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Monday 18 December 2017

Cloughbawn claim two wins in five fruitful days

Cloughbawn 1-16 Kilrush 1-7

Shane Bradley

Cloughbawn had a comfortable nine-point win over Kilrush in the Joyces Expert Intermediate football championship Group A in St. Patrick's Park on Tuesday.

After a dull but tight first-half, Cloughbawn easily brushed their opponents aside in the second period. The opening minutes were scrappy as both sides struggled to keep hold of possession and, with some wayward shooting, it took until eight minutes for the opening score as Kilrush full-forward Billy Nolan pointed on his left side just before Connal Flood responded for Cloughbawn.

Cloughbawn then hit three consecutive scores as Martin Kehoe blazed over from close range, Paul Foley slotted over after a run from deep, and Bob Whitty capitalised on an error in the Kilrush defence to leave Cloughbawn 0-4 to 0-1 ahead after 18 minutes.

Kilrush struck the first goal on 20 minutes as substitute Brian Hayden made an immediate impact. He slotted over two placed balls before wing-back Tom Hayden popped a pass in over the Cloughbawn defence to the onrushing Brian Hayden who shot low to the net to put Kilrush in front by 1-3 to 0-4.

On 25 minutes Connal Flood netted a goal after receiving the ball close to goal, turning his marker and blasting to the net past Kilrush 'keeper John Harte. Hayden and Paul Foley exchanged frees to leave Cloughbawn ahead at the break by 1-5 to 1-4 after a lack-lustre first-half.

Cloughbawn took complete control in the second-half as they outscored their Gorey District opponents by eight points. Páidí Cullen and Billy Nolan pointed from the off, with Nolan's goal shot being parried over by Billy Dunne.

However, Cloughbawn dominated possession thereafter with Kilrush struggling to get out of their own half.

Connal Flood, Martin Kehoe, Bob Whitty and three Paul Foley points, one from a placed ball, left Cloughbawn ahead by 1-11 to 1-6 going into the last quarter.

The Enniscorthy District side again furthered their lead when the impressive Bob Whitty pointed from a tight angle. David Doyle-Murphy linked up well with Páidí Cullen for a fine point while Martin Kehoe, wing-back Gavin Murphy and Bob Whitty all pointed to leave the gap at ten.

A Conor Levingstone free was the best Kilrush could muster in a very disappointing second-half display from their point of view. Cloughbawn comfortably picked up their second win, leaving a struggling Kilrush still trying to get off the mark.

Cloughbawn: Billy Dunne; James Dempsey, Colin Doyle, Johnny Cullen; Harry Kehoe, David Doyle-Murphy, Gavin Murphy (0-1); Barry Kehoe, Páidí Cullen (0-2); Billy Wickham, Barry Carton, Connal Flood (1-3); Bob Whitty (0-4), Martin Kehoe (0-2), Paul Foley (0-4, 2 frees). Subs. - Paudie Kehoe for Wickham (50), Garret Murphy for H. Kehoe (55).

Kilrush: John Harte; Tom Kavanagh, Frank Lancaster, Martin Hayden; Tom Hayden, Patrick Nolan, Tommy Devereux; James Lancaster, Fionn Fortune; Tom Byrne, Conor Levingstone (0-1 free), Pádraig Byrne; Gavin Sunderland, Billy Nolan (0-2), Conor Travers. Sub. - Brian Hayden (1-4, 0-4 frees) for Kavanagh, inj. (13).

Referee: Martin Armstrong (Starlights).

Cloughbawn 2-14 Realt na Mara 3-10: A Paul Foley pointed free in additional time handed Cloughbawn a dramatic one-point victory over Réalt na Mara in this Joyces Expert Intermediate 'A' football championship Group A game in Farmleigh on Saturday, writes Brendan Furlong.

This was a game of swaying fortunes as, five minutes before the interval, Réalt na Mara held a nine-point lead, but this was reduced to the minimum before the break.

Then, with 13 minutes remaining, Cloughbawn seemed to be coasting as they led by five points (2-13 to 2-8), but a Cathal Dunbar 60th-minute goal brought the sides level.

It was left to Foley to point a huge 50-metre free from close to the sideline one minute into additional time with the last kick of the game to give his side a dramatic two points.

While it may have been exciting given the manner in which the respective sides' fortunes changed during the 60 minutes, that failed to take from a poor game of football.

This was a contest riddled with errors, as the majority of scores arose through some dreadful defending from both sides.

Still, a depleted Cloughbawn will be happy with the points as an equally short Réalt na Mara side must battle their way out of the relegation zone in the remaining games.

After Paul Foley and Kevin Jordan had exchanged early pointed frees, two goals in the space of a minute from Seán O'Brien on nine minutes followed by Jack Hobbs almost immediately set Réalt na Mara up to build a lead of 2-6 to 0-3 after 25 minutes.

Approaching the break, Cloughbawn struck back for goals from Harry Kehoe and Bob Whitty to leave the minimum separating the sides at the interval.

At the end of the third quarter Cloughbawn had edged into a three-point lead (2-11 to 2-8), and when Harry Kehoe and Martin Kehoe extended that lead with further points they looked comfortable.

Réalt na Mara kept on battling with Cathal Dunbar fisting a goal on 60 minutes to bring the sides level, before Foley stepped in with that late dramatic winning point in additional time.

Cloughbawn: Billy Dunne; James Dempsey, David Doyle-Murphy, Cathal Spratt; Harry Kehoe (1-2), Páidí Cullen, Gavin Murphy; Connal Flood (0-1), Barry Kehoe; Paudie Kehoe, Barry Carton, Luke Cummins (0-1); Bob Whitty (1-1), Martin Kehoe (0-2), Paul Foley (0-7, 5 frees, 1 '45).

Réalt na Mara: Shane Quinn; Eddie Redmond, Aidan Murphy, Colm Cosgrave; Darren Morris, Tom Sinnott (0-2), David Doran (0-1); Eoin Corcoran (0-1), Stephen Redmond; Seán O'Brien (1-0), Jack Hobbs (1-2), Cathal Dunbar (1-2, 0-1 free); Jimmy Murphy, Kevin Jordan (0-2 frees), Dylan Sweeney. Sub. - Patrick Fleming for O'Brien.

Referee: John Carton (Monageer-Boolavogue).

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