Rath­new de­feat Avoca

Bray People - - Bray Sport -

JU­NIOR ‘C’ FOOT­BALL Rath­new 3-10, Avoca 0-11: Rath­new have the look of cham­pi­onship con­tenders in the Ju­nior ‘C’ grade af­ter nail­ing down a semi-fi­nal meet­ing with Strat­ford as a re­sult of their eight points win over bat­tling Avoca at Ark­low on Satur­day.

Ed­die Leonard coached Avoca were in con­tention right up to the fi­nal gong al­most and with four min­utes left to play they were still in with a se­ri­ous shout, trail­ing by just four points (2-9 to 0-11) at that cru­cial stage.

How­ever the men from the Thatched vil­lage fin­ished with a bit of a flour­ish; an ex­tra gloss be­ing put on their winning mar­gin with a goal and a point from their highly in­flu­en­tial full-for­ward Robert Byrne, who capped a fine per­for­mance with a tally of 1-5, some of his scores from frees be­ing from the top drawer.

With so much as stake from this match – a place in the semis – ex­changes were tense and ro­bust at times, re­sult­ing in five play­ers re­ceiv­ing red cards from ref­eree Damien Byrne, three of them from Avoca.

Rath­new’s full-for­ward Robert Byrne cracked a sting­ing shot against the wood­work and then Brian Mur­phy, racing in from the right flank, met the re­bound with a ter­rific vol­ley to send the ball to the back of the net to open the scor­ing

Avoca re­cov­ered from this early blow and points by James Mur­ray (2) and Ja­son Porter be­tween the fifth and eight min­utes brought the sides level (1-0 to 0-3) and set the tone for a tough bat­tle be­tween the sides.

Robert Byrne pointed Rath­new back in front af­ter 11 min­utes and then we had the first send­ings off be­fore Brian Mur­phy boxed to the net from close range af­ter an­other Robert Byrne ef­fort came back off the cross­bar.

At this stage Robert Byrne was ‘deadly’ from frees as he notched up three more points and Rath­new led by those two Brian Mur­phy goals af­ter PJ Fluskey pulled back a point for Avoca on 30 min­utes – 2-4 to 0-4.

Cor­ner-for­ward James Mur­ray was hav­ing a mar­vel­lous game for Avoca and he ex­changed points with Danny Quinn to leave his team trail­ing by 2-5 to 0-5 aft the break.

Rath­new held firm to that two goal lead through­out the third quar­ter and then the sec­ond pair of play­ers bit the dust – the teams were down to 13 aside.

It was the ac­cu­racy of James Mur­ray from frees that was reap­ing re­wards for Avoca he scored three points on the trot to cut the mar­gin to a goal – 27 to 0-10.

Paddy Kin­sella re­duced the mar­gin even fur­ther with an Avoca point and it was still all the play for with five min­utes to go even though Brian Mur­phy and mid­fielder Ja­son Stafford had pushed the Rath­new lead to 2-9 to 011.

Now Avoca were down to 12 as an­other player took an early shower. Rath­new fin­ished with a bit of raz­zledaz­zle and a goal and a point by full­for­ward Robert Byrne – the point a mighty ef­fort from ‘45’ - left them clear win­ners by 3-10 to 0-11 at the end.

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