Avondale stun Village to reach semi-finals
Carnew see off Coolkenno at quarter-final stage again
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.