MANY would have expected Eadestown to win this intriguing clash but in the end, they were blown away by an all-round excellent Monasterevin display. And on this performance, Monasterevin could very well be the team to beat in this year’s Intermediate Football Championship, writes Robert Catterson.
Joe Fox Plant and Tool Hire Intermediate Football Championship Quarter Final
Monasterevin were first out of the blocks with an Eoin Stapleton point with just over two minutes played.
Eadestown would only score three times in the first half hour and the first of these came courtesy of Emmet Bolton’s point just short of the four minutes mark to level the scores. But then Monasterevin kicked on for the first of numerous times throughout the game. Gary Kelly, who was one of Monasterevin’s most dangerous throughout, went on a fine solo run to put his side back in front with six minutes played before Monasterevan found the back of the net for the first time.
A high ball in from the impressive Tristan Kennedy should have been claimed by the Eadestown ‘keeper Dermot Mullan but he was slow off the mark and that allowed Mark Kelly to beat him to the ball and flick home to the bottom right corner.
And Eadestown never looked like coming back from there onwards. Points from Gavin Holligan, Anthony Kavanagh and Gary Kelly put seven points between the sides before a second Emmet Bolton point temporarily stopped the rot.
Monasterevin replied with three points courtesy of Leonard Havens, Mark Kelly and Anthony Kavanagh and with the first half nearly at an end, Eadestown looked to have a mountain to climb. But just when they looked better off not coming out in the second half, they scored an all important goal.
The move was created by a good ball forward by Jack Brady to Cian Bolton but Bolton still had some work to do even to get himself into a goalscoring position. However, pace is something that the full-forward clearly has plenty of and after skinning two of the opposing backs, he then somehow managed to steer the ball past the onrushing Monasterevin ‘keeper Colm McCabe and into the empty net. Just what Eadestown needed. Monasterevin did have the final say in the first half however with a James Gorry point to leave them seven points ahead on a 1-9 to 1-2 scoreline.
The Eadestown players probably deserved a good talking to during the half-time interval and that’s exactly what they got. And for the first few minutes of the second half, it looked as though it worked.
Robert Smith kicked the first point of the second half, just 20 seconds after the restart, after a fine pass from Jack Brady, before Cian Bolton kicked an excellent score from near the left touchline to reduce the margin to five points. But that’s as close as Eadestown would get as Monasterevin’s only lean spell of the game came to an end through a Gary Kelly point after 35 minutes.
Paul Kelly was another of the Monasterevan stars on the day and he got a deserved point when firing over, after going on a 50 yards surge forward. That restored Monasterevan’s seven points advantage and whatever chance of an Eadestown comeback, they were ended with a second Monasterevan goal on 43 minutes.
Both Gary Kelly and James Gorry were heavily involved in the move and when Mark Kelly was given another goalscoring opportunity, he cleverly fooled the Eadestown keeper with a fake pass before being gifted the simplest of opportunities to fire home to an empty net.
Ten points between the sides and now game officially over. Leonard Havens and Barry Lawler exchanged points either side of the 50th minute mark before Monasterevan extended their lead through points from Havens, Gorry and Gary Kelly. Eadestown’s Barry Lawler kicked a brace of late consolation points either side of Monasterevan substitute Cormac Brady getting in on the scoring act.
So not the close battle that many might have been expecting but a major reason for that was down to a dominant Monasterevan display, with the winners taking their scores extremely well. They’ll need to continue at this level for the coming weeks if they are to end up at the top of the tree. But on what the attendance witnessed on Saturday evening, this year’s IFC could very well be their jungle.
Colm McCabe, Tristan Kennedy, John Dempsey, David Maher, Paul Kelly (0-1), Mark Cornish, James Gorry (0-2), Leonard Havens (0-3), Eoin Stapleton (0-1), Shane O’Loughlin, Anthony Kavanagh (0-2), Christy Dempsey, Mark Kelly (2-1), Gavin Holligan (0-1), Gary Kelly (0-4). Subs: Shane Kevins for Christy Dempsey (56 mins), Kevin Dunne for Paul Kelly (58 mins), Cormac Brady (0-1) for Gary Kelly (58 mins).
Dermot Mullan, Paul Hyland, William Casey, Mark Prendergast, Colm Dowling, Alan Casey, Jack Brady, David Gillespie, Barry Lawler (0-3), Cian Malone, Emmet Bolton (0-2), Ger Holmes, Edward Conroy, Cian Bolton (1-1), Robbie Smith (0-1).Subs: Thomas Ryan for Alan Casey (34 mins), Sean O’Sullivan for Malone (44 mins).