Five red cards af­ter ugly brawl erupts in sec­ond half

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT - BREN­DAN LAWRENCE at Joule Park Aughrim


RATH­NEW bounced back from the open­ing day de­feat in the Darcy Sand In­ter­me­di­ate Football Cham­pi­onship with this five-point vic­tory over Ash­ford in a game marred by a mas­sive brawl mid­way through the sec­ond half that re­sulted in five play­ers re­ceiv­ing their march­ing or­ders from ref­eree Kieran O’Shea.

Ash­ford took a four-point lead into the half-time break but would only score once in the sec­ond half as they could find no an­swer to the im­proved Rath­new ap­proach in the sec­ond half that saw Ed­ward Doyle score six points (three frees) to cap a man of the match per­for­mance from the Vil­lage half-for­ward.

Ash­ford will won­der how it all went so very wrong af­ter they found the Rath­new net three times in the open­ing half from the boots of Gavin Weir, Trevor Con­yard and Jamie Byrne.

Worse still, they, along with Rath­new, will be pon­der­ing whether they have kissed any hope of pro­gres­sion in this com­pe­ti­tion good­bye af­ter Thomas Kearns and Michael Traynor joined Rath­new’s Gary Byrne, Jonah Gra­ham and Gavin Byrne in the lonely march to the line hav­ing re­ceived red cards from Kieran O’Shea as he dished out pun­ish­ments fol­low­ing the ugly brawl that in­volved a large num­ber of play­ers and sev­eral in­di­vid­u­als the side­line.

The game was of­fi­cially recorded by the County Board and this ev­i­dence could come into play in the com­ing weeks as the in­evitable ap­peals are lodged against the CCC de­ci­sions.

For now, the only fact that mat­ters is that Rath­new pow­ered to vic­tory to hand Ash­ford their sec­ond de­feat in this ul­tra-com­pet­i­tive cham­pi­onship.

Ed­ward Doyle’s con­verted penalty late in the first half fol­low­ing a foot block by Adrain Marah gave the Rath­new side a huge boost head­ing into the break.

It was a way­ward Marah ball that went over the side­line that gave Rath­new the plat­form to attack from which the penalty came.

Mid­fielder Ross Quinn was played in with a tasty ball and his shot was saved by Marah, but Kieran O’Shea con­sulted with his um­pire and the penalty awarded.

Doyle’s penalty was a wicked and mer­ci­less strike de­spite Marah get­ting the slight­est of touches and gave Rath­new hope.

Ash­ford would goal be­tween then and the half-time whis­tle to make it 3-3 to 1-5, but you could tell that Rath­new were en­er­gised and were about to un­leash their com­bat­ive vigour on the sec­ond half.

Ash­ford just didn’t turn up in the sec­ond half. In the face of the Rath­new energy and abra­sive­ness they had no an­swer.

Ed­ward Doyle, Gavin Byrne, Dean Franey swung over points be­fore Doyle struck three frees on the trot with Bren­dan Man­ning of­fer­ing Ash­ford’s only re­ply in the sec­ond half.

And then the brawl hap­pened. An in­ci­dent close to the Rath­new 45 re­sulted in a throw ball from which Rath­new’s Ciaran Cof­fey was fouled.

From here all hell broke loose with a mass of bod­ies forming a swarm of box­ing and kick­ing limbs that slowly moved from one 45from yard ine to the other as the match of­fi­cials looked on help­lessly. In fair­ness, many of those caught up in the vi­cious melee were try­ing to stop it.

Even­tu­ally, calm was re­stored, and the five red cards were flashed. Shortly after­wards, to­tally un­re­lated to the brawl, Bren­dan Man­ning picked up a black card hav­ing been booked in the first half and he was sent off with no re­place­ment al­lowed mean­ing that both teams had 12 play­ers on the pitch.

The game was as good as over by then and Rath­new eased to vic­tory with three more points, one from Philip Mur­phy and two from the hugely im­pres­sive Ed­ward Doyle.

Scor­ers – Rath­new: Ed­ward Doyle 1-8 (1p, 4f), Ro­nan Doyle 0-1, Johnny Byrne 0-1, Ross Quinn 0-1, Gavin Byrne 0-1, Dean Franey 0-1, Philip Mur­phy 0-1.

Ash­ford: Trevor Con­yard 1-1, Gavin Weir 1-0, Jamie Byrne 1-0, Ross Quinn 0-2 (2f), Bren­dan Man­ning 0-1.

Rath­new: Michael Nolan; Lee Ka­vanagh, James Man­ley, Ro­nan Man­ley; Jack Healy, Gary Byrne, Luke Cor­co­ran; Ross Quinn, Jonah Gra­ham; Ed­ward Doyle, Ro­nan Doyle, Ciaran Cof­fey; Dean Franey, Johnny Byrne, Philip Mur­phy. Subs: Gavin Byrne, Paul El­lis, Gary Hughes

Ash­ford: Adrian Marah; Robert Clark­son, Iarla O’Don­nell, Michael Tay­lor; Thomas Kearns, Danny Ka­vanagh, Michael Traynor; Joseph Doyle, David Dowl­ing; Ross Quinn, Bren­dan Man­ning, Trevor Con­yard; Cal Con­nolly, Gavin Weir, Michael Dick­en­son. Subs: Michael Dick­en­son, Cor­mac Doyle, Jamie Byrne

Ref­eree: Kieran O’Shea (Tinahely)

Rath­new’s Jack Healy and Ash­ford’s Gavin Weir clash dur­ing the Darcy Sand In­ter­me­di­ate Football Cham­pi­onship meet­ing be­tween the sides in Joule Park Aughrim. Photo: Joe Byrne

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