Senior Championship Round 4
Brendan Cawley (Sarsfields)
After a slow start from both teams it was Leixlip who registered a score first. After David Holligan had fouled Thomas Moolick inside the square, David Jordan stepped up to convincingly slot the ball past Stephen Davis. With only 6 minutes gone Athy had a 3 point gap to make up without a score on the board. They began the endeavour with a Cian Reynolds point after what was their first decent sequence of play. However their challenge almost became greater as Eamon Murphy got a fist to a loose ball which trickled dangerously across the face of goal with relief painted across the Athy management. In reply Darroch Mulhall kicked a free between the posts which was cancelled out by a similar David Jordan point. After 15 minutes the score was 0-2 to 1-1 and Leixlip weren’t going to give the lead away easy as they deployed blanket defensive tactics. Mulhall clawed another point back before a good move set up Cian Reynolds for a goal but was denied by the strong hands of Gavin Lee. Athy’s intent to reel in the lead was clear and even David Holligan popped up for a point from corner back. The gap remained though as Eamon Murphy nailed a 50 yard free off the ground with a breeze behind him. Just before the half way point Reynolds converted a free to leave the score at 1-3 to 0-5. Despite their lead Leixlip seemed to be relying on long balls into Thomas Moolick and feeding off the breaks. However this would be enough if Athy didn’t lift their performance and cut the feed into the Leixlip inside line.
On the resumption two more yellow cards were produced to add to the six of the first half with conditions making tackling risky business. Mulhall and David Hanlon exchanged points and both teams were trying to turn the gears to find a rhythm. To add to his tally the danger man Mulhall added another point bringing his team level on the 40 minute mark. Now the early penalty scored was dragged back it was all to play for. Around midfield neither team could win an easy ball forced to feed of spilled and broken ball. Athy took the lead for the first time when it was that man again, Darroch Mulhall who kicked a mighty score from an impossible angle. David Jordan, Eamon Murphy and Martin Shaughnessy hunted in packs to battle for Leixlip possession. Despite their work Athy were beginning to get on top and solid performances from Joe Kinahan and David Dunne at the back began to choke the Leixlip inside line. A quiet James Eaton scored his first point of the game followed another Mulhall free signalled Athy’s control and they were looking to seal victory. Their last score came 7 minutes from the end with a reply at the other end when Paul O’Neill pointed to keep Leixlip in touch. With the gap at 3 points Leixlip pushed for a goal and bombarded the Athy square as Murphy landed 4 balls in a row into the square with Paddy Moolick, David Hanlon from midfield and all forwards striving to clench at a loose ball and score the goal that would bring them level. The Reds held on until Brendan Cawley’s final whistle blew and the victory was theirs.
On the balance of events they deserved the win showing more threats in their opposition’s half, and if it weren’t for the penalty in the 6th minute, they might have sealed it with a little more ease. They now progress to the Quarter Finals and will want to build and iron out the creases.
Athy: 1.Stephen Davis,2.David Dunne,3.Joe Kinahan,4.David Holligan (0-1),11.Emmanuel Kennedy,18.David Mc Govern (0-1),19.Brian Kinahan,8.Paddy Dunne,6.Mick Foley,10.Brian Cardiff,15.Cian Reynolds (0-2),5.Ross Bell,12.Ken Brophy,17.James Eaton (0-1),14.Darroch Mulhall (0-6, 5F)
Subs: Daniel O’Keefe for Cardiff (40 mins), Colm Cuddy for Brophy (50mins) Conor Ronan for Kennedy (56mins)
Leixlip: 1.Gavin Lee,2.Ivan Clancy,3.Cormac O’Toole,4.Robert Roche,5.John Roche,.6.Ciaran Fadian,7.Alan Carey,8.David Hanlon (0-1),9.Paddy Moolick,17.Aidan Ryan (0-1),11.Patrock Meagher (0-1),12.Martin Shaughnessy,13.David Jordan (1-1,Pen & 1F),14.Eamon Murphy (0-1),15.Thomas Moolick
Subs: Brian Claffey for Ryan (50mins)
Intermediate Championship Round 4, played at Athy
Ref: Des Coyle
Nurney were the first to raise an umpires flag in this tight contest and Martin Conway had no trouble converting a central free. Raheens set their stall out from the start and were pushing for a killer blow. Within the first 8 minutes they had two goal chances, one saved by Paul Conway and another quick free by Shane Cooke only finding the chest of the Nurney net minder. More indiscipline at the back allowed Andrew Behan to double his sides lead before Raheens eventually marked their first score as Ross Mc Mahon was accurate from the hands. This was follwed up by a Cooke point who was causing havoc for the full back line of Nurney. Both added another to bring them level at 0-3 a piece before the games first goal was registered. When Michael Behans long shot hit the post, Patrick Higginbotham was on hand to gather and drill past Niall Rooney. Despite this goal Nurney were struggling at midfiled with Raheens Alan Igoe breaking a lot of ball off Willy Hefferenan. When they won these breaks it was clear that Raheens were intent on feeding Shane Cooke and it was paying dividends. By the 25th minute he had earned and duly converted two more frees. His teams last score came from Mc Mahon after some intricate fist passing 30 yards out. However before the half way whistle blew Nurney manufactured two more points from Andrew Behan and Darren Byrne who was playing as a third midfielder. This left the score at 1-05 to 0-6 in favour of Nurney.
In the second half Nurney came out to defend their lead and this they did with 2 more points from Willy Heffernan and a free from Darren Byrne. The score was at 1-07 to 0-6 before Raheens started their comeback. Mc Mahon added another free and in a ten minute spell they scored 1-02. The goal came from Alan Campbell and Cathal Carr added a pair of singles. The teams were poised at 1-07 to 1-09 and Raheens had taken the lead again. Nurney had the chance to steal the lead again when a tricky ball into the square led to Andrew Behan bring pulled down. Martin Conway stepped up to the spot. If converted the penalty would put his side in front by a point but he could only pull his shot well wide right of the post. Despite this his side kept pushing and Brian Behan added another point leaving just one between them. It was left up to Raheens to keep ball and prevent any Nurney break with 5 minutes left. They doubled their lead when Shane Cooke received a ball from Carr and turned to fire it over the bar. Nurney tried to inject life into their attacks with multiple substitutions and they bombarded their oppositions’ goal. Raheens had everybody back and all Nurney could salvage was a point through Brian Cahill. The gap was at the minimum and remained there until Des Coyle called time on this tight contest as Raheens took the victory.
Senior Championship Round 3
Round Towers 1-06
Ref: Declan Peppard
Despite Athy leaving Towers without victory in the last two meetings this year between the teams, Championship football would bring a different game altogether. From Declan Peppards first whistle the Reds pushed in front with Mick Foley converting the first score of the game. Darroch Mulhall gad the chance to double the lead from a free but his attempt went right and wide at the town end of St. Conleth’s Park. This lead was short lived and within the space of 2 minutes the Amber and Blacks were a point to the fore. Stuart Murphy and Neil Scanlon both popped up for a point each. It was clear that Athy were on top in midfield winning their own and the oppositions kick-outs, but the conversion rate to scores wasn’t as the Athy line would have desired. Aperiod of ten minutes saw no scores, some scrappy play and the surprise substitution of Mark Scanlon, replaced by Tom Behan. In this period Towers had many chances as they kicked 3 wides but this was much to the credit of their markers who forced the threats such as Padraig Mullarkey to kick from 40-45 yards.
At the other end controversy reigned as time after time Darroch Mulhall and James Eaton were being pushed and fouled to the ground off the ball. Tempers would soon flare but Athy replied in the right manner as Eaton kicked his first score of the day after Mulhall had a goal chance saved. They were about to be granted some freedom as both their markers were yellow carded and walking on thin ice in the full back line. Athy nearly put themselves in the driving seat when a ball was floated towards Emmanuel Kennedy who beat all to rise and fist, but he powered it wide of the post to his managements disappointment. On the 26th minute mark Towers introduce stalwart Glenn Ryan into their set up and he was immediately picked up by Brian Kinahan. For the remainder of the half Kinahan played a running game providing support to Dunne and Foley in midfield. An Eaton free and a long range drive from Mick Foley replied to by Stuart Murphy left the teams 0-05 to 0-03 to Athy. The Reds 2 man full-forward line seemed to be doing the trick with Mulhall, Eaton and Bell causing trouble and creating chances. Just before half time Barry Waters was booked for a nasty strike on Ross Bell which put his defence under more pressure, with half of them being shadowed by a yellow card.
The sky over St. Conleth’s Park grew ominous with dark clouds gathering and as the teams re-entered the field the heavens opened making conditions difficult and slippery. Athy directly re-entered with 2 scores, one each from Eaton and Mulhall who must have surely been worrying the Towers line. Daryl Coogan drifted up his wing to score his first point easily as Glenn Ryan grafted to make the opening for his wing-back team mate. Athy were still winning the majority of the breaking balls at midfield and their patch of advantage was about to dawn. Cian Reynolds playing a free role at his best, made yards up the line used the wind to guide a high kick between James Robinson’s posts and over the bar. Paddy Dunne reinforced the lead with a point of his own. David Holligan made way for Conor Ronan as he picked up a yellow card at half time for descent. Once again it was done who took the initiative and produced another point for his team. On the face of it, Towers may have seemed to be falling out of the game but their never say die and dogged attitude prevailed and they began to claw back advantage at midfield, allowing them to feed the ball inside. Their efforts were almost rewarded as Stuart Murphy slipped behind the defence and narrowly kicked wide when the ball seemed to be destined to rattle Stephen Davis’ bottom corner. It would be a worrying last 10 minutes for Athy as Towers began to turn the gears on a running game which was penetrating the defence more than ever in this tie. Glenn Ryan was un-known territory on the square in front of Davis, marked by Emmanuel Kennedy. He seemed to have gotten free to take his shot but an illegal blow to Kennedy’s face would she a free out awarded. The veteran seemed to have escaped serious punishment for what seemed to be a close fisted strike to the anger of Athy players and management alike. Nevertheless Towers still threatened and Neil Scanlon converted a free to bring the score to 0-10 to 0-06. Injury time would be lengthy after substitutions and stoppages so this tie was nowhere near from being finished. Colm Cuddy was brought in by Athy to add some more height to the midfield and he fed Cian Reynolds who helped to settle nerves by adding another point to his total keeping Towers at a safe distance. Daniel O’Keefe made his entrance for Athy and scored from his first touch, fisting over the bar. Padraig Golden, Mullarkey and Behan were giving it their all around the middle third to clench onto every ball and create something for their side. However this effort led to over-exuberance in the tackle and on the 30 minute mark, with only added time left, a fracas broke out on the far line with players of both sides getting involved. After much pulling, dragging and holding the result was Towers’ Michael Kelly being booked for his part. Affairs would get worse as his partner in defence, number 3, Mark Whelan would receive his second yellow for descent, and be directed to the line leaving his team a man down for the remainder of the match. This wouldn’t take the wind out of the Towers sail and their increased penetration rate of their opponents led to the inevitable. Some last ditch defending by the Reds led to fouling and a free 13 yards out was picked up by Barry Waters. He stood facing what seemed a packed Athy line however he found a gap, with some questions asked of a Towers’ man who was camped on the line and the may have obstructed desperate defenders. Despite this he had breached the Athy defence and goal line. On the strike of 34 minutes the scoreboard read 1-06 to 0-12. It was too little too late for Towers and the final nail in the coffin came from a consistent Mick Foley who got his second point of the game.
At the final whistle, relief for Athy prevailed as they emerged victorious. Both teams had a spell of good play, but the Reds were more efficient in this spell. Towers work rate was their main asset as the fought for every ball in midfield and fed the likes of Scanlon and Murphy who seemed to be able to convert if given the space. Neither team seemed to ever get into a full flowing rhythm but this could be accredited to the 2nd half torrential downpour. In reflection Towers’ downfall was probably their in-discipline, but their relentless battling in between the 45’s led to what was probably Athy’s downfall where they lost control of midfield in the second half with Padraig Golden feeding off breaks from Mullarkey who inturn could feed the inside lines. Both teams now await the draw and next Round match to be played this weekend. Both sides you feel have room for improvement and have a week to do so.
Athy: 1.Stephen Davis,2.David Dunne,3.Joe Kinahan,4.David Holligan,19.Brian Kinahan,18.David Mc Govern,11.Emmanuel Kennedy,8.Paddy Dunne (0-2),6.Mick Foley (0-2),5.Ross Bell (0-1),10.Brian Cardiff,12.Ken Brophy,14.Darroch Mulhall (0-2,1f),17.James Eaton (0-3,1f),15.Cian Reynolds (0-2)
Subs: Conor Ronan for David Holligan (43mins), Colm Cuddy for Brian Kinahan (55mins), Daniel O’Keefe (0-1) for Brian Cardiff (58mins), Aongus Corry for Cian Reynolds (59mins)
Round Towers: 1.James Robinson,2.John Houlihan,3.Mark Whelan,4.Michael Kelly,5.Barry Waters (1-0,F),6.Mark Scanlon,7.Daryl Coogan (0-1),8.Padraig Mullarkey,9.Ken Whelan,10.JasonO’Brien,11.Niall Cleary,12.Pagraig Golden,13.Michael Kearney,14.Stuart Murphy (0-2,1f),15.Neil Scanlon (0-3,2f).
Subs: Tom Behan for Mark Scanlon (15mins), Glenn Ryan for Jason O’Brien (26mins).
Best for Athy: It has to be said that Eaton and Mulhall threatened all match but a steady shift from Mick Foley kept a supply of ball going into the danger men from midfield.
Best For Round Towers: Padraig Golden was dogged on the breaking ball, but Neil Scanlon must be praised for his showing for ball and his accuracy from frees.
Score of the game: 45th Mins, Paddy Dunne popped up to kick a very tight angled point which lifted his team and made the gap 5, keeping a Towers at more than arms length.
Turning Point: You feel that if Stuart Murphy could have slipped his driven goal shot past Stephen Davis into the net on the 53rd Minute mark that his side would have come out of Newbridge with a different result. The score would have been 0-10 to 1-4 and with the tide turning at midfield more scores were guaranteed.
U-16 Quarter Final
Athy 1-15 vs Maynooth 1-07
By Brendan Coffey
ATHY powered their way into the semi-finals of this year’s minor championship but the defending champions had their work cut out for most of the game.The south Kildare side were on the back foot after just two minutes when Maynooth’s full-forward Conor Davin pounced in front of goal to find the net after a brilliant break from midfield involving Martin O’Connor and Josh Gunne.Davin, who’s just out of the under14 ranks, showed great strength to hold off his marker before clipping his shot in off the left post.Three minutes later Mark Donnellan added a point to complete the ideal start for Maynooth, who knew they were up against a formidable force in the shape of the three-in-a-row chasing Athy.
Boasting two county players in midfield the elegant Liam McGovern and the powerful Kevin Feeley it wasn’t long before they recovered the lost ground and by the ninth minute they had two points on the board courtesy of McGovern and another county minor, Niall Kelly.A typically lung-bursting run from John Comerford yielded another Maynooth point as they kept their noses in front but they were reeled in by the 21st minute when Feeley pointed a free. McGovern kicked Athy in front two minutes later but it was level at the break (1-4 to 07) when Niall Kelly and Comerford traded points.
The resumption brought stalemate for eight minutes until McGovern finally opened the second half scoring with a fine point off his weaker right foot but it was all square again with 11 minutes remaining as Maynooth continued to frustrate their opponents.
While Athy were wasteful in front of goal in the first half kicking eight wides it was Maynooth’s turn to miss in the second period.Although only four shots went wide, they coughed up possession on numerous occasions during the course of promising attacks. Twice their forwards could have fisted over simple points but elected to hunt for goals instead a policy that yielded nothing but frustration.When Athy finally took control, they did so in style. In the space of two minutes they kicked over four points, two from the irrepressible Niall Kelly, and in a flash they were four clear, 0-13 to 1-6. After two more points put the game to bed, Michael Keogh added the coup de grace with a well-taken goal in the 57th minute.All Maynooth’s hard work had been undone in six minutes a sign of just how good Athy can be when they get going. Their three-in-a-row ambitions look in safe hands.
Senior League Division 1
Allenwood 1-11 vs Athy 1-08
The conditions in Allenwood were nothing but testing with a strong wind blowing directly down the field and rain threatening on a regular occasion. It was Allenwood who were playing with the wind in their backs and they took full advantage of it. Both teams opened with wides but the first score came from Allenwood with a John Doyle free. He then doubled this with a similar conversion before Athy opened their account as James Eaton sweetly kicked with the outside of the boot to land the ball over the black spot. Doyle made it a hat trick of converted frees by the 10th minute and with more pressure mounting on the away side, eventually after a long line ball, Joe Kinahan could only break the ball where John Cross snapped at the chance. He pulled swiftly on the ball which flew low past Stephen Davis and rattled the net. This led to a considerable gap early on which would be hard to claw back for Athy. To compound the effect of the goal Doyle was accurate again with a free. Allenwood had punished Athy for every foul and continued to do so. James Eaton scored his and Athy’s second to try and keep in touch but before the break Allenwood outscored Athy 2 points to 1. At the midway point the score was 1-06 to 0-03 with Athy trailing. Allenwood’s only score from play was their goal with Doyle’s accurate free taking providing the 6 points. To have a chance of winning Athy would have to be more efficient in moving from defence to attack and cut reduce their foul count.
Athy introduced Ken Brophy who was returning from a serious knee injury and hoped his experience would settle the team. After John Doyle converted yet another free and Cormac O’Sullivan socred his own point, the break through Athy needed and desired arrived. Some intricate passing by Emmanual Kennedy and Brophy led to James Eaton being faced with only Shane Mc Cormack in front of him. He kicked across the goal and nestled the ball in the bottom corner bringing a huge lift to his team. He followed up with a close range free. For the next 10 minutes Athy retuned to something like the form they have been having and Ross Bell showed his hunger and determination setting an example. He scored a point and created a point, both as a result of interceptions. James Eaton scored a long range point from play under pressure from Michael Mullen to bring the gap to a minimum. They had clawed back and almost drew but Ross Bell’s effort flew wide with 15 minutes left. Realising the threat to their lead, Allenwood increased their pressure to fight hard for possession and ball time. This paid dividends and scored 3 more points before the end. Paddy Dunne had Athy’s last score to his name with one minute left but time was not on his team’s side. On the final whistle the score was 1-11 to 1-08 with the gap at 3 points. Reflecting it can be said that the 6 frees that John Doyle gladly converted were a huge contributing factor to the less. It can’t be ignored that if discipline had been better for Athy, the final result may have been better for them also. However both teams did have spells where they were on top but it was Allenwood who who more efficient especially in the first half.
1.Shane Mc Cormack,2.Daragh Johnson,3.Michael Mullen,4.Michael Mc Cormack,5.John Aungier,6.Mark Hogarty,7.David Hughes,8.Noel Casey,9.John Doyle(0-9,8F),10.Eric Judge,11.Cormac O’Sullivan (0-1),12.Kenneth Swords,13.John Cross (1-0),14.Eanna O’Neill,15.David Burke.
1.Stephen Davis,2.Mark Beaver,.3Joe Kinahan,4.David Dunne,5.Trevor Clancy,6.Timmy Dunne,7.David Holligan,8.Paddy Dunne (0-1),9.David Mc Govern,10.Ross Bell,11.Emmanual Kennedy (0-1),12.Daniel O’Keefe (0-1),13.Conor Ronan,14.James Eaton (1-5,3F),15.James Kelly.
Subs: HT,Ken Brophy For James Kelly, 55mins Shane O’Brien for Trevor Clancy
Senior League Div. 1 Round 8
Ref: Brendan Hickey
Athy were without Brian Kinahan, but were boosted by Daniel O’Keefe, Mick Foley and Paddy Dunne returning. After a very good performance with the Kildare Juniors, James Eaton continued his excellent play by opening the scores for Athy on the first minute with a free. David Wynne promptly replied with a point of his own. Eaton doubled his and Athy’s score just 2 minutes later with another converted free. Darroch Mulhall was next to score for the home team with yet another free. After 8 minutes Eaton had a hat trick of points from frees and it seemed that the Kilcock defence were finding it hard to deal with the Athy inside line of Eaton and Mulhall. Andy Gavin stepped up to score from his own self-created free to keep his team in touch. For the next 10 minutes a bare patch in the game prevailed with neither team scoring a single score. A physical style from both teams led to some broken play and Kilcock were the first team to suffer as a result. Their full forward, Owen Flanagan, was forced to leave the field of play with a seriously broken finger after he and David Mc Govern contested a high ball. In this period it emerged that Cian Flanagan at wing –half forward was going to pose the biggest threat to Athy as he won ball ahead of David Holligan. All of Athy’s scores had been from frees until Mick Foley advanced from midfield to clip an inch perfect point over the bar from underneath the stand. His inside forwards had been working hard to support each other and this paid off when Darroch Mulhall rounded behind Eaton under pressure to receive a fist pass and snap the ball over the bar. He added another to his tally when he gather 60 yards out, advanced ahead and then his shot cleared the attempted block of Andrew Quinn to sail between the sticks. Even though it seemed Kilcock had fallen out of the game, 2 wins, 2 losses and a draw from their last 5 games would lead indicate that they were capable of more. They kept in touch with a Brian Thornton free just before half time, leaving the score 0-07 to 0-03 in favour of Athy.
The away team continued in the same vain and after winning the throw in, almost hit the net but Stephen Davis was alive to the threat from the dangerous Cian Flanagan. From the resulting 45’ a scoring chance was created for centre back Declan Mc Inerney. They kept the pressure on and in the third minute their hard work paid off. A high ball reeking of danger landed just outside the square. Stephen Davis and David Mc Govern challenged but their efforts could not prevent Andrew Quinn from snatching on the ball down low to fist in in the net. It was game on and the Athy line was left with no gap between them and their opponents. Mulhall restored the lead with a free and Eaton followed up with a similar point. Ross Bell was on hand when Cian Reynolds found himself surrounded and duly took his point after receiving a fist pass. Despite their effort Athy could not shake Kilcock Andy Gavin and Brian Thornton scored a point each from frees. Athy introduced Sean Kinahan for Paddy Dunne to reinforce the midfield which was directly followed by the sending off of Barry O’Keefe for Kilcock, after 2 yellow cards. This would make their task even harder and require more effort. Mulhall converted another free to be replied by Eamon Fitzpatrick. There was no sign of Kilcock lying down and corner back Austin Tighe punched the air as his attempt at a point was successful raising the white flag to draw level. To Athy’s despair Kilcock took the lead through right-half back Ronan Devine. Time was ticking with only 7 minutes left. Conor Ronan, playing between the half back and full back line was ordered to push forward in order to create and extra option and a channel for scores. This paid off and a long pass found the on form Mulhall who is ever consistent. His point drew Athy level with 4 minutes remaining creating a nail biting conclusion. Both teams battled for possession, trying to make every tackle and pass count. The deciding score came courtesy of Ross Bell bringing relief to Athy. He kicked across the ball from 40 yards out to guide the ball with the outside of his boot over the crossbar of Kieran Henehan. When Brendan Hickey blew the final whistle a sense of relief fell on the Athy sideline with Kilcock just loosing out by the minimum. Nevertheless they can take plenty of positives showing heart and hard work after going a man down. On the Athy side, they will be content with the points after beating St. Laurences last week, but certainly have room improvement if they are going to continue contesting.
Athy:1.Stephen Davis,2.Mark Beaver,3.David Mc Govern,4.Joe Kinahan,5.Ross Bell,(0-2)6.Timmy Dunne,7.David Holligan,8.Mick Foley,(0-1)9.Daniel O’Keefe,10.Brian Cardiff,11.Cian Reynolds,12.Paddy Dunne,13.Conor Ronan,14.James Eaton,(0-3F)15.Darroch Mulhall.(0-7,0-4F)
Kilcock:1.Kieren Henehen,2.Austin Tighe,(0-1)3.Cormac Davey,4.Barry O’Keefe,5.Ronan Devine,(0-1)6.Declan Mc Inerney,(0-1)7.Eamon Fitzpatrick,(0-1)8.Dave Mc Tiernan,9.Andrew Quinn,(1-0)10.Cian Flanagan,11.David Wynne,(0-1)12.Neil Gannon,13.Andy Gavin,(0-2F)14.Owen Flanagan,15.Brian Thornton.(0-2F)