Avon­dale stun Vil­lage to reach semi-fi­nals

Carnew see off Coolkenno at quar­ter-fi­nal stage again

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT - LIAM O’LOUGH­LIN at Aughrim

THIS Darcy Sand In­ter­me­di­ate Foot­ball Cham­pi­onship quar­ter-fi­nal between Carnew Em­mets and Coolkenno played at Aughrim on Satur­day af­ter­noon last pro­duced an en­thralling con­test between two evenly matched teams.

Em­mets came out on top at the end of a great bat­tle but, in truth, this was a game that could have gone either way at the end with Coolkenno at­tack­ing into the town end and a Jim Cushe ef­fort for an equal­is­ing point be­ing fielded un­der the cross­bar by Cor­mac Doyle and clear­ing the line to the sound of the ref­eree’s fi­nal whis­tle.

The game be­gan in less ex­cit­ing fash­ion and the first quar­ter was a slow burner as both sides were op­er­at­ing a cat and mouse game.

De­fences were well packed and scor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties were few and far between. Coolkenno be­gan the stronger and put on a lot of pres­sure in the early stages. No mat­ter how much they probed and tried to open up the spa­ces, Carnew kept pulling back play­ers, thus deny­ing scor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to a nor­mally very danger­ous in­side line of at­tack in the black and red jer­sey.

Pau­ric Cole­man opened the scor­ing af­ter six min­utes with a point for Coolkenno. The Carnew men were less on the at­tack in th­ese open­ing min­utes but grad­u­ally be­gan to get into the game and mid­fielder John Doyle (Snr) lev­eled the scores at 0-1 apiece af­ter nine min­utes.

Conor Doyle put Coolkenno ahead again af­ter 12 min­utes but Carnew were still main­tain­ing their tight de­fen­sive blan­ket. Full-for­ward John Ka­vanagh pushed Carnew ahead when he pointed two frees by 23 min­utes.

Rov­ing half-for­ward Ea­mon Ros­siter quickly had the sides level again when he ben­e­fited from a mis­un­der­stand­ing between two Em­mets de­fend­ers and quickly popped a loose ball over the bar. 0-3 apiece at this stage was a poor re­ward for the amount of pos­ses­sion Coolkenno had en­joyed in the early stages.

They got a big boost mo­men­tar­ily when a ball floated into the goal­mouth from out on the right wing by Jim Cushe ended up in the Carnew net.

The green flag went up but when the ref­eree con­sulted with his um­pires, the score was dis­al­lowed.

This hap­pened with four min­utes left to half time. In the re­main­ing time, plus time added on, we had a great burst of scor­ing.

Coolkenno went two points up with scores from Pau­ric Cole­man and a fisted ef­fort from Don Jack­man.

Carnew came back with a great scor­ing surge in the four min­utes of time added. John Ka­vanagh con­verted a free.

Bren­dan McCrea, who had come on as a re­place­ment ear­lier, pointed and then the Coolkenno de­fence had a great es­cape when Carnew looked cer­tain to score a goal.

Cil­lian Gil­li­gan gained pos­ses­sion just in­side the 13-me­tre line. He sidesteppe­d his marker and rounded the ad­vanc­ing Damien Ger­aghty only to see his goal­bound shot bril­liantly de­flected over the bar by Donal Doyle who had got back on the line.

John Ka­vanagh pointed an­other free on the call of time to leave Carnew ahead by 0-7 to 0-5 at the break.

The Wex­ford bor­der men be­gan the sec­ond half in very de­ter­mined fash­ion. They had ex­tended their lead to four points by five min­utes with scores from John Ka­vanagh and Bren­dan McCrea. Half backs Padraig Do­ran and Enda Donoghue were push­ing for­ward in sup­port and the for­wards were hold­ing pos­ses­sion and stretch­ing the Coolkenno de­fence.

The two McCreas and Gil­li­gan and the Doyles were us­ing their pace and keep­ing Coolkenno pinned back in th­ese early stages.

How­ever, when cen­tre back Robert Keogh burst for­ward, link­ing up with Ea­mon Ros­siter and Conor Doyle to take the fi­nal pass again and score a point, he be­gan a five-minute pur­ple patch for Coolkenno.

They scored a point a minute from Keogh, Conor Walker (free), Eoghan Dolan, Conor Walker again and when Pau­ric Cole­man pointed they not only had wiped out the lead but were now one point up af­ter 12 min­utes.

This was vin­tage Coolkenno and Carnew were rocked back. They didn’t panic and con­tin­ued to run at the de­fence and were re­warded with two John Ka­vanagh points from frees which helped steady their ship.

The game took a big turn in favour of the Em­mets in the eigh­teenth minute. Coolkenno goal­keeper Damien Ger­aghty took pos­ses­sion of a ball which was run­ning wide. His in­ten­tion pre­sum­ably was to hold pos­ses­sion and start an­other at­tack from de­fence.

How­ever, he lost pos­ses­sion when chal­lenged by Cil­lian Gil­li­gan who turned and fed the in­com­ing Adrian My­ers.

The half back drilled home a great goal and the Em­mets were now four points to the good. It was be­gin­ning to look that the younger legs of Carnew would pre­vail but Coolkenno were not go­ing to sur­ren­der that eas­ily.

Conor Walker, now op­er­at­ing fur­ther out­field, pointed to cut the gap to a goal but points from Gil­li­gan and Conal McCrea put Carnew five points ahead.

Ex­cite­ment mounted as Coolkenno fought back. They were handed a life­line when a Conor Walker free was messed up by the Carnew de­fence and ended up in the net. Two points was the gap now, and still six min­utes plus time added to go.

The in­ten­sity was great as both sides bat­tled for supremacy. John Ka­vanagh pointed an­other free for Carnew but Coolkenno fought hard to save the game. Ea­mon Ros­siter and Pau­ric Cole­man brought the score back to a one­point game.

The game ended with that fi­nal ef­fort from Jim Cushe which Cor­mac Doyle fielded and took to safety.

This game was played in a fine cham­pi­onship spirit with a very ex­cit­ing sec­ond half and a nail-bit­ing fin­ish.

Scor­ers – Carnew Em­mets: John Ka­vanagh 0-8, Adrian My­ers 1-0, Bren­dan McCrea 0-2, Cil­lian Gil­li­gan 0-2, John Doyle (Snr) 0-1, Conal McCrea 0-1.

Coolkenno: Conor Walker 1-3, Pau­ric Cole­man 0-4, Ea­mon Ros­siter 0-2, Conor Doyle 0-1, Don Jack­man 0-1, Robert Keogh 0-1, Eoghan Dolan 0-1.

The um­pire crosses the flag to rule out the Coolkenno goal in Aughrim.

Carnew’s Con­all McCrea gets away from Philip Tim­mons.

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