Avon­dale claim crown af­ter thriller

GAELIC GAMES COISTE NA NÓG FI­NALS

Bray People - - Bray Sport -

Avon­dale 3-8, Ash­ford 2-10: Ash­ford’s bid to put to­gether back-to­back wins in the U-14 B foot­ball Shield was thwarted on Fri­day night as op­po­nents Avon­dale lifted the ti­tle with a one­point home win in a fre­netic paced fi­nal. U-14 B FOOT­BALL The qual­ity and stan­dard of foot­ball shown by both sides be­lied the com­pe­ti­tion’s B sta­tus and the re­sult was in the bal­ance right up to the end of a game sea­soned with pas­sion and spirit from both teams.

Mid­way through the sec­ond-half Avon­dale looked to have the game wrapped up as they ex­tended their lead to 37 to 1-7 with an early sec­ond-half goal by full­for­ward Shane Far­rar, but then the black and am­ber boys put in a storm­ing fin­ish that put the re­sult down to the wire.

Points by star for­ward Aaron Nu­gent (2) and An­drew Yague and a goal by preda­tory full­for­ward Gavin Weir brought the sides level at 2-10 to 3-7 with just min­utes left on Gerry Cor­bett’s watch. It was still all to play for.

Urged on by strong lo­cal sup­port Avon­dale struck again for the vi­tal lead point from Mark Man­ley but gal­lant Ash­ford were press­ing strongly - al­beit un­suc­cess­fully - for an­other equaliser right up to the mo­ment that the ref­eree sounded the fi­nal whis­tle.

Aaron Nu­gent had the open­ing point for cham­pi­ons Ash­ford af­ter just 20 sec­onds, and sides were level af­ter ten min­utes (1-1 each) af­ter Mark Man­ley and Gavin Weir had traded goals.

If Nu­gent and Weir were tick­ing all the right boxes for Ash­ford, so too were Ryan Cahill and John Nolan on the other side and Avon­dale went on to lead by 2-4 to 1-5 at the break.

Lin­ing out for Avon­dale were the Baker cousins David and Naoise at cen­tre-back, re­spec­tively a son and daugh­ter of Kevin and Pat, two of the finest foot­ballers in the county in their time.

Again Aaron Nu­gent got the ball rolling for Ash­ford in the sec­ond­half, nar­row­ing the gap to just one point af­ter four min­utes.

Play moved up and down the field at a fast pace through­out but Avon­dale looked to be in a very comfortable po­si­tion in­deed as a third goal by Shane Far­rar eased them into a 3-7 to 1-7 lead into the fi­nal quar­ter. How­ever, Ash­ford put in a ter­rific fin­ish to the match only to be beaten by that late win­ner from Avon­dale’s mid­fielder Mark Man­ley.

Af­ter­wards Pat Mitchell pre­sented the Shield to the Avon­dale cap­tain Seán Geoghe- gan. There were a num­ber of strong con­tenders on both sides for man of the match but in the end the Wick­low Peo­ple award went to Avon­dale’s dy­namic wing­back John Nolan.

Scor­ers for Avon­dale: Ryan Cahill (1-3), Mark Man­ley ( 1- 1), Shane Far­rar (1-0), John Nolan ( 0- 3), Seán Geoghe­gan (0-1).

Ash­ford scor­ers: Aaron Nu­gent ( 0- 8), Gavin Weir ( 2- 0), Em­mett Byrne ( 0- 1), An­drew Yague (0-1)

Avon­dale: Seán McGraynor, Conor Doyle, Alan Man­ley, Pa­trick Kin­sella, John Nolan, Naoise Baker, Adam Ben­son-Byrne, Mark Man­ley, Seán Geoghe­gan, David Baker, Ryan Cahill, Cian O hAn­noin, Jack Townsend, Shane Far­rar, Conor Ful­lam. Subs: Shane Beaver for C. Ful­lam.

Ash­ford: Fergus Ward, Eoin Con­nolly, Conor Lin­nane, Kevin Cul­li­nane, Seán Mur­phy, Jamie Byrne, David Dowl­ing, Fi­acra McDer­mott, Iarla O’Don­nell, Frank Kelly, Em­mett Byrne, Daniel Staunton, An­drew Yague, Gavin Weir, Aaron Nu­gent. Subs: Paddy O’Don­nell for A. Yague.

Avon­dale, win­ners of the Un­der-14 B foot­ball shield.

Run­ners-up Ash­ford.

Avon­dale cap­tain Seán Geoghe­gan re­ceives the U-14 Shield from Pat Mitchell.

John Nolan re­ceives the Peo­ple News­pa­pers man of the match award from Ed­die Leonard.

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