RATHANGAN booked their place in this year’s Joe Fox Tool and Plant Hire IFC with a two point win over Sallins at St. Conleth’s Park, Newbridge, on Friday evening, writes Tommy Callaghan.
Joe Fox Plant and Tool Hire Intermediate Football Championship Round 2
It has certainly been a topsy turvy season for the Rathangan boys having been relegated from the SFL Divison 1 they drew their opening game with Kilcock before defeating them in a replay and now following this victory over Division 3 champions, Sallins, are the first team to make it to knock out stages, something no doubt that their flamboyant manager, Mick Hyland will have got a lot of satisfaction from.
With a down pour just before the start of the game, conditions were far from ideal but it was the boys from Sallins, who only last week were crowned Division 3 champions, who broke quickest despite Rathangan opening the scoring with a Alan Broughan pointed free.
Sallins responded quickly and decisively. Damian Behan, a man who has give Sallins tremendous service down the years, set up inside man, Conor Herbert who found the net with a cool calculated finish; within minutes the same player had pushed Sallins well clear with two points (one free) to make it 1-2 to 0-1 afte eight.
Sallins were in control at this point but gradually Rathangan worked their way into the game with points from Eoin Kennedy, Davy Connell and Alan Brughan.
Despite that both sides were guilty of wasting opportunities, especially Sallins, before Eamonn McCormack got his first point of the game after 20 minutes to make it 1-3 to 0-4.
Sallins added two more points before the break with Conor Herbert and Damian Behan heavily involved. However, Eoin Kennedy kept Rathangan in touch with a pointed free before the break to make it Sallins 1-5 Rathangan 0-5 at the break.
Rathangan upped a gear on the resumption and while Conor Herbert stretched the Sallins lead initially three points from Broughan (free), the impressive Davy Connell, and Eoin Kennedy left just a point separating the sides after 40 minutes.
Conr Herbert lifted the Rathangan stranglehold with a fine free on 43 minutes but there was no stopping Rathangan. Alan Broughan made no mistake after Eoin Kennedy was fouled, quickly followed by the leveller from Kyle Murphy after some 48 minutes.
Sallins were now on the back foot as Rathangan with John Mulpeter, Diarmuid O’Donoghue and Davy Connell dominating, were to the fore and on 50 minutes regained the lead for the first time since the second minute with an excellent score from Alan Broughan.
Sallins threw everything at Rathangan at this stage, Conor Herbert saw a long range free drift wide of the post before the same player saw his goal bound shot crash off the crossbar while Jack Sharkey’s low hard shot came off the butt of upright.
Back came Rathangan with Brian Flood setting up Davy Connell who made no misake to leave two between them.
Sallins had one more goal chance but Conor Herbert’s effort was brilliantly blocked by John Boland before the final whistle sounded with Rathangan winning on a score line of Rathangan 0-12 Sallins 0-10.
Sallins, Conor Herbert 1-5 (3 frees), Eamonn McCormack 0-1, Seán Corley 0-1,
Rathangan, Alan Broughan 0-5 (3 frees), Davy Connell 0-3, Eoin Kennedy 0-3 (3 frees), Kyle Murphy 0-1,
Joe Lyster; Michael O’Connell, Michael Southern, Niall Brouder; Aidan Kennedy, Bernard Flanagan, Stephen Dunne, Thomas O’Connell; Diarmuid O’Donoghue; Kyle Murphy, Eoin Kennedy, Declan McGivern; John Murphy; Brian Flood, Davy Connell, Alan Broughan. Subs: Bernard Flanagan for Niall Brouder (30 minute); John Mulpeter for Brian Mahon (33 minutes); Brendan McMullen for Declan McGivern (46 minute);
Dan Sweeney; Gavin Moore, Eoin Delmar, Wayne Farrell; John Boland, Emmet Ralph, Damien O’Keeffe; Mark Donnelly, Eamonn Cully; Damien Stephens, Damien Behan, Justin McLoughlin; Conor Herbert, Eamonn McCormack, Seán Corley. Subs: Jack Sharkey for Damien Stephens (half time); Peter O’Connell for Eamonn Cully (45 minute); Paul Clifford for Eoin Delmar (51 minute); Mathew Cluxton Corley for Damien O’Keeffe (51 minute).Eoin Ennis for Jack Sharkey (61 minute).