Roche secures victory for Vols

Volunteers 0-16 Cloughbawn (aet)

Dean Goodison - IAFC at St Patrick's Park

Volunteers advanced to the Joyces Expert Intermediate 'A' football championship semi-final after a titanic tussle with Cloughbawn in St. Patrick's Park on Saturday.

The John Street side looked to be heading for defeat when Barry Carton played an intricate one-two with Martin Kehoe and sent a rasping drive to John Cody's net four minutes into added time at the end of the first 60.

However, the Vols worked the ball down the field and Stephen Burke won a free, fully 40 metres out from goal.

Eoin O'Shea stepped up, held his nerve and nailed the dead-ball to send the game to extra-time (0-13 to 2-7).

Scores from Keith Kearney and Aaron McGuire put the Wexford town side ahead, only for Martin Kehoe and Bob Whitty to pull Cloughbawn level. Yet experienced Volunteers substitute Aidan Roche had the final say, kicking what turned out to be the winning point with seven minutes remaining.

The Castleboro side will reflect on an afternoon of poor shooting and wasted opportunities. They kicked 15 wides in normal time, four more in overtime, and had more than enough chances to win the game, despite playing without influential duo Connal Flood and Colm Kehoe.

Martin Kehoe had put Cloughbawn ahead in the third minute with a punched major from close range. Keith Kearney was denied by a fine Billy Dunne save at the other end but his side slowly hit their stride.

Out of their eight first-half points, just Keith Kearney's leveller in the 18th minute came off the right boot (1-1 to 0-4). The other seven, including a speculative effort from Keith Furlong and a few fine scores from Jack O'Leary, were all off the left.

Leading by 0-8 to 1-3 at the change of ends, that trend continued after the break with O'Shea kicking a string of points. Volunteers held the lead all the way through the half until Carton netted but they had enough in reserve to edge into the semi-final.

Volunteers: John Cody (capt.); Mick Murphy, Anthony Walsh, Brian Delaney; Jason Kearns, Keith Furlong (0-1), Paddy Glover; Stephen Burke, Jack O'Leary (0-3, 1 free); Brian Sheridan, Keith Kearney (0-3), Cian Brennan; Aaron McGuire (0-1), Luke Dowdall, Eoin O'Shea (0-7, 4 frees). Subs. - Ben McMahon for Glover, inj. (18), Eoin McCarthy for O'Leary (40), Aidan Roche (0-1) for McGuire, temp. (43-45), Danny O'Sullivan for Kearns, inj. (51), Roche for Dowdall (60+5), Mikey Lawlor for Sheridan (60+5), Sheridan for Lawlor (61), Lawlor for McMahon, black card (70), Cian Rossiter for Delaney, black card (70+1).

Cloughbawn: Billy Dunne; James Dempsey, Colin Doyle, Johnny Cullen; Harry Kehoe, David Doyle-Murphy, Gavin Murphy; Barry Kehoe (capt.), Páidí Cullen; Barry Carton (1-0), Robert Kinsella, Thomas Foley (0-1); Paudie Kehoe, Martin Kehoe (1-4, 0-4 frees), Paul Foley (0-3, 2 frees). Subs. - Bob Whitty (0-1 free) for P. Kehoe (31), Gareth Murphy for P. Foley, inj. (37), Cathal Doran for T. Foley (73), P. Kehoe for Doyle-Murphy, black card (76).

Referee: Paddy Brady (Réalt na Mara).

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