‘Jem’ saves the day for Rathnew
KILTEGAN 0-14 LACKEN 0-07
RATHNEW have been a force to be dealt with in the county for many a year and you can see why as 22 players warmed up on Thursday night last to take on Dunlavin in the JBFC and, take note, this is their third team.
As the teams lined out there was going to be two men to watch, Mick Murtagh with 14 on his back for Dunlavin and Alan Clarke wearing the number three for Rathnew.
The game started in favour of the visitors as Niall Faherty converted an early free.
Jem Hunter lined out at full-forward again and was marked by county Minor Conor Deering.
The first ball that Hunter got was deemed to be handled on the ground by the referee but then, with 10 minutes on the clock, Byran Murphy got through on goal only for the keeper Brandon O’Rourke to pull off a serious save to tip it out for a 45.
Up came that man again, John ‘Pieman’ Sayer to convert on his second attempt but was cancelled out when Shane O’Rourke kicked in a long ball which no one contested and it bounced over the bar.
With Rathnew starting to dominate, Mick Murtagh moved himself out the field to try get himself on the ball but still could not stop the busy Mick Nolan as he delivered a peach of a ball into Keith Doyle who this time made no mistake about converting his goal chance.
Dunlavin should have had a goal of their own when stylish wing forward Niall Faherty split the defence only to hit the side netting.
The half-time score read 1-4 to 0-4 to Rathnew. Dunlavin brought in Eddie Deegan and he was like a man on a mission and made an impact straight away with a solo run, a one-two with Murtagh and we had a goal after just three minutes.
Rrathnew were then dealt another blow when then lost Luke Corcoran to a knee injury that he picked up in the first half.
Murtagh was starting to show his experience and handed off another ball to Eddie Deegan for a point but Hunter was at it at the other end and he got through on goal and was brought down by Ronan Byrne who picked himself up a yellow card for his troubles.
Nigel Darragh kicked the free and right after that Brian Murphy added another.
It was end to end stuff at this stage and Deegan bagged another 1-2 since he arrived on the field.
Hunter set up Keith Doyle to keep the scoring ticking over for the Village men and with the game coming to a close it was Mick Murtagh who got himself a brace of points to put the west men a point up with only minutes left.
Rathnew got one final attack together and it was the hero from the last day, Jem Hunter, who managed to find the space to kick the equaliser and this very entertaining game finished at 1-11 each.
Referee: Matt Dowling