remaining.
Fittingly, it fell to Mick Ahearne to restore ‘Brendan’s lead for the last time in the 51st minute with a super effort, and with John Power’s trusty foot deserting him for a couple of handy frees, it was subsequently the winners turn to put the outcome beyond doubt in the last couple of minutes, as Ben Gallagher and Mick Ahearne sealed on a well merited 0-13 to 0-10 win.
The winners now meet Gaultier in the third round of the championship at Walsh Park next Sunday, knowing that a victory would guarantee them a place in the knock out stages. For this latest success St. Brendan’s can particularly thank the likes of Tom Wall in goal, defenders Martin Scurry, Ger Hayes, Fergal Whelan and Tommy Power, Mick Ahearne and Dermot Casey in midfield stood out, while Ray Hennessy, Peter Kirwan, Nicky Power and Ben Gallagher were very prominent in attack.
Missing Cian O’Connor, John Mitchell’s will surely be disappointed at not getting a positive result out of this initial test. Still for sheer total commitment throughout full marks must go to Damien O’Reilly, Leo Barry, David and Tony Kirwan, Paul Fogarty and John Power, but an all round improvement will be required if they are to beat Nire this coming week end.
St. Brendan’s: Ben Gallagher 0-4 (frees), Ray Hennessy 0-3 (0-1 free), Mick Ahearne 0-3, Peter Kirwan 0-2 and Peter Torpey 0-1.
John Mitchell’s: John Power 0-7 (0-6 frees), Fergal Fogarty 0-2 and Tony Kirwan 0-1.
St. Brendan’s: Tom Wall, Martin Curry, Ger Hayes, Fergal Whelan, Niall Hennessy, Ger Dunphy, Tommy Power, Michael Ahearne, Dermot Casey, Nicky Power, Ray Hennessy, Peter Kirwan, Ben Gallagher, Anthony Kiely, Peter Torpey. Subs: Paul Moran for Torpey.
John Mitchell’s: Ivor Kelly, Niall Barry, Kenneth O’Reilly, Paul Fogarty, Leo Barry, Damien O’Reilly, William McGrath, David Kirwan, Paudie Kirwan, Simon Kenny, Tony Kirwan, Neil O’Connor, Paddy O’Sullivan, Fergal Fogarty, John Power. Subs: Aidan Kirwan for Kirwan, David Whelan for Kenny.
Referee: Sean O Conduin (Rinn ogCuanach).
For full story see The Munster Express newspaper or
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