MILLTOWN chalked up their expected win over Rheban in Round 2 of the Tom Cross JFC at St. Conleth’s Park, on Saturday evening. But while the final score looked convincing enough, for long periods in the opening half Rheban certainly put it up to their more illustrious opponents and at one stage led by 0-7 to 0-1, writes Tommy Callaghan.
Tom Cross Transport Junior Football Championship Round 2
Stephen Lawler opened brightly for Rheban finding the range on the double inside the opening five minutes. The experienced Johnny Owens opened his account with a lovely left footed point as Rheban dominated throughout as Milltown struggled to get any sort of pattern to their play.
Stephen Lawler and Shane Rowan stretched the lead to five before John O’Reilly finally raised a white flag for Milltown midway through.
Rheban, however, added two more points from Stephen Donovan and Shane Rowan to push their lead to 0-7 to 0-1 after eighteen minutes, as thoughts of a major upset began to look a real possibility.
Gradually however, Milltown worked their way into the game and with points from Bernard Geraghty, Colin O’Shea (2) and a Myles O’Reilly free, narrowed the gap to just two on 25.
Milltown were now in control and when John O’Reilly added his second followed by another Myles O’Reilly free the sides were level on 30 minutes.
Then came as good a goal as you will see at this or any other level. Bernard Geraghty gained possession wide on the right of the town goal. He sent in a low ball which Colin O’Shea met with a diving fist about a foot from the grass to plant the ball into the right hand corner of the net to give Milltown a half time lead of 1-7 to 0-7.
What a turn around from 0-7 to 0-1 to 1-7 to 0-7, all in the space of some 16 or 17 minutes.
Any chance of a Rheban come back was quickly put to bed as Milltown opened with points from Myles O’reilly and Bernard to stretch their lead to five.
Johnny Ownes, a great servant to Rheban down the years, got his second but a mighty five man move from the boys from the outskirts of Newbridge ended with Wayne Dignam splitting the posts.
Back came Rheban and when a pointed effort came off the upright, Milltown swept down field with Ray Colemen applying the finishing touches to a great move to leave it 1-11 to 0-8.
Stephen Lawler got his fourth of the day from a free but there was no let up from Milltown who added points from the impressive O’Reilly boys, John and Myles. Johnny Ownes ended the Rheban scoring with his third point of the day before Myles O’Reilly wrapped up proceedings to leave Milltown the winners on a score line of Milltown 1-14 Rheban0-10.
Slow to start but when they got going Milltown played well and when you consider that Emmet Mulhall (suspended)and Eoghan O’Toole (holidays) have to came back in, the boys in green and red can pleased with their day’s work.
Milltown, Colin O’Shea 1-2, Myles O’Reilly 0-5 (4 frees), John O’Reilly 0-3, Bernard Geraghty 0-2 ,Wayne Dignam 0-1, Ray Coleman 0-1.
Rheban, Stephen Lawler 0-4 (1 free), Shane Rowan 0-2 (1 free), Johnny Owens 0-3, Stephen Donovan 0-1,
Derek Moore; Michael Colleton, Omar Dunne, Niall Kelly; Eddie Owen, Wayne Dignam, John O’Reilly; Colin O’Shea, Billy Scully; Ray Coleman, Anthony Dunne, Ronan O’Shea; Ian Fitzgerald, Myles O’Reilly, Bernard Geraghty. Subs: Paul Mulhall for Ray Coleman (52 minute); Eoin O’Sullivan for Bernard Geraghty (56 minute); Sean Trant for Ronan O’Shea (61 minute).
Christy Byrne; Shane O’Connor, Owen Foley, Kevin O’Shaughnessy; David Kelly, Eimhin Owens, Niall O’Regan; David Renehan, Jason Shaw; Michael May, Johnny Owens, Stephen Donovan; Shane Rowan, Jim Byrne, Stephen Lawler. Subs: Dylan Fitzsimons for Michael May (half time; Brendan Fitzpatrick for Jim Byrne (half time); Eric Owens for Niall O’Regan (50 minute); Keith Byrne for David Renehan (57 minute).