‘THE Bridge’ all but guaranteed their place in this years Joe Fox Tool and Plant Hire Intermediate Championship quarter final with a hard fought win against a dogged Caragh side in Clane last Sunday afternoon, writes Eoin Beatty.
Joe Fox Plant and Tool Hire Intermediate Football Championship
The men in maroon and white drew first blood after 5 minutes as Dan Campbell broke through the opposition defence to fire a shot on goal only to see his effort tipped over the bar by Ian Farrell.
At this stage, Caragh were well and truly on top and attacking JTB at will. However missed opportunities came back to haunt them in the end and proved a pivotal factor.
It took the men from the north of the county almost 10 minutes to register their first score of the game as full-forward Padraig Hurley caught the high ball, turned on a six pence and blasted over.
From then on in, it was point for point for the remainder of the opening period which eventually finished 5 points apiece.
The parity at the interval proved deceiving in the end as Johnstownbridge came out in the second half, with a lot more hunger and fire in their bellies and immediately went in front with a point from Pat Mooney.
They were then dealt a scare just moments later as Caragh’s corner forward Dom Campbell carved a way through the JTB defence, to slot the ball into the back of the net to send the large supporting contingent into raptures.
However this was to be Caragh’s last score for at 25 minutes as they began to fade away and JTB kicked on.
Up until this point, Caragh had matched their opponents in every position on the field but Johnstownbridge’s fitness paid dividend in the end as they went on to rack up 10 points unanswered.
Cathal McNally got the scoring spree under way before 5 Ian McKeon points in a row, 4 of which were frees.
The well-known cliché “A game of two halves” came to mind as the second half never really materialised or picked up from where in left off in the opening period.
James O’Connor, Patrick Vaughan and Cathal McNally (2) respectively completed the rout before Caragh’s Dan Campbell managed to land a free just before John McLoughlin’s full time whistle.
Caragh certainly gave Johnstownbridge a run for their money and ensured they didn’t have it all their own way, but in the end, fitness and experience saw the north-siders over the line.
Ian Farrell, James O’Connor (0-1), Daniel Flynn, Paul Mooney, Brian Flanagan, Wayne Leonard, Des Holton, Barry McNally, Niall Vaughan (0-1), Ian McKeon (0-6 5f), Cathal McNally (0-4), Keith Cribben, Eoin O’Donoughue (0-1), Padraig Hurley (0-2 1f), Pat Mooney (0-1).
Kevin Gannon, Ivan Moran, Brian Fitzpatrick, Ruadhri Hayden, Paul Kennedy, Kevin Dempsey, Ronan Garry, Kevin O’Connor, Patrick Cassidy, Mikey Behan (0-2f), Dan Campbell (0-2 1f), Richie Whelan Jr, Dom Campbell (1-0), Patrick O’Sullivan, John Sullivan (0-2). Subs: Ciaran Conlon for John O’Sullivan, Adrian Moran for Paddy Cassidy, Michael Brennan for Ruadhri Hayden, Peter Tierney for Ronan Garry.
John McLoughlin (Clane).