Late Mur­phy free sal­vages a share of the spoils for Carnew

Bray People - - Sport - Mark KENNEDY

Carnew 1-8, AGB 2-5: Ev­ery year AGB make a promis­ing start to the foot­ball sea­son only to run out of steam when the cham­pi­onship comes round and find them­selves bat­tling to stave off rel­e­ga­tion at year’s end.

On Satur­day at Carnew the Ark­low play­ers be­gan 2009 with pas­sion and fire in their game as they forced Carnew, the de­fend­ing league cham­pi­ons in divi­sion one, to come from be­hind to force a draw.

County man Ciarán Hy­land, who lined out at cen­tre-back for AGB, was the in­spi­ra­tion to his col­leagues with a tour-de-force dis­play of at­tack­ing foot­ball, scor­ing 1-1 him­self and set­ting up the sec­ond goal for Philip Glee­son with his mazy solo run.

Carnew, who are in the fi­nal of the Dunne Cup top four com­pe­ti­tion from last year’s leagues, started as if they were go­ing to blow the Ark­low seasiders out of the wa­ter from the word go as they took an early two points lead as winger Joe Mur­phy hit the tar­get twice from frees in the open­ing five min­utes.

How­ever AGB, once they set­tled into the con­test, showed that they were pre­pared to scrap for ev­ery­thing and, for a first game of the sea­son, this match had real cham­pi­onship bite and nee­dle with the ex­changes threat­en­ing to boil over a cou­ple of times in the sec­ond-half as Carnew sought to at­tack the AGB lead.

Philip Glee­son got AGB off the mark with a point af­ter six min­utes and mid­fielder Niall Mul­lett can­celled out Carnew’s third point by Joe Mur­phy, this time from play af­ter he had been teed-up for the score by a good cross-field ball from Seánie Kin­sella.

Yet AGB had not bed­ded into the game com­pletely at this stage, their play was good and bad in parts.

On 18 min­utes, how­ever, they got the lift they needed. Ciarán Hy­land was ever will­ing to link up with his at­tack and he blasted the ball to the Carnew net af­ter tak­ing a back pass from Damien Hur­ley.

It was game on from there and Carnew knew they had a fight on their hands if they were to sal­vage some­thing from their open­ing league match.

As they sought to re­fo­cus, the home side brought Gary Do­ran out from his full-for­ward po­si­tion to act as a third mid­fielder.

Joe Mur­phy ex­changed points with Ciarán Hy­land be­fore AGB gifted their op­po­nents an equal­is­ing goal. Der­mot Do­ran pumped a ball in from the right wing; goalie James Bol­ger and an AGB de­fender got their wires crossed and the ball fin­ished up in the far cor­ner of the net.

The sides were dead­locked at 1-4 each.

AGB were un­fazed by that set­back and hit back for an an­swer­ing goal in­stead. And what a gem of a goal it was too.

Ciarán Hy­land took off on a dash­ing solo run through the heart of the Carnew de­fence be­fore lay­ing the ball off to Philip Glee­son, who drilled his pile-driver of a shot to the net off the cross­bar.

On the other side of the fence Joe Mur­phy had a huge game for Carnew, scor­ing all eight of their points, six of them from frees. His fifth ef­fort just be­fore half-time left his team trail­ing by a mere two points at the break – 1-5 to 2-4.

In a sec­ond-half that was at times tem­pes­tu­ous, we had just four scores for the en­tire 30 min­utes as Carnew pressed re­lent­lessly and AGB de­fended res­o­lutely.

AGB’s Niall Mul­lett and Joe Mur­phy ex­changed points in the first ten min­utes of the new half and then Joe Mur­phy nar­rowed the gap to one point as the match en­tered the fi­nal quar­ter.

The Ark­low lads re­fused to buckle un­der the pres­sure and Carnew looked as if they were never go­ing to grab the fi­nal equaliser as they bal­looned a num­ber of good chances wide of the tar­get – Joe Mur­phy even nod­ded as he failed to con­vert from two frees.

A move at the other end in­volv­ing Donal O’Ke­effe and cen­tre-for­ward Stephen Hur­ley floated the ball across the face of the Carnew goal to lurk­ing sub­sti­tute Damien Red­mond, but his at­tempt to raise a green flag was smoth­ered by the Carnew keeper Em­mett O’Sul­li­van and the chance was gone.

Then Carnew kept bat­ter­ing their op­po­nent’s ram­parts right to the end. With less than two min­utes to go they were awarded an­other free in a score­able po­si­tion and this time Joe Mur­phy re­gained his ac­cu­racy to flight over the point that en­sured a share of the league points.

Just be­fore the fi­nal whis­tle, AGB suf­fered an­other blow when Damien Red­mond was sent off on a straight red card.

Nev­er­the­less the Ark­low team can take some pos­i­tives from this game. While play­ers on both teams showed ring-rust af­ter the win­ter break and lacked fit­ness, AGB have it in their own hands to build on this draw and try to em­u­late the 2008 achieve­ments of their op­po­nents Carnew, who won league and cham­pi­onship ti­tles last year.

Scor­ers for AGB: Ciarán Hy­land (1-1), Philip Glee­son (1-1), Niall Mul­lett (0-2), Donal O’Ke­effe (0-1).

Carnew scor­ers: Der­mot Do­ran (1-0), Joe Mur­phy (0-8, six frees).

AGB: James Bol­ger, Dar­ren McAn­drew, James Tyrrell, Paul O’Dono­hoe, Pat Egan, Ciarán Hy­land, Paul Lawlor, Niall Mul­lett, Mark Ivanoff, Damien Hur­ley, Stephen Hur­ley, Alan McBride, Philip Glee­son, Philip Healy, Ivan Hur­ley. Subs. - Donal O’Ke­effe for D. McAn­drew, Damien Red­mond for P. Glee­son, Ciarán Byrne for P. Healy, Philip Healy for D. O’Ke­effe.

Carnew: Em­mett O’Sul­li­van, Willy Collins, Vinny Fla­herty, Shane Doyle, Mark Collins, Liam Kennedy, Nick Skel­ton, Der­mot Do­ran, Thomas Kennedy, Keith Os­bourne, Timmy Collins, Joe Mur­phy, Eoin Cole­man, Gary Do­ran, Seánie Kin­sella. Sub. - Don Hy­land for G. Do­ran.

Ref­eree: Kieran Kenny (Ti­na­hely).

Ciarán Hy­land scores Ark­low’s open­ing goal.

Action from the match be­tween Carnew and AGB.

Action from the match be­tween Carnew Em­mets and Ark­low Geraldines Bal­ly­money.

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