Rathnew march on
GAELIC GAMES DOOLEY POYNTON SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Rathnew 1-12, Newtown 09: If the St. Pat’s v. Blessington match turned out to be the Paul Earls show than this surely was the ‘Leighton Glynn show’.
Seldom in the recent history of the Rathnew club has one man played a bigger part in a championship victory.
It was a case of the ‘old dog for the hard road’ in this second quarter-final in the Senior football championship at Aughrim on Sunday.
For three quarters of the game a fresh young Newtown side set the pace. They led by 0-4 to 0-1 after 15 minutes and by 0-5 to 03 at half-time.
Twice in the second-half they stretched their lead to three points but crafty Rathnew were biding their time, finally wore them down, drew level for the first time in the 50th minute and then went on to win at their ease.
In fact they did exactly what the manager Harry Murphy told the ‘Wicklow People’ they would do – get the result they needed without fuss or bother.
As everyone expected Gail Dunne had Newtown flying at the start; John Heffernan kicked over the first point in the third minute; Paudie Doyle had points in the fourth and ninth minutes to put then 0-3 ahead and still the lion had not awakened from his slumbers.
Stephen Kavanagh had Rathnew’s first point in the 11th minute but that brought a quick response from Dean Odlum who pointed a minute later.
Garrett Doyle had a Newtown point in the 16th minute but that was to prove their last score of the first-half.
Leighton Glynn won a free and Nicky Mernagh sent it over and when Glynn was again brought down on the other side of the field Tommy Gill pointed with the left foot. Half-time – Newtown 0-5, Rathnew 0-3.
Nothing changed in the third quarter except that now it was Rathnew that were setting the agenda. Glynn pointed in the first minute but Garrett Doyle scored from a free. Ed Doyle had a good point in the tenth minute but again Doyle replied.
It all started to happen for Rathnew in the last quarter. Leighton Glynn had his second point while Nicky Mernagh brought Rathnew level for the first time with ten minutes to go.
Glynn and Nicky Mernagh kicked over points but Dean Odlum had a great score for Newtown and with five minutes to go one point separated the sides and it was still all to play for.
However, Rathnew had got the scent of victory, Glynn set up Ken Doyle for a point and Tommy Gill added another. The game was injury-time when Gill got on the end of a Nicky Mernagh cross to box home the game’s only goal and while Dean Odlum had the last point a minute later it was all over at that stage.
Another big factor was the display of high fielding by James Stafford at midfield.
The big fellow may have been a bit slow to start but when he got going Newtown had no answer to his mighty fetching. Tommy Gill was again the game’s top scorer but significantly all six Rathnew forwards got on the scoresheet
That result will see Rathnew and Kiltegan meet in the semifinal for the third year in a row.
Rathnew: Peter Duignam; Alan Clarke, Damien Power, Stephen Canavan; Chris Healy, Stephen Byrne, Barry Mernagh; James Stafford, Richard Duignam; Ed Doyle (0-2), Leighton Glynn (0-3), Stephen Kavanagh (0-1); Ken Doyle (0-1), Tommy Gill (1-2), Nickie Mernagh (0-3). Subs. - Anthony Mernagh for R. Dignam; Paul Merrigan for B. Mernagh.
Newtown: Richard Franey; Niall Mernagh, Andy Halpin, John Tierney; Jason Owens, Jason Collins, Philly Martin; Paul O’Reardon, Cathal McNicholas; Paudie Doyle (02); Garret Doyle (0-3), John Heffernan (0-1); Dean Odlum (0-3), Ciarán McGuirl, Ross Odlum. Subs. – Terry Halpin for N. Martin; Eoin O’Reardon for McGuirl; Barry Davis for P. Doyle; Mark Fitzsimons for P. O’Reardon.
Rathnew's Stephen Canavan and Newtown's Paul Doyle compete for the high ball.