Kehoe exerts total control
Cloughbawn in fine fettle
Colm Kehoe controlled this game as he inspired Cloughbawn to an impressive eight point victory over Realt na Mara in this Joyces Expert Intermediate 'A' football championship quarter-final played at Bree on Saturday afternoon last.
Cloughbawn 3-13 Realt na Mara 1-11
Kehoe's salvo of scores was one of the few highlights as his side dominated this game, particularly through the second 30 minutes when playing into the breeze, with his goal in second half additional time being the highlight of the game as he fired a tremendous shot from fourteen meters across the keeper into the opposite corner of the net.
It was still a productive afternoon for Cloughbawn, who still have their sights firmly set on the senior hurling title race, but on the evidence of this display, particularly the second thirty minutes, they are more than capable of bringing a 'big ball' title back to this renowned hurling stronghold.
For Realt na Mara they must be bitterly disappointed with the result, for it came on the end of a particularly impressive run in the Under-21 football championship where they are looking forward to a Gorey District final meeting with Craanford.
Winning games takes total concentration over the 60 minutes but for the Gorey District side they were hit with a Cloughbawn avalanche through the opening 10 minutes of the second half, a spell where their concession of scores ended their title dreams.
An Eoin Corcoran fifth minute goal had Realt na Mara leading 1-1 to 0-1 after five minutes, but with Kehoe, Bob Whitty and Billy Wickham all finding the target, along with a Martin Kehoe effort, it was Cloughbawn who led 0-6 to 1-2 at the end of the opening quarter. With the sides trading points it was Cloughbawn who struck back for a William Murphy twenty-fifth minute goal, a score that helped them to a 1-8 to 1-3 interval lead.
There was real drama three minutes before the break when Realt na Mara were awarded a penalty. Jack Hobbs' initial effort was saved by keeper Lee Keeley, but referee Eric Molloy ordered the kick to be re-taken as the keeper had advanced off his line, only for this time Hobbs to pull his kick well wide.
Within two minutes of the restart, Martin Kehoe got on the end of a long Colm Kehoe free to find the net, and with the sides continuing to pick off points, they had stormed into a 2-10 to 1-3 lead after 35 minutes.
Realt na Mara then hit a purple patch responding with points through Pat Naughter, thre, one free, one 45, Tom Sinnott and Jack Hobbs to reduce the deficit to four points, 2-10 to 1-9, with 14 minutes remaining.
It was during the closing 14 minutes that Colm Kehoe took control of the game, kicking some excellent points, while capping a topclass display with that excellent goal strike in additional time, as the Realt na Mara challenge faded.
Cloughbawn: Lee Keeley; David Doyle-Murphy, Gavin Murphy, Alan Carton; Niall Doran, Colm Kehoe (1-5, 0-1 frees, 0-1, 45), Harry Kehoe (0-2); Barry Kehoe, Shane Greene; Billy Wickham (0-1), Barry Carton, Robert Whitty (0-4, 0-2 frees); Paudi Cullen, Martin Kehoe (1-1), Willie Murphy (1-0). Subs: Johnny Cullen for Alan Carton; Paul Foley for Willie Murphy; Cathal Spratt for Barry Kehoe; Aaron Byrne for Whitty.
Realt na Mara: Paddy Cooper; Aidan Murphy, Edie Redmond, Evan Dunbar; Jimmy Murphy, Colm Kennelly, Tom Sinnott (0-1); Darren Morris, Cathal Dunbar (0-1); Patrick Fleming, Kevin Jordan, Eoin Corcoran (1-0);Cormac Moore, Pat Naughter (0-7, 0-3 frees, 0-1, 45), Jack Hobbs (0-2). Subs: Sean O'Brien for Murphy; Stephen Redmond for Fleming; Jack Doyle for Dunbar.
Referee: Eric Molloy (St. James).