THIS time last season Robertstown were on the trail of the junior championship, now a mere eleven months on they are seeking more silverware but this time in the Joe Fox Tool and Plant Hire Intermediate grade and for a side that constantly finds opponents’ net ruling them out of back-to-back titles would be foolish in the extreme, writes Tommy Callaghan.
Joe Fox Plant and Tool Hire Intermediate Football Championship Quarter Final
And while they were expected to get the better of Nurney with some easy that was far from the case, however, their ability to find the net at crucial times once again came to their rescue in a game that ended in two ugly brawls that saw referee Liam Herbert issue two straight reds on the hour, one to each side.
The ever reliable Mikey Conway, who had a top class game, opened with a free in a slow burning opening period and while it took ‘The Town’ all of 12 minutes to open their account they did so with a great move with Joe Kavanagh cutting in from the left wing, finding Mikey Moran who practically took rigging and all when blasting to the net.
Nurney responded well with points from Mikey Conway (free) and Brian Cahill to level up matters after 18 minutes.
Robertstown regained the lead when Damian Leeson, picking up a lose ball some 50m out turned and blasted over and with the same player, along with Adrian Dunne, converting two frees, it looked like Robertstown were about to open a sizeable gap.
Nurney, however did not read that particular script and hit back following a great move involving four players ended with Andrew Behan being fouled inside the square and Mikey Conway duly found the net from the resultant penalty to make it 1-3 apiece after 27 minutes.
The Town hit back with three quick points before the break to leave it 1-6 to 1-3 for the favourites.
Nurney came out with all guns blazing on the resumption and Niall Whelan was unlucky to see his goal attempt blast off the crossbar but two points from Brian Cahill and Andrew Behan left just one separating the sides after 37 minutes.
As if sensing danger Robertstown responded quickly and decisively with two goals inside a minute from their two inside forwads, Joe Kavanagh first setting up Joe Carty and before you could blink Mikey Moran did a similar job for Joe Kavanagh who made it 3-6 to 1-5 on 39 minutes.
Adrian Dunne, a brilliant Joe Kavanagh point and another from Joe Carty extended the lead to ten points.
And while Mikey Conway and Robert Behan added two for Nurney, Adrian Dunne converted a free to retain the sizeable gap with some six minutes remaining.
With time running out two separate ‘scraps’ broke out some 60 yards apart and after referee Herbert consulted his linesmen he issued a red card first to Nurney’s Robert Behan (Joe Kavanagh forced to leave the field with a nasty looking facial injury) before returning to the second ‘incident’ sending Robertstown keeper David Nolan to the line while awarding a penalty to Nurney which Mikey Conway duly converted.
That was to be last act of an eventful final few minutes with the honours going where they rightly belonged on a score line of Robertstown 3-10 Nurney 2-7.
Robertstown, Joe Kavanagh 1-1, Joe Carty 1-1, Mickey Moran 1-1, Damian Leeson 0-3 (1 free), Aidan Dunne 0-3 (2 frees), ger Reidy 0-1.
Nurney, Mikey Conway 2-3 (2 penalites, 3 frees); Brian Cahill 0-2 (2 frees), Andrew Behan 0-1,Robert Behan 0-1.
David Nolan; Adrian McNamee Mark Byrne, Evan Dempsey; Anthony Moran, Mark Kelly, Brendan Dowling; John O’Sullivan, Damian Leeson; Ger Reidy, Mickey Moran, Kevin Fitzgerald; Aidan Dunne, Joe Kavanagh, Joe Carty. Subs: Brian Sexton for Mark Byrne; Niall Kane for Joe Kavanagh.
Seán Conway; Keith McCormack, Rory Donoghue, Robert Behan; Brian Behan, Damian Byrne, Kevin Keegan, Mikey Conway, Kevin Conway; Martin Conway, Patrick Higginbootham, Stephen Conway; Niall Whelan, Andrew Behan, Brian Cahill. Subs: Chris Higginbootham for Stephen Conway (45 minute); John Merrins for Niall Whelan (52 minute.