Sunday 18 March 2018

Keating shines in Campile win


JOHNNY KEATING was the star of the show as Campile United maintained their unbeaten start to the season in some style as they turned in a stirring second half to see off Bridge Rovers in this Wexford Football League Division 1 clash at Castlebridge on Sunday morning.

Campile's winning start to the campaign suggests that their much strengthened squad have their sights set of a return to the top flight for they swept aside the Bridge Rovers challenge with some skilful football and two second half goals into the bargain while playing into a stiffish breeze.

And it looked at half-time as if Bridge Rovers could spring a surprise having kept their goal intact while playing into the breeze.

This was mainly achieved through some excellent defensive play from David Shiggins and Brendan Larkin, their central defensive pairing, and the hard grafting of Derek Walsh and Mark Tobin in midfield.

Within three minutes of the start Bridge Rovers forced a corner. Kevin Murphy's kick was met by the head of Andre O'Brien but the ball sailed just over the top. Campile United, with Graham Howlin marshalling his forces excellently from centre-back, gradually played their way into the game, as Keating began to dictate affairs from midfield.

With Wexford GAA star duo, P.J. Banville and Ciarán Deeley possessing an abundance of pace and skill up front they were beginning to prove a real handful for the home side. Barry Hearn had a 25 metre shot just over the top, while Deeley forced a fine 18th minute save out of keeper Brian Tobin at the opposite end.

Both sides created some half-chances but the respective keepers showed a safe pair of hands as the sides went in 0-0 at the break.

Just one minute into the second half the home side's Kevin Murphy made a delightful run down the left, fired over a great ball across the face of the goal, but there was no one to knock it home, a great chance of the lead goal escaping the home side.

Campile substitute David Shannon with his physical presence was beginning to make an impact up front, with a great ball through into the path of Banville, but he kept his shot too close to the keeper who managed to push the ball away for a fruitless corner.

The visitors deservedly broke the deadlock in the 49th minute. A move down the left seemed to have broken down, but Barry Hearn retrieved the situation and his cross come shot from close to the end line looped over the head of keeper Tobin who only managed in helping it on its way to the net off a post. A 1-0 lead which the visitors deserved.

Johnny Keating was now playing an important role in midfield and he was involved in the setting up of the second goal in the 60th minute. Keating picked out Shannon who had floated over to the right, his low cross was superbly controlled by Banville who shot high into the net from ten metres leaving the league leaders with a 20 lead.

Campile United had several chances to increase the lead with Banville, Deeley and Shannon, getting in efforts which should have produced goals, but they were left to live dangerously through the closing 12 minutes, after Kevin Murphy powered home a superb header from a Bill Goucher cross on 78 minutes.

Although Bridge Rovers strove valiantly in search of an equaliser it was Campile United who held out comfortably enough in the end to collect all three points and maintain their one hundred per cent record.