MONASTEREVIN may not have won any of their Leinster Leader SFL Division 1 games prior to this clash with Athy but on Sunday afternoon at Fr. Prendergast Park, they came ever so close to taking all three points only to be denied with a Kevin Feely penalty in the 60th minute which levelled up the game, writes Tommy Callaghan.
Played on a fine bright afternoon it was the home side who opened the scoring with a Shane Kevins point after four minutes. Athy equalised through Danny O’Keeffe a few minutes later but within a minute Athy keeper, James Royscroft was taking the ball out of the back of his net after a mix up in the Athy defence saw Shane Kevins find the empty net to give his side the lead 1-1 to 0-1 after just seven minutes.
Athy lifted their game after that jolt but Monasterevin, getting lots of bodies behind the ball were making them work very hard to get any decent possession and it took Athy all of another ten minutes before they registered their second point of the game, a 50 yard free from the boot of Darroch Mulhall.
Within a minute Danny O’Keeffe capitalised on a miss-directed free kick by Monasterevin to leave just a point between the sides.
Monasterevin replied through a Mark Kelly white flag just before the game was held up when Adrian Kelly looked to pick up a very serious looking knee injury which necessitated him being stretched off.
When the game resumed Luke Thomas came in at half back with Eddie Delahunt moving up to the Athy half forward line.
Before the break it was the boys in blue who stretched their lead after a fine run down the right wing saw Shane O’Loughlin knock over a point to leave the half time score reading Monasterevin 1-3 Athy 0-3.
Athy players, who remained on the pitch at the interval, received a verbal bashing from their team management and it certainly seemed to stir them up a little on the resumption.
Liam McGovern reduced the deficit after five minutes, he then pointed a free after a foul on Darroch Mulhall before Danny O’Keeffe equalised on the fortieth minute.
Athy, with Liam McGovern coming more and more into the game around the middle, looked set to kick on and polish off a Monasterevin side who still continued to make chances but failed to capitalise on opportunities that came their way.
Then Tristen Kennedy found his way forward to regain the lead for the home side but the lead did not last long as Darroch Mulhall soon had them level again.
Following a foul on himself, Liam McGovern pushed Athy one clear from a placed ball as Monasterevin continued to struggle up front.
Then with five minutes remaining a brilliant long ball over the top by Shane Kevins put Mark Kelly on to a one-to-one situation with James Roycroft in th Athy goal, Kelly held his head rounded the keeper and put the ball in the empty net to leave it Monasterevin 2-4 Athy 0-8.
Monasterevin increased that lead when Patrick Kelly set up Jim Gorry for a point in the 59 minute to leave three between them.
Then on the sixtieth minute a long ball in was caught by Darroch Mulhall who was surrounded by defenders but (needlessly) fouled and the match official had no hisitation in pointing to the net.
Up stepped Kevin Feely who found the right hand corner of the net only to be told to retake the kick as players had moved forward before the kick.
Feely kept cool and duly did exactly the same again to level up the game with what was the final score of the game and a share of the points on a final scoreline of Monasterevin 2-5 Athy 1-8.
Monasterevin had fine players in Tristen Kennedy, Jim Gorry, Lenny Havens and Mark Kelly while Athy’s best were Liam McGovern, Danny O’Keeffe, Brian Kinahan and Darroch Mulhall.
Monasterevin, Mark Kelly 1-1, Shane Kevins 1-1, Tristen Kennedy 0-1, Shane O’Loughlin 0-1, Jim Gorry 0-1.
Athy, Kevin Feely 1-0 (penalty), Danny O’Keeffe 0-3, Liam McGovern 0-3, (2 frees), Darrooch Mulhall 0-2 (1 free).
Murt Connolly; Tristen Kennedy, John Dempsey, Kevin Dunne; Patrick Kelly, Dave Maher, Jim Gorry; Christy Dempsey, Lenny Havens; Colm McCabe, Gavin Holligan, Mark Kelly, Eoin Stapleton, Shane Kevins, Aaron Bannon. Subs: Shane O’Loughlin for Gavin Holligan (23 minutes); Anthony Kavanagh for Colm McCabe (39 minute); David Christy for Christy Dempsley (39 minute); Kevin Fitzpatrick for Aaron Bannon (50 minute).
James Roycroft; Shane O’Brien, Joe Kinahan, Conor Ronan; Eddie Delahunt, Brian Kinahan, David Holligan; Kevin Feely, Liam McGovern; Ross bell, Adrian Kelly, Danny O’Keeffe; Sean Ronan, Darroch Mulhall, Hugh Mahon. Subs: D. O’Toole for Darroch Mulhall; J. Mahon for Hugh Mahon.