Knockanann­a get bet­ter of Rath­new

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT - KIERAN WHE­LAN at Avon­dale

THIS was a match which had all that you would ex­pect from a cham­pi­onship match: high in­ten­sity, heavy hits, drama and fine scor­ing.

From the get-go it was clear to see that both sides were up for the game and nei­ther side was will­ing to flinch. The game got off to a rip-roar­ing start with the open­ing score com­ing in­side the open­ing minute when Damien Byrne was fouled by his marker and Kevin Tyrrell sent over the re­sult­ing free. This was to be quickly can­celled out with a free from the ex­tremely ac­cu­rate Ed­ward Doyle.

The first half goal chance of the game gave in the ninth minute of the first pe­riod when a quick free from Dar­ren Flynn was played over the Rath­new de­fence into the un­marked Damien Byrne. As the Knockanann­a man gath­ered pos­ses­sion he slipped at the wrong time with open coun­try in-front of him.

To be fair, the Rath­new de­fence were quick to get around him but from a ly­ing po­si­tion Byrne some­how man­aged to see Noel Byrne in space and Noel popped the ball over the bar.

Knockanann­a at this stage were re­ally start­ing to move well and they quickly fol­lowed this point with an­other from Stephen Hinchy.

Rath­new started to get a spell of dom­i­nance mid-way through the open­ing half and they reg­is­tered two quick scores, both from the boot of Ed­ward Doyle from placed balls.

Then came the score of the game and from the most un­likely of sources, when Padraig Lan­caster drove a boomer of a shot of the out­side of his left boot from close to the side­line. Padraig fielded the ball in the mid­dle of the field and then laid a ball in front Damien Byrne who was out in front of his marker and Byrne pops the ball back Lan­caster who sails it between the post. The crowd let up a cheer be­fore the ques­tion echoes around: ‘Who was Podge try­ing to pass the ball to, be­cause there is no way he meant that’.

Then came two great goal chances for both sides. The first came the way of the Knockanann­a men when Richard Ka­vanagh pulled off a su­per save to deny Reid Byrne and the ball spills straight across the goal­mouth and with a goal at his mercy Stephen Hinchy man­aged to clear the cross bar.

The next goal chance came the way of Rath­new af­ter a sweep­ing team move forced a great save from Seán Canna. The re­sult­ing shot was pushed out over the end line and Joshua Gra­ham slot­ted the 45 to keep the Rath­new men into con­tention. Rath­new fin­ished out the half the bet­ter with three placed balls from Ed­ward Doyle.

The sec­ond half started as the first had with two points in the open­ing minute. The first com­ing from a free for Knockanann­a as Tris­tan Ma­her gained pos­ses­sion from the throw in and set off straight for goal. He laid the ball off to Kevin Tyrrell who was fouled. Kevin stood up and slot­ted the ball between the up­rights.

From the kick out Rath­new gain pos­ses­sion and Joshua Gra­ham plays the ball in front of John Sayer who reg­is­ters Rath­new’s first point from play.

Knockanann­a got the next two scores, both frees from Kevin Tyrell. Rath­new, not to be out­done, gained a foothold in the Knockanann­a end of the field and they reg­is­tered two more frees of their own to re­duce the deficit to the min­i­mum mid­way through the sec­ond half.

Then came the time for Knockanann­a vet­eran Derek ‘Shammy’ Ka­vanagh to reel back the years with a de­light­ful piece of in­di­vid­ual skill. ‘Shammy’ got onto a break­ing ball and set off to­wards goal, and with the Rath­new de­fence clos­ing in the sold the most beau­ti­ful dummy and off the out­side of the right spilt the posts.

Joshua Gra­ham was not to be out­done and he pulled off two su­perb points to keep Rath­new within touch­ing dis­tance as we en­tered the clos­ing stages of nor­mal time. Then came the first ma­jor of the game.

With time al­most up a bit of game man­age­ment was be­ing played when a free from all of 55 yards was be­ing lined up and the Knockanann­a side­line kicked in a new ball to Derek Ka­vanagh. Ka­vanagh kicked the ball high into the air and as the cheers from the Knockanann­a crowd will­ing it over the bar the ball tra­jec­tory gets lower and lower and the hands start to rise, a fist comes in from Damien Byrne and the ball ends up in the back of the net (it must have been the new ball).

Both teams were re­duced to 14 in the clos­ing stages of the match with both play­ers re­ceiv­ing sec­ond yel­lows. As the game moved deep into in­jury time Rath­new broke the Knockanann­a rear guard to regis­ter a goal of their own from Joshua Gra­ham, was there go­ing to be time for Rath­new to get an­other.

From the re­sult­ing kick­out the men from Knockanann­a gath­ered pos­ses­sion and with the whis­tles com­ing from the line look­ing for the game to be fin­ished Padraig Lan­caster found Derek Ka­vanagh in space who was fouled. Ka­vanagh kept his cool to slot the free to put the mar­gin out to four.

The fi­nal whis­tle sounded to the re­lief of all the Knockanann­a sup­port­ers. They now go on to face En­niskerry in what is sure to be an­other close af­fair in the semi-fi­nals of the Ju­nior ‘B’ Foot­ball Cham­pi­onship.

Scor­ers – Knockanann­a: Derek Ka­vanagh 0-5 (3f), Kevin Tyrrell 0-5 (5f), Damien Byrne 1-1, Stephen Hinchy 0-2, Tris­tan Ma­her 0-2, Padraig Lan­caster 0-1, Noel Byrne 0-1, An­thony Treacy 0-1.

Rath­new: Ed­ward Doyle 0-9 (9f), Josh Gra­ham 1-4, John Sayer 0-1

KNOCKANANN­A: Sean Canna; Keith Cor­ri­gan, Aaron O’Neill, Paddy O’Ke­effe; Ronan Byrne, Garry Bradley, Dar­ren Flynn; Tris­tan Ma­her, Padraig Lan­caster; Noel Byrne, Reid Byrne, Derek Ka­vanagh; Kevin Tyrrell, Damien Byrne, Stephen Hinchy. Subs: Ed­die Bracken, An­thony Treacy, Brian Lawrence.

RATH­NEW: R Ka­vanagh; Wayne Devlin, Alan Clarke, Eric Doyle; Rory Dowl­ing, Lee Ka­vanagh, John Healy; Stewart Mur­phy, Mick Nolan; Joshua Gra­ham, Gavin Byrne, Jor­dan Gra­ham; Ed­ward Doyle, John Sayer, Dale Frayney. Subs: Cian Hunter, Ja­son Devlin.

REF­EREE: Robert Roche (Carnew)

The Knockanann­a foot­ballers who de­feated Rath­new in the JBFC quar­ter-fi­nal in Avon­dale.

Knockanann­a’s Kevin Tyrrell wins this race for pos­ses­sion.

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