19 Aug 2022

Big wins for Kill and Straffan as Junior football championship gets under way

Big wins for Kill and Straffan as Junior football championship gets under way

Kill Kevin Corrigan drives forward despite the chasing Oran Bergin Grange in the Top Cross JFC Round 1 game at Hawkfield. Photo: Sean Brilly

Tom Cross Transport JFC, Round 1 results

Kill 3-15

Grangenolvin 1-11

The opening round of the Tom Cross Junior Football Championship saw Division 4 league champions Grange up against Kill who operated in Division 3.

The difference in the divisions was evident in the opening half as Kill raced into an early six point lead.
The impressive Paul Kirwan opened the scoring after two minutes with a free before Alan Wren and Ross Maguire made it three after 5 minutes.

Kirwan then showed his class when he won a long ball from Dara Challoner and after making space cooly slotted past Killian Deere in the Grange goal.

Oran Bergin pointed from a free after Lee Doyle was fouled for the first Grange score after 10 minutes.

Despite their league final victory the previous week Grange were finding it hard to break down a well drilled Kill defence ably marshalled by the experienced Kevin Corrigan.

Lennox and Kirwan pointed in the 13th and 16th minutes to move eight ahead and then Kill moved eleven ahead again courtesy of Paul Kirwan.

Another long ball into the Grange defence saw Kirwan field high from behind Paddy O'Brien and again he gave Killian Deere no chance with a lovely finish.

As we approached the closing minutes of the half Grange came to life and they hit six in a row through three Conaill Bergin frees and one each from Lee Doyle Wayne Dooley and Brian Cullen.

The gap was back to five but Kill through, Alan Wren Carl Lennox and Paul Kirwan closed out the half with those three scores to lead 2-9 to 0-7 at the break.

The change of ends didn't effect Kill and they killed off the game as a contest within the opening 6 minutes after Alan Wren and Paul Kirwan, with a fisted effort, had pointed it was left to Carl Lennox to fire home Kill's third goal in the 36 minute.
Kirwan then pointed two in a row to bring his personal tally to 2-6 and leave 15 between the sides as we moved into the closing quarter.

To Grange's credit they kept plugging away and hit 1-4 in that closing quarter but the superior physical presence of Kill was always a problem as they tried to create goal chances.
Conaill Bergin with three points and Nathan Doyle with his first of the game brough their tally to 0-11.
For hard work and a willingness to get forward at every opportunity Dylan Costigan was rewarded with a late well taken goal for the men from the South.

Alan Wren with an excellent left footed effort and a Carl Lennox point right on the stroke of full time brought proceedings to a close as Kill won out on a scoreline of 3-15 to 1-11.

On this performance Kill ensured that come the business end of the championship they will have a strong say on where the cup goes.

Grange will be disappointed after an excellent season to date but they will win more games and the experience of this Kill game will stand to them as the year goes on.

KILL: Mike Jones; Chris McCarthy, Ciaran Devoy, Luke Purcell; Karl Maguire 0-1, Kevin Corrigan, Fionn Doyle; Dara Challoner, Stephen Rowley; Jack Healy, Stephen O Leary, Matthew Ryan,; Paul Kirwan 2-6 (2 frees), Alan Wren 0-4, Carl Lennox 1-4. Subs: Brian Heveran for Ciaran Devoy 8; Eoin Finneran for Dara Challoner 50; Justin Halligan for Jack Healy 57.

GRANGENOLVIN: Killian Deere; Paul Huntingdon, Paddy O Brien, Gavin Ivory; Brian Cullen 0-1, Keith McGloin, Dylan Costigan 1-0; Jason Lambe, Cillian Bergin; Nathan Doyle 0-1, Oran Bergin 0-1 (1 free), Tomas Cullen; Lee Doyle 0-1, Wayne Dooley 0-1, Conall Bergin 0-6 ( 4 frees).

REFEREE: Ken Doyle.

Rheban 3-5

Castlemitchell 0-13

The opening round of the Tom Cross Junior Football Championship played in Ballykelly on Thursday may not have been a great spectacle but it certainly gave us plenty to talk about.

A disastrous opening five minutes of the second half saw Rheban reduced to 12 players but they somehow held on for a deserved one point victory.

Rheban opened the scoring inside the opening minute through Thomas Foley before an excellent 45 from Patrick Ryan levelled it for the Mitchell's, Emmet Hyland's initial shot been deflected out for the 45. This would be the only time their would be parity between the teams as Rheban hit three goals between the 9th and 16th minutes.

Conor Germaine won a kickout in the middle and his long punt forward found Dean McCarthy and he fired past Jack Nolan.
Within 90 seconds the pacy Nathan Owens had added a second. Collecting a loose ball 45 metres out, his speed took him away from his marker and a neat one two with Tadhg Foley put him in on goal and his low shot flew past Jack Nolan.
Rheban had opened a 6 point gap after only 11 minutes.

Ray Kavanagh, who was Castlemitchell's best player on the night, got the first of his five points this time from a free after he was fouled.

From the restart Rheban attacked and a great three man move involving Nathan Owens Dean McCarthy and Tadhg Foley saw the latter tap into an empty net.

Emmet Hyland closed the gap to seven after 17 minutes and this score encouraged Castlemitchell to add four more before the break.Two Ray Kavanagh frees and two from Patrick Ryan, his second from a 45, and the gap was down to 3.
Just before Niall Colgan blew for half-time Thomas Foley pointed from 30 metres to leave 4 between them 3-2 to 0-7 at the break.

Facing into the second half Castlemitchell had the aid of a slight breeze and would have fancied their chances of getting back into contention.

There chances were helped unbelievably with three Rheban dismissals within a 5 minute spell.
Firstly Darren Byrne was red carded for a second yellow and he was quickly followed by Christopher Casey and Nathan Owens.

Ironically this wasn't a dirty game between the near neighbours and apart from that freak few minutes the game passed peacefully.

Ray Kavanagh with two excellent points had reduced the gap to two by the 36 minute.
It took Rheban all of 11 minutes to get a shot at the Castlemitchell goal and Thomas Foley's effort kept three between the teams.

Despite the numerical advantage Castlemitchell found it hard to break down the 12 men of Rheban and their slow ponderous play allowed Rheban to regroup time and time again.

Joe Maher and Tadhg Foley swapped points before Maher hit two-in-a-row to leave two between them with three to play.

A rare attack for Rheban saw Tadhg Foley fouled and when he got up he tapped over for a two point advantage.
Mitchell's attacked looking for that goal to claim victory but despite Mark Fennelly's point in injury time it was Rheban who held for a famous victory.

There were joyous scenes among the Rheban contingent but despair for Castlemitchell knowing this was one that got away.

RHEBAN: Owen Foley; Sean Gahan, Evin Owens, Daire Foley; Kevin O'Shaughnessey, Jason Shaw, Darren Byrne; Christopher Casey, Conor Germaine; Denis McEvoy, Nathan Owens 1-0, Michael Renehan; Dean McCarthy 1-0, Tadhg Foley 1-2 (1 free), Thomas Foley 0-3. Subs: Kealinn McConville for Conor Germaine 19; Stephen May for Michael Renehan (half-time); Conor Dennehy for Daire Foley 49; Eamon McEvoy for Sean Gahan 52.

CASTLEMITCHELL: Jack Nolan; John Horgan, Brian Kavanagh, Jordan Horgan; Luke Maher, Ray Fitzgerald, Shane Kavanagh; Emmet Hyland 0-1, John Fennelly; Ray Kavanagh 0-5 (3 frees), Joe Maher 0-3, Mark Fennelly 0-1; Oisin Boylan, Patrick Ryan 0-3 (two 45s), John O'Connor. Subs: Conor Curtis for John Fennelly 46; Jason O Toole for John O'Connor 50.

REFEREE: Niall Colgan.

Straffan 4-14

Robertstown 1-14

Two goals in each half ensured that fourteen man Straffan would romp to victory over Robertstown with ease in the Tom Cross Transport Junior Football Championship.

It was Straffan who set the pace early on with points from Rob Kelly and Declan Reilly ensuring they got off to the best start.
Looking to respond Robertstown pointed, but unable to build on this Straffan again seized control with Austin Allen restoring their two point advantage before Allen gathered once more to recycle to Ruairí Power whose finish was similar to Allen’s.

With the tie approaching the sixth minute Straffan burst forward as Andy O’Neill struck for the side's first goal before a further brace put eight between the sides on the tenth minute.

Points from Jason Butler and Brian Kavanagh looked to stem the flow of Straffan scores before a series of traded points maintained the sixth point difference.

With time ticking into the final ten min of the half, Power looked to add to his earlier point. Striking low into the Milltown end Richard Price had no chance to make the save.

In end-to-end fashion the sides traded scores as Kelly rounded of the scoring for the half with a fine point ensuring eight points would separate the sides at the break.

On the restart Straffan began as they had finished the opening half with a goal from O’Neill before Power took his tally to 1-2.
Robertstown were struggling to find any momentum in the tie.

A Danny Scully point did little to change that as Straffan were eleven clear before Butler responded to Scully’s efforts.
Points from James Carthy and John Tracey maintained the gulf between the sides before Straffan sent Robertstown fifteen behind following Tracey finding Kelly on the edge of the small rectangle. Hand passing into Kelly’s path, he made no mistake as he palmed into the back of an empty net for his fourth of the game.

Robertstown looked to Scully to stop the rut. With PJ Ewing and Scully again pointing Robertstown had hit three consecutive scores for the first time in the tie.

A further trio had the difference back to nine as Reilly and Butler again traded scored before the final whistle to ensure that Straffan would run out nine point victors in a tie that never looked in doubt.


Straffan, Andy O’Neill 2-1; Rob Kelly 1-3 (1f); Ruairí Power 1-3; Declan Reilly 0-3; John Tracey 0-2; Austin Allen 0-1; Aaron Kiernan 0-1.

Robertstown: Danny Scully 0-5 (2f); Diarmuid Healy 1-0; Jason Butler 0-3; John O’Sullivan 0-2; Brion Kennedy 0-1; Joe Kavanagh 0-1; James Carthy 0-1; PJ Ewing 0-1.

STRAFFAN: Matthew Duggan; Mike Tracey, Niall Devane, Andy O’Neill; Ed Neenan, Cian Gaynor, Rory Byrne; Tom Donovan, John Tracey; Ruairí Power, Rob Kelly, Séan O’Connor; Declan Reilly, Austin Allen, Aaron Kiernan. Subs: Alan Byrne for O’Neill, 44; Brian Tracey for Kiernan, 46; Keith Donnelly for Power, 56.

ROBERTSTOWN: Richard Price; Ben Buggy, Niall Kane, Conor Moran; James Keely, Diarmuid Walshe, Anthony Moran; Shane Ward, Danny Scully; Brion Kennedy, Joe Kavanagh, Peter Hogarty; Jason Butler, John O’Sullivan, Diarmuid Healy. Subs: PJ Ewing for Keely, 30; James Carty for Ward, 30; Dean Bagnall for Healy, 43.

Ballykelly 2-6

Rathcoffey 0-11

Rathcoffey were marginal favourites to defeat Ballykelly and within nine minutes had points from Jason Acton and PJ Heslin in this JFC clash at Hawkfield

The lively Lee Moore opened the Ballykelly account before Owen Whelan came forward from midfield to kick the leveller after 17 minutes.

Padraig McManamon and a Darragh Byrne free for Ballykelly kept the sides level as we passed the 24th minute mark.
A short kickout from David Moore found its way to Rathcoffey's Cillian McGovern and he put the blues one up.

Rathcoffey broke forward from the kick-out and when Jason Acton found PJ Heslin his goal bound shot was well saved by David Moore, Cathal Travers was on hand to tap over a point and move Rathcoffey two ahead. Ciaran Byrne reduced the gap to 0-5 to 0-4 by half-time.

On the change of ends Ballykelly leveled through Eddie O'Connell but it was Rathcoffey who took control and by the 49th minute they had moved 0-10 to 0-5 ahead. Impressive free taker Michael O'Connor who added three one coming from play.
Jamie Brilly was dominating at centre back for Rathcoffey and his long run through the heart of the Ballykelly defence saw him get a free which Alex McGovern dispatched.

Adam Toman added his first after 49 and Rathcoffey looked to be heading for victory.
Ballykelly, 21 minutes without a score, but when Oisin Brilly fouled Padraig Cullen inside the large square Alan Lagrue pointed to the spot. 'Keeper David Moore came forward he sent Cillian Campbell the wrong way to close the gap to two with eight minutes left on the clock.

Ballykelly had a second goal chance 60 seconds later through Cullen but a combination of Jamie Brilly and Michael O'Connor prevented the ball from crossing the line and as Rathcoffey broke up the field Michael O'Connor was on hand it make it three again with four to play.

Lee Moore pointed after Darragh Byrne found him with a delightful pass. From the kick-out Owen Whelan fielded and hit a long hopeful ball towards the Rathcoffey goal and when it seemed Cillian Campbell was about to gather, in stepped the nippy Moore to leave him with an empty net and a winning Ballykelly goal.

From the kickout Alan Lagrue looked at his watch and blew for full time.
Disappointment for Rathcoffey but joy for Ballykelly. A game that both teams know they will need to improve from.

BALLYKELLY: David Moore 1-0 (penalty); Darragh Perry, Eoghan Sinnott, Cole Grattan; Jack Smyth, Aaron Cullen, Russell Grattan; Kevin O Donoghue, Owen Whelan 0-1; Ciaran Byrne 0-1, Eddie O'Connell 0-1, Josh Lawler; Darragh Byrne 0-1 (1 free), Padraig Cullen, Lee Moore 1-2. Subs: Daryl Brereton for Jack Smyth H/T.

RATHCOFFEY: Cillian Campbell; Elvan Moriarty, Oisin Brilly, John Coyle; Niall O Brien, Jamie Brilly, Cillian McGovern 0-1; Cathal Travers 0-1, Padraig McManamon 0-1; Joey Toman , Michael O Connor 0-4 (3 frees), Anthony Tyrell; PJ Heslin 0-1, Eoin McGinn, Jason Acton 0-1. Subs: Alex McGovern 0-1 (free) for Eoin McGinn 43; Adam Toman 0-1 for Anthony Tyrell 44; Cormac O'Sullivan for PJ Heslin 58.

REFEREE: Alan Lagrue.

Cappagh 2-10

Athgarvan 0-15

The opening round of the Tom Cross JFC saw Cappagh overcome Athgarvan by the minimum margin with a 64 minute point from Cappagh's Dean Brennan.

Cillian Smith opened the scoring for Athgarvan before Dean Brennan equalised; Smith and David Butler pushed Athgarvan two ahead by the fifth minute.

Thomas Jackman pointed a free after Jack Mulligan was fouled to leave one between them again after 8 minutes.
Athgarvan led by three after 13 courtesy of Alan Sourke with two and Cillian Smith Sourkes second point coming from a 45.

Thomas Jackman's second free was followed by Cillian Smith's fourth Athgaravan point but Cappagh hit back with a Dean Brennan goal after Brian McNally tapped down to him on the run and he shot low past Frank Delaney.
Wing back Brian Kelly levelled it for Cappagh on 22 but this was their last score before the interval.

Athgarvan were sprung into life after that Cappagh goal and by the close of the opening half they had moved into a commanding 0-13 to 1-4 kead.Cian Doyle pointed a free and within 60 seconds Cillian Smith had added two more .It was then Jordan Nolan Mullally's turn to hit two wonderful long range efforts and just before half time a wonderful move involving Butler Mullally saw David O'Sullivan extend the lead to six.

Cue the second half and for 30 minutes Athgarvan disappeared. Dean Brennan pointed on 34 and when Jack Mulligan's speculative cross field ball came back off Athgarvan full back Tom Sheedy James Grogan was on hand to side foot to the net.
By the 45th minute the 6 point deficit had been eroded courtesy of Jack Mulligan and a Thomas Jackman free

Cappagh moved two clear by the 54th minute and again it was Mulligan and Ollie Lewis who pointed.
Athgarvan finally registered their first point of the second right on 30 minutes when Cian Doyle pointed a free after Alan Duff was adjudged to have handled the ball on the ground.

Right from the kickout Athgarvan won possession and when Eoin Myers found Jordan Nolan Mullally he cooly slotted over to level.

Cappagh got one last chance The hard working David Lovely found Jack Mulligan and with only Frank Delaney to beat he brought an excellent save from the Athgarvan keeper but it only fell to Dean Brennan and he had the simple effort of tapping over for the victory.

ATHGARVAN: Frank Delaney; Steve Moore, Tom Sheedy, Conor Cummins; Finn O'Brien, Cameron Hughes, Calum O'Brien; Cian Doyle 0-2 (2 frees), Eoin Myers; David Butler 0-1, Derek Nolan, Jordan Nolan Mullally 0-3; David O'Sullivan 0-1, Cillian Smith 0-6 (2 frees), Alan Sourke 0-2 (45). Subs: Rory O'Donnell for Callum O Brien 34; Derek Craddock for Alan Sourke 43; John Hayes for Cillian Smith 50.

CAPPAGH: Dylan Whelan; Iarla Nolan, James Towell, Alan Duff; Cameron Dowd, Kevin Doran, Brian Kelly 0-1; David Lovely, William McDonnell; Jack Mulligan 0-2, Thomas Jackman 0-3 (3 frees), Brian McNally; James Grogan 1-0, Dean Brennan 1-3, Ollie Lewis 0-1. Subs: Oisin O'Quill for Cameron Dowd H/T; Seamus Milner for James Grogan 46; Cillian Devine for Kevin Doran 51; Alvin Galligan for Iarla Nolan 56.

REFEREE: Ryan Moran.

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