Kiltegan have no an­swer to ram­pag­ing Rath­new men

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT - At Joule Park, Aughrim

RATH­NEW ram­paged their way into the semi-fi­nals of the Re­nault Se­nior foot­ball cham­pi­onship with a 2-13 to 2-06 thump­ing of Kiltegan in Joule Park, Aughrim.

A bruis­ing and at times reck­less open­ing 30 min­utes pro­duced some of the Vil­lage’s most ef­fec­tive foot­ball this year as they stormed to a 0-08 to 0-01 lead at the break with Trevor Doyle’s men hav­ing ab­so­lutely no an­swer for the Rath­new play, their fe­roc­ity and their ruth­less­ness all over the field.

Kiltegan’s de­ci­sion to play against the wind in the open­ing half turned out to be a mon­u­men­tal mis­take as their starved inside line were made re­dun­dant by lack of sup­ply and, when the ball did man­age to es­cape up that far, by a su­perb per­for­mance from the Rath­new full-back line, most no­tably from Damien Power who is en­joy­ing some of his finest de­fend­ing over the last few weeks.

A stag­ger­ing statis­tic of Kiltegan only scor­ing one point in 30 min­utes of Se­nior foot­ball tells you the crush­ing truth about the first half with their first wide com­ing af­ter 30 min­utes.

Rath­new were sim­ply ruth­less and Kiltegan’s cause was not helped by a num­ber of se­ri­ous in­ci­dents which Kiltegan sup­port­ers felt were not dealt with suf­f­i­cently or in some cases at all.

In gen­eral play there were a few trans­gres­sions but it was af­ter the play and away from the ac­tion where nig­gly and late in­ci­dents oc­curred that seemed to shake Kiltegan to the core.

Pe­tu­lance, a bit of a schemoz­zle and the un­sa­vory in­ci­dents were fac­tors in this game but there was only one team with the ap­petite for the strug­gle and that was Harry Mur­phy’s men as they pow­ered to the semi-fi­nals where they will face the win­ners of Éire Óg Grey­stones and Baltinglass and who­ever wins that re­play will want to be fully pre­pared for a fe­ro­cious bat­tle as the Vil­lagers are fully in­tent on bring­ing Mi­ley back to where they feel he be­longs.

That 0-08 to 0-01 half-time lead was tes­ta­ment to the dom­i­nance of the Rath­new men in all ar­eas of the field. Leighton Glynn opened the scor­ing and his ef­fort was fol­lowed up by a point from Jody Mer­ri­gan with the Rath­new cor­ner-for­ward in ab­so­lutely ex­cel­lent form all through this en­counter.

A Seanie Fur­long con­verted free got Kiltegan up and run­ning af­ter 10 min­utes but they would fail to score again un­til Seanie slipped the ball past Peter Dig­nam for the game’s open­ing goal early in the sec­ond half.

Jody Mer­ri­gan (two, one 45), Nicky Mer­nagh, James Stafford (two), and Ross O’Brien pushed Rath­new out to their healthy half­time lead as Kiltegan headed to the dress­ing rooms in a stunned state af­ter the 30 min­utes of an­ar­chy at Joule Park, Aughrim.

Seanie’s goal gave Trevor Doyle’s men a ma­jor boost but rather than push on and catch up on the Rath­new men, Kiltegan suf­fered the con­ces­sion of a fine goal from Jody Mer­ri­gan that made it 1-09 to 1-02 and give Kiltegan a moun­tain to climb.

Derek Daly fired home for their sec­ond goal of the day and a Seanie Fur­long free and a Jeffrey Ber­ming­ham point brought Kiltegan to within two points of their op­po­nents.

Two pointed frees from Ed­die Doyle stopped the rot for Rath­new and then Ross O’Brien set off on a ma­raud­ing run up the field and he wal­loped a left footed shot low and hard at Fer­gal Har­mon and the Kiltegan keeper could only get a half a hand to it and then watch help­lessly as it bil­lowed the net at the Red­nagh Hill end.

An im­me­di­ate Leighton Glynn point sick­ened Kiltegan and there was sim­ply no way back af­ter that.

This was a crush­ing de­feat for Kiltegan who many fan­cied as dark horses. Rath­new march on. If they bring that wild­ness and drive to the semi-fi­nal they will be a force to be reck­oned with, for op­po­nents and of­fi­cials alike.

Scor­ers – Rath­new: Jody Mer­ri­gan 1-04 (1 45, 1f), Ross O’Brien 1-01, Ed­die Doyle 0-02 (2f), James Stafford 0-02, Nicky Mer­nagh 0-02, Leighton Glynn 0-02.

Kiltegan: Seanie Fur­long 1-03 (2f), Derek Daly 1-00, Jeffrey Ber­ming­ham 0-01, Rory Finn 0-01, Padraig O’Toole 0-01.

Rath­new: Peter Dig­nam; Jamie Snell, Damien Power, Paul Mer­ri­gan; War­ren Ka­vanagh, Ross O’Brien, Enan Glynn; James Stafford, Theo Smyth; Ed­die Doyle, Leighton Glynn, Gra­ham Mer­ri­gan; Nicky Mer­nagh, Mark Doyle, Jody Mer­ri­gan. Subs: Stephen Byrne for Mark Doyle, Chris Healy for E Glynn.

Kiltegan: Fer­gal Har­mon; Jeffrey Ber­ming­ham, Blaine Har­mon, Adam Wynne; Ro­nan Byrne, Stephen Far­rell, Liam Keogh; Jacko Dal­ton, Rory Finn; Aaron Byrne, Bryan Cullen, Mikey Fo­ley; Derek Daly, Seanie Fur­long, Cathal Fitzger­ald. Subs: John Far­rell for R Byrne, Cathal Fitzger­ald for M Fo­ley.

Ref­eree: Kieron Kenny (Ti­na­hely)

Kiltegan’s Seanie Fur­long looks to shake off Rath­new’s Paul Mer­ri­gan dur­ing the SFC quar­ter-fi­nal in Joule Park, Aughrim. Pic­ture: Garry O’Neill

Rath­new’s James Stafford and Kiltegan’s Rory Finn race for poses­sion dur­ing the SFC quar­ter-fi­nal.

Rath­new’s War­ren Ka­vanagh feels this shoul­der from Kiltegan’s Jeffrey Ber­ming­ham.

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