THIS Leinster Leader SFL Division game played in Athy on Saturday evening last may have been a dress rehearsal for the opening round of the SFC but if anyone was hoping to learn anything from this with the championship in mind then forget it, writes Tommy Callaghan.
The sides that will line out in the championship, will bear little comparision to the sides that started on Saturday with both teams plagued by an amount of injuries that will, hopefully, be cleared up prior to the much awaited first round clash.
A wind blowing directly down the field certainly ensured that this would be a game of the proverbial two halves and that is exactly how it worked out.
The Moores, playing with the elements in their favour in the opening period dominated a first half that never really got off the ground with an amount of stoppages, some poor play with both sides over-playing the ball at times.
Moorefield built up a five point lead in that half but it certainly never looked sufficent to see them over the line.
Having lost to Celbridge in their last outing The Moores were anxious to get back on track and three points in the opeing ten minutes from Gareth Duff and two from Frank Hanniffy, the second from a placed ball, seemed to suggest they would build up a decent lead.
Corner back, Liam Callaghan, got forward to make it four but the game lacked any flow, any movement with players from both sides requiring attention time and time again.
Athy finally opened their account on 23 minutes through midfielder Kevin Feely but Moorefield hit back with two points from Keith Duane, the second one a free after Aaron Mullins was fouled.
Just before the break Athy did carve out a goal chance with Hugh Mahon getting inside but a brilliant block by Liam Callaghan ensured Moorefield led by 0-6 to 0-1 at the break.
That lead, however certainly did not seem sufficient with the strong wind now in Athy’s favour and within three minutes of the resumption there was just three separating the sides with two pointed frees from Darroch Mulhall.
Athy were now dominant, on top around the middle they poured forward and by the 42 minute had levelled the score with two Hughie Maher points and a lovely effort from Liam McGovern.
Moorefield, in fairness, hit back with a sweeping move that ended with a Keith Duane goal chance going over, to retain the lead but it was short lived as Shane O’Brien levelled up on 44 minutes.
Then three Mulhall points on trot effectively closed the game off, two from play and one a placed ball as Athy opened a three point lead and while Frank Hanniffy replieid with a punched point it seemed Moorefield would need a goal to get something out of this one.
That goal very nearly came when a long ball in was caught by David Whyte who off loaded to Keith Duane whose effort was blocked, Niall Hurley Lynch gathered b ut a great save from James Roycroft averted any danger.
Mulhall added two more before the end, the second a free from all of 65 yards, to leave the final score reading Athy 0-12 Moorefield 0-8.
No doubt the best side won but both sides will be anxious to get some of their walking wounded back in action before the opening round of the championship arrives.
Best for the winners were Darroch Mulhall, Hugh Mahon, Liam McGovern, Kevin Feeley and Declan Kinahan.
For Moorefield, Liam Callaghan, Eddie Heavy, James Murray and Keith Duane were best.
Athy, Darroch Mulhall 0-7 (3 frees), Hugh Mahon 0-2 (1 free), Liam McGovern 0-1, Kevin Feely 0-1, Shane O’Brien 0-1.
Moorefield, Keith Duane 0-3 (1 free), Frank Hanniffy 0-3 (1 free), Liam Callaghan 0-1, Garret Duffy 0-1.
James Roycroft; Shane O’Brien, David McGovern, Con Ronan; Luke Thomas, Joe Kinahan, David Holligan; Declan Kinahan, Kevin Feely; Eddie Delahunt, Emmanual Kennedy, Liam McGovern; Hugh Mahon, Darroch Mulhall, Sean Ronan. Subs: John Mahon for Holligan (13 minute); Brian Kinanhan for David McGovern (31 minute); David McGovern for Declan Kinahan (50 minute); Ken Brophy for Kennedy (57 minute).
Tom Corly; Liam Callaghan, Liam Murphy, Rickie Maguire; Damian Mullalley, James Murray, James Lonergan; David Whyte, Adam Tyrrell; Gareth Duffy, Eddie Heavy, Frank Hanniffy; Brian McGrogan, Keith Duane, Aaron Mullins. Subs: Stephen Roly for James Lonergan (7 minute); Philie Wolfe for Damian Mullalley (45 minute); Ross Glavin for Roly (48 minute); Niall Hurley Lynch for Brian McGrogan (52 minute); Brian McGrogan for Gareth Duffy (62 minute).