Easy for Avon­dale

Bray People - - NEWS -

by half-time when they led by 1-12 to 1-0, the Ash­ford goal by wing­for­ward Seán Doyle com­ing just on the stroke of half-time.

Wing-for­ward Cor­mac McGraynor gave us a won­der­ful ex­hi­bi­tion of score-tak­ing from play and frees in the first-half, though he missed from a cou­ple of frees early in the sec­ond-half, while Shane Byrne was hugely im­pres­sive on the other wing along with Ian McDon­ald at full­for­ward, Cor­mac Doyle at cen­tre­back and James Busher at full­back.

Ash­ford, who have some good un­der-age play­ers com­ing through that give hope for the fu­ture, had a bright start to the sec­ond-half with a goal by Paddy Shan­non and a point by full-for­ward Bren­dan Man­ning from a free, but Avon­dale took over again in the fi­nal quar­ter to run out easy win­ners in­deed. KIL­COOLE AND An Tochar have to meet again to de­cide their quar­ter­fi­nal match in the Ju­nior B foot­ball cham­pi­onship af­ter the sides played out a thrilling draw at Ash­ford on Satur­day.

The Round­wood men looked as if they were go­ing to win this match at their ease as they built up a 0-8 to 0-3 in­ter­val lead af­ter a dom­i­nant firsthalf, but Kil­coole re­fused to be­lieve that the game was gone be­yond their reach.

In­stead they staged a gutsy fight­back in the sec­ond-half and cru­cial goals by Dean Healy and Barry Hamil­ton put this game down to a nail bit­ing fin­ish and a share of the spoils.

Stephan Cough­lan opened the scor­ing for Kil­coole in the third minute and Keith Reynolds lev­elled the scores for a sec­ond time on 0-2 each af­ter ten, but the re­main­der of the half was largely con­trolled by An Tochar.

At wing-for­ward Shay Cullen was at his preda­tory best, scor­ing five points from play and frees, with plenty of sup­port from de­fend­ers Gary McGilly­cuddy, Bren­dan Brady, Joe Cole­man and Ed­die Ka­vanagh.

Be­hind by 0-3 to 0-8 at the break, Kil­coole felt it was time to beef up their team by in­tro­duc­ing three pairs of fresh legs.

In par­tic­u­lar Paul Deere made a huge dif­fer­ence and in­side three min­utes the re­vival was un­der­way as Dean Healy stabbed the ball to the net from the edge of the square af­ter a shot by full-for­ward Dar­ren Dunne was blocked.

Points by Healy and Jimmy Hack­ett and all of a sud­den the mar­gin was down to a sin­gle point (1-5 to 0-9) af­ter ten min­utes. Game on in earnest at that stage with mid­field­ers Stephen Cough­lan Colm McGovern, Dean Healy, and Keith Reynolds catch­ing the eye for Kil­coole in par­tic­u­lar.

Kil­coole’s Keith Reynolds lev­elled scores at the end of the third quar­ter, but Joe Cole­man and Shay Cullen put An Tochar two ahead in the next four min­utes.

John Byrne pulled one back for the men from Goose­bank but Cullen stretched the Round­wood lead with an­other fine brace from frees

Into in­jury-time at this stage and time ap­peared to be run­ning out for Kil­coole.

But still they pushed for­ward in hope if noth­ing else.

They won a free on the left wing; the ball was pumped into the square and su­per sub Barry Hamil­ton fin­ished to the net. The sides were level at 2-7 to 0-13.

It was edge of seats stuff at this stage. Kil­coole came ma­raud­ing once more.

An­other free on the left flank. A dif­fi­cult an­gle, but Stephen Cough­lin drilled it be­tween the posts. Kil­coole up by a point 2-8 to 0-13.

Now it was the turn of An Tochar to show char­ac­ter.

They came raid­ing and won a free on the right. It may have suited Shay Cullen but the an­gle was in­tim­i­dat­ing.

How­ever Cullen had sparkled through­out and banged it over for a fi­nal equaliser to put this match to a re­play.

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