Patrick Leonard’s injury time spot kick ensured that his side, Castledermot, would get another chance to cause an upset against Johnstownbridge, the perennial favourites in this Joe Fox and Tool Plant Hire Intermediate Football Championship quarter final, at St. Conleth’s Park, Newbridge,on Saturday afternoon, writes Ronan Flanagan.
Joe Fox Plant and Tool Hire Intermediate Football Championship Quarter Final
There was an eerie silence as Mahon stepped up to take the strike, but he was ice cool as he sent the keeper the wrong way, keeping it low and into the corner.
Of course he had the chance to practice as it was his second penalty in a game which saw three converted overall.
It was Mahon who got the scoring going inside two minutes as he eased over a free from his hands. Johnstownbridge had already registered the first of seven first half wides at that stage but Mahon was clinical – he was even more so five minutes later. He was fouled running in and stepped up to blast home the penalty.
Both sides exchanged wides before Ian McKeown was bottled up and fouled in the box. Daniel Flynn ran up from his full back berth to make his run very worthwhile as the Bridge got off the mark 12 minutes in. Cathal McNally, who would later prove his team’s hero, tagged on a point as did the hard working Ian McKeown to level matters after 17 minutes in a game that was waiting to spark to life.
Johnstownbridge were utterly dominant in the middle where Barry McNally put on an exhibition of fielding, but there was too much slow ball going inside to make the possession count.
Damien Hendy then made a foray into attack and his casual left foot effort sailed over to give his side the lead and a lift. They drove on but hit a couple of costly wides. The game was lacking real championship bite as both teams were very cagey.
Ian McKeown broke a ten minute lull in scoring by stroking over a 45 just before the interval as the Johnstownbridge contingent in the stands began to wonder was it going to be another of those days.
For the opposition fans things were going a lot better than when the last sides met, but they knew they needed to take their chance.
Patrick Mahon certainly was cashing in his chances as he popped over two frees after the change of ends before Eugene Mahon swung over a great score from a tight angle off balance. Emmer O’Keffe then got in on the scoring to stretch the lead to three.
Of course all that hard work can be undone in a second as was proved by Cathal McNally who’s deft flick over his shoulder beat the outrushing Paul Murphy in the Castledermot goals. It was a touch of class and he then went on to kick two great points to give his side the lead they would hold until the dying seconds.
Eoin O’Donoghue stretched the lead further before Emmet O’Keffe hauled one back after briefly escaping the attentions of the excellent Paul Mooney.
Both outfits missed chances before McNally got Johnstownbridge’s last of the day with three minutes of normal time left.
Both sides had chances to win it but after a free was dropped into the square there was an old fashioned mill and after decent calls for frees a man was adjudged to have lifted it in the small square – penalty!
There was then that silence before utter rapturous noise from the Castldermot folk. They live to fight another day, most likely seven days, as Johnstownbridge go back to reflect on a game they could have won.
Ian Farrell; Paul Mooney, Daniel Flynn 1-0 (Pen), Des Holton; Brian Flanagan, Wayne Leonard, James O’Connor; Barry McNally, Sean Hurley; Keith Cribben, Cathal McNally 1-4, Ian McKeown 0-2 (1 45); Eoin O’Donoghue 0-1 (f), Padraig Hurley, Niall Vaughan. Subs: Patrick Mooney for P Hurley (36mins), Paul Cribben for Leonard (39mins), Michael Donnelly for Mooney (60mins).
Paul Murphy; Liam Cosgrave, William Kelly, Vinnie Dowling; Damien Hendy 0-1, Pauric Murphy, Tomás Murphy; Gary Hendy, Gavin Farrell, Anthony Lawler, David Keating, Patrick Whelan; Eugene Mahon 0-1, Patrick Mahon 2-3 (2 Pens), Emmett O’Keffe 0-2. Subs: Aidan Murphy for T Murphy (55mins), Brian Nolan for E Mahon (55mins)