MONASTEREVIN booked their place in the quarter finals of the IFC following a 14-point victory over a disappointing Caragh in Hawkfield on Sunday evening, writes John Ryan.
Joe Fox Plant and Tool Hire Intermediate Football Championship Round 3
The Blues claimed the win off the back of an impressive second half showing, a period which they won handsomely by 1-9 to 0-1 against a Caragh outfit whose own performance came up short in so many departments.
Monasterevin, who will now meet Eadestown in the last eight, played like a different team following the restart, having laboured to a three-point half-time lead that was aided by the goaling of a 15th minute penalty.
That first half was far from easy on the eye, littered with cheap turnovers of possession and some woeful attempts on goal.
Following the change of ends, it was the winners who injected some badly needed quality and urgency, increasing their first half advantage to eight points by the end of the third quarter.
In fact, Monasterevan reeled off six successive points following the interval before Caragh plundered their first, which was ultimately their last as well through Michael Behan (free), as they watched Monastervevan canter home.
As both teams struggled to assert themselves on proceedings, scores were as rare as hen’s teeth during an opening half that was high on effort but low on class, with bad decision making and poor execution the reasons why only seven scores – 0-4 from play – were registered during those opening 30-odd minutes.
Having trailed to an opening point from Monasterevan’s Leonard Havens (free), points though from Behan (free) and Dominic Campbell nudged Caragh in front for the first and only time after 14 minutes.
Although Monasterevan’s end product continued to frustrate them, they did however continue to create and when Cormac Brady was clattered to the ground by Ronan Garry, wing-back James Gorry came forward to smash home the resulting penalty.
From there, with room at a premium in the engine room, it was a dull affair that didn’t show much improvement, with points from Paul Kelly (23), Daniel Campbell (26) and Mark Kelly (28) leaving matters 1-3 to 0-3 at the break.
Upon the resumption though, it was clear that Monastervevan were intent on shifting through the gears as quickly as possible.
They dominated both the possession and the territorial stakes and ensured that Caragh rarely ventured into threatening areas.
Points from Havens (two frees), Anthony Kavanagh, Gorry and goalkeeper Colm McCabe (free) powered Monasterevan 1-8 to 0-3 clear, a lead that could have been considerably more was it not for the heroics of Gannon, who saved smartly from Cormac Brady twice and Kavanagh.
In ensuring their dominance prevailed, Monasterevan turned to their subs, with each and every one making a contribution, none more than Shane Kevins and Gary Kelly, who helped himself to a brace of points either side of another from Gorry and a 57th minute goal from Draren Siney that wrapped up the triumph.
Monasterevin: James Gorry 1-2 (1-0 pen), Leonard Havens 0-3 (3f), Darren Siney 1-0, Mark Kelly 0-2, Gary Kelly 0-2, Anthony Kavanagh 0-1, Paul Kelly 0-1, Colm McCabe 0-1 (1f).
Caragh: Michael Behan 0-2 (2f), Daniel Campbell 0-1, Dominic Campbell 0-1.
Colm McCabe; Tristan Kennedy, John Dempsey, David Maher; Paul Kelly, Mark Cornish, James Gorry; Leonard Havens, Christy Dempsey; Shane O’Loughlin, Anthony Kavanagh, Cormac Brady; Mark Kelly, Gavin Holligan, Eoin Stapleton. Subs: Shane Kevins for O’Loughlin (34 mins); Gary Kelly for Brady (50 mins); Aaron Bannon Whelan for Dempsey (56 mins); Darren Siney for Holligan (56 mins); David Connolly for Gorry (58 mins).
Kevin Gannon; Ivan Moran, Brian Fitzpatrick, Richie Whelan; Paul Kennedy, Kevin Dempsey, Ronan Garry; Kevin O’Connor, Patrick Cassidy; Michael Behan, Daniel Campbell, Ruairi Hayden; Dominic Campbell, Pat Sullivan, John Sullivan. Subs: Eoin Garry for Cassidy (44 mins); Michael Brennan for Ronan Garry (44 mins); Mick Brennan for Whelan (48 mins); Ciaran Conlon for Hayden (52 mins); Brian McHugh for Dominic Campbell (60 mins).