Rath­new snatch late win in JBFC de­cider

Breen snatches late vic­tory for Vil­lage over En­niskerry

Bray People - - SPORT -

THE Rath­new Ju­nior B team has held up their side of the bar­gain, over now to the Se­nior team to com­plete the dou­ble.

Sub­sti­tute Dean Breen was the hero of the hour with his point in the 60th minute that sep­a­rated the teams. For En­niskerry it’s the sec­ond year in a row that they’ve lost the county fi­nal in the most heart-break­ing fash­ion.

In­deed, as the teams gath­ered for the tro­phy pre­sen­ta­tion it was the En­niskerry play­ers who were cheered by their loyal band of fol­low­ers who rose from their seats in the stand to ap­plaud their ef­forts. How­ever to the vic­tors go the spoils and Rath­new brought an­other tro­phy back to their bulging cab­i­net.

The game was by no means a clas­sic. The first half was a low scor­ing af­fair with Rath­new go­ing in a point ahead, four points to three. They led by four points to two in the 14th minute and nei­ther team would score un­til just be­fore half time, Gavin Bar­ton mak­ing the most of a way­ward Lee Ka­vanagh pass. The wide tally equalled the num­ber of points.

The teams emerged a lit­tle freer in the sec­ond half and the scor­ing rate im­proved with the two goals com­ing late in the match to cre­ate an ex­cit­ing fin­ish.

Craig Wil­liams had a won­der­ful game for En­niskerry and he opened the scor­ing in the third minute from 40 me­tres with one of his trade­mark barn­storm­ing runs. He proved a real hand­ful in full flight and try­ing to stop would be akin to stop­ping a run­away freight train.

Rath­new had Keith Doyle and James Hunter in the full for­ward line and Rath­new were look­ing for them all of the time. Mark Mullen did well on Doyle but Hunter caused trou­ble for Bren­dan Fitzger­ald.

Hunter was fouled for the equaliser from the boot of Josh Gra­ham and then kicked over a cou­ple of points for him­self. Doyle quickly added the fourth and Rath­new led by three in the tenth minute. They wouldn’t score for the rest of the half.

Bar­ton would re­duce the ar­rears with a cou­ple of points in that twenty minute pe­riod, his first when he turned Alan Clarke beau­ti­fully and his sec­ond on the stroke of half time fol­low­ing Ka­vanagh’s poor pass. A point in it at half time, all to play for.

Nigel Dar­ragh and Bar­ton ex­changed frees to be­gin the sec­ond half be­fore Josh Gra­ham con­verted a cou­ple of frees to open up a three points cush­ion, seven points to four, in the 40th minute. Hunter was fouled for two of the three Rath­new frees as long balls caused con­ster­na­tion in the En­niskerry back line. On far too many oc­ca­sions their de­fend­ers elected to punch a drop­ping ball rather than catch it and then lose the bat­tle for the loose ball on the ground. They put them­selves un­der all sorts of pres­sure.

Back they came how­ever and Sea­mus O’Gor­man made it a two point game be­fore Alan King made it a one point game. Gra­ham had kicked two wides be­fore that and the mo­men­tum had swung to­wards En­niskerry. Keith Doyle’s goal was like a pin in the bal­loon to de­flate their ef­forts.

Thomas Doyle played a de­light­ful ball over the En­niskerry defence and Doyle tipped the ball up and over the on rush­ing Ian Kir­wan and the ball trun­dled over the goal line. Rath­new led by 1-07 to 0-06 with ten min­utes to go.

En­niskerry weren’t go­ing to give up any time soon how­ever. Wil­liams tore off through the Rath­new defence, burst­ing through a tackle and leav­ing the whole team in his wake. As he ap­proached the 21 he passed to Alan King who jinked back and Alan Clarke con­ceded a penalty with a clothes line. Robert Doyle was lucky his at­tempted an­kle tap on Wil­liams went un­pun­ished.

Gavin Bar­ton dis­patched the penalty into the bot­tom cor­ner and there was a point be­tween the teams.

He quickly lev­elled the match. Wil­liams won a throw ball with the whole of Rath­new hang­ing out of him and was fouled. Bar­ton gained pos­ses­sion from the free and split the posts. That was in the 58th minute and two min­utes of in­jury time was an­nounced.

Ev­ery move­ment, ev­ery play was crit­i­cal. As the clock ap­proached 60 min­utes En­niskerry full-back Bren­dan Fitzger­ald was ad­judged to have over car­ried the ball. It was a 50-50 de­ci­sion, he gath­ered pos­ses­sion and was swal­lowed up by three Rath­new play­ers. Liam Keenan Jnr gave the free against him, oth­ers would give the free to him. Just one of the things that went in Rath­new’s favour.

The free was out­side the 45 and out­side Josh Gra­ham’s range. He went short and got the ball back. Good de­fend­ing how­ever forced him to mis­kick the ball up into the air, hang­ing for eter­nity. Rath­new won the break­ing ball and Dean Breen got it with space to shoot, 25 me­tres from goal just to the right hand side.

Did he have the nerve to win it for his team? Never in doubt.

Rath­new are Ju­nior B cham­pi­ons for 2017 and for John Sayer and Alan Clarke it’s al­most 20 years since their first back in 1999.

Scor­ers – Rath­new: Keith Doyle 1-01; Josh Gra­ham (3f) 0-03; James Hunter 0-02; Nigel Dar­ragh (1f), Dean Breen 0-01 each.

En­niskerry: Gavin Bar­ton (100 pen, 1f) 1-04; Craig Wil­liams, Sea­mus O’Gor­man, Alan King 0-01 each.

Rath­new: John Sayer; Christo­pher Mur­phy, Alan Clarke, Luke Cor­co­ran; Thomas Doyle, Lee Ka­vanagh, James Ka­vanagh; Michael Nolan, Robert Byrne; Bryan Mur­phy, Josh Gra­ham, Nigel Dar­ragh; Keith Doyle, James Hunter, Dale Franey. Subs: Dean Breen for Dale Franey (38 mins); Gavin Byrne for Bryan Mur­phy (40 mins); Ivan Kelly for Nigel Dar­ragh (45 mins); Michael Doyle for Keith Doyle (53 mins).

En­niskerry: Ian Kir­wan; James Moloney, Bren­dan Fitzger­ald, Mark Mullen; Jack Con­roy, Dan Kelly, Stephen Cahill; Owen Corrigan, Craig Wil­liams; Sea­mus O’Gor­man, Gavin Bar­ton, Colm Nolan; Alan Acres, Alan King, Eoin Byrne. Subs: Bren­dan Bar­ton for Alan Acres (21 mins); Rhys Cope for Colm Nolan (41 mins); Luke Dal­ton for James Moloney (53 mins).

Ref­eree: Liam Keenan Jnr

Rath­new, the Philip Doyle Ju­nior B foot­ball cham­pi­ons for 2017.

Rath­new’s Josh Gra­ham and En­niskerry’s Stephen Cahill com­pete for a high ball at Joule Park, Aughrim. s

Tori Doyle and Martin Cole­man present the JBFC cup to Rath­new cap­tain James Ka­vanagh.

Rath­new’s Lee Ka­vanagh is chal­lenged by En­niskerry’s Eoin Byrne.

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