AGB crowned cham­pi­ons!

Rath­new pipped in de­cider

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT - ERIC MELIA

AGB RATH­NEW 3-7 3-5

A blis­ter­ing 15 min­utes at the start of the sec­ond half by AGB was enough to see them turn a five­point deficit into a six-point lead to edge out a good Rath­new side in their Divi­sion 1A Shield fi­nal at New­cas­tle last Satur­day morn­ing.

It was the Vil­lagers that made the bet­ter start with Sam Healy’s long-range free de­flect­ing off a de­fender to nes­tle in the cor­ner of keeper Sean Mur­phy’s goal. Wil­liam Moore­house with a de­light­ful point and Jake Brady added two quick sin­gles to give Rath­new a five-point cush­ion af­ter seven min­utes.

The Gers came back strongly from the early set-back with full-for­ward Dean Kelly-Far­rell putting cor­ner-for­ward Conn Kin­sella in on goal and the ace marks­man showed great com­po­sure to roll the ball un­der ad­vanc­ing keeper Josh Mer­ri­gan.

It ap­peared to be a mo­men­tary blip by the Vil­lagers as within a minute they had replied with a ma­jor of their own; Moore­house launch­ing a long ball in on top of full-for­ward Jack Hay­den and the pow­er­house gath­ered un­der pres­sure from two Ark­low de­fend­ers, turned and pow­ered to Mur­phy’s net rem­i­nis­cent of the Bomber Lis­ton as the Ark­low men trailed in his wake.

Scott Devlin landed a bomb from 45 me­ters out and Rath­new were in the as­cen­dancy lead­ing by six with five min­utes to go un­til half-time. Padraic Ber­ming­ham and Kin­sella kept Ark­low in touch be­fore Healy closed out the first half scor­ing for Rath­new with an­other score from dis­tance.

Whatever was said to the Ark­low men at the break had the de­sired ef­fect be­cause they came out like men pos­sessed for the sec­ond pe­riod.

Kin­sella got a ball rolling with a quick free, cor­ner-for­ward Danny Byrne im­me­di­ately fol­lowed up with a score af­ter Kelly-Far­rell had done the don­key work. Then we wit­nessed the score of the game and maybe of the GAA season in Wick­low.

AGB mid­fielder Conor Ga­han, who had a quiet first half by his stan­dards, gath­ered the ball 25 yards out. A sim­ple point was beck­on­ing but with tremen­dous con­fi­dence the Ark­low man rock­eted a shot at goal that struck the un­der­side of the bar with such fury that it bounced onto the line and back up into the roof of the Vil­lagers net to tie the scores up.

Kin­sella added an­other point to push AGB into the lead for the first time and then in the next at­tack the dan­ger­man went for the jugu­lar, drilling a shot at Mer­ri­gan that the keeper done well to get a hand to but was un­for­tu­nate not to de­flect wide in­stead de­flect­ing into the cor­ner of his net.

The tus­sle be­tween Hay­den and AGB full-back Daire Fur­long was im­mense with the Ark­low man even­tu­ally get­ting the up­per hand, from one of his clear­ances the Gers worked the ball up­field with Kelly-Far­rell get­ting a su­perb de­served score on the turn.

When Kin­sella made it a per­sonal tally of 2-4 for the day, AGB led by six with 12 min­utes to go.

One thing known about any Rath­new side is they will bat­tle un­til the end against any odds and their re­vival duly came in the last ten min­utes.

How­ever, poor shoot­ing ham­pered their hopes. As the game en­tered in­jury time Joshua O’Con­nor found the tar­get for a point. Sec­onds later Scott Devlin thun­dered an ef­fort to the net to re­duce the gap to two points, how­ever time ran out for the brave Vil­lagers who must have won­dered if the goal had come a few min­utes ear­lier what could have been.

A hugely en­joy­able con­test. Rath­new were the bet­ter team in the first half with Sam Healy, Wil­liam Moore­house, Scott Devlin and wing back Sean O’Meara all show­ing tremen­dous skill and at­ti­tude.

When Ark­low turned things around it was led by Conor Ga­han, Daire Fur­long and Dean Kelly-Far­rell. How­ever, with 2-4 to his name, Conn Kin­sella de­served the Man of the Match award.

Scor­ers - AGB: Conn Kin­sella 2-4, Conor Ga­han 1-0, Padraic Ber­ming­ham 0-1, Danny Byrne 0-1, Dean Kelly-Far­rell 0-1.

Rath­new: Sam Healy 1-1, Scott Devlin 1-1, Jack Hay­den 1-0, Wil­liam Moore­house 0-1, Joshua O’Con­nor 0-1, Jake Brady 0-1. AGB: Sean Mur­phy: Oisin Wood; Daire Fur­long, Conor Han­non; Chris O’Brien, Adam Mullervy, Niall Dempsey; Conor Ga­han, Pa­trick O’Hal­lo­ran; Padraic Ber­ming­ham, Sam Butler, Oran Dun­ning; Danny Byrne, Dean Kelly-Far­rell, Conn Kin­sella. Subs: Oran Kelly, Cor­mac Ward.

RATH­NEW: Josh Mer­ri­gan; Adam Byrne, Thang Tran Quoc, Adam Doyle; Michael Cash, Ryan O’Toole, Sean O’Meara; Sam Healy, Wil­liam Moore­house; Joshua O’Con­nor, Scott Devlin, Jake Brady; Jamie Hay­den, Jack Hay­den, Bill Moore­house. Sub: Zack O’Con­nor.

REF­EREE: Philip Bracken (Laragh)

The AGB team who de­feated Rath­new.

Bobby Dig­nam presents the cup to cap­tain Daire Fur­long.

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