Johnstownbridge Progress to Quarter Final Stage, casting Allenwood into Round 3 Draw
Senior Football Championship Second Round Replay
Wed 27th Aug 2014 at Kilcock GAA grounds
JTB 2-10 Allenwood 0-13
After an enthralling battle just three days earlier at St. Conleth’s Park where the teams found themselves in deadlock, these amateur Gaels took to a floodlit pitch to do it all again. We often hear premier league soccer managers complaining about turnaround times between games etc. and yet there wasn’t a word from these two teams; perhaps they had more to worry about, being at work during the intervening period. This particular week was familiar with draws, Athy and Moorefield also replaying on the same evening (Athy coming out on top) and indeed Kerry and Mayo having to do it all again controversially at The Gaelic Grounds in Limerick. A week which will also be remembered for charitable ice-bucket challenges! Two big names were back on the starting team this time around, Luke Flynn and Paul Cribbin who in fairness would have had to prove themselves after heroic performances on Sunday by up and coming players..
With the game only 2 minutes old, controversy struck; Cathal McNally the JTB and Kildare star forward was shown the line after being issued a black card by the referee Fergal Barry. Cathal and Allenwood’s Mark Delaney had a tussle on the turf after a tough challenge for the ball. From my angle it seemed both men were equally culpable for what unfolded and one would have thought deserved equal retribution if required. However Cotzy received a black card and Delaney got away with just a yellow….go figure! This of course rattled the boys from the Meath border losing such a crucial player with all the attributes and experience required for a game of this magnitude. However Des Holton quickly answered the call to replace Cotzy and crossed the white line within seconds.
Just a minute earlier Johnny Doyle opened the scoring from play a luxury denied to him in the previous encounter in Newbridge. Eric Judge for Allenwood missed an opportunity before Martin Baneham made it 2 points from play after four minutes. A Jason Judge wide followed thereafter followed by a wide from JTB’s Jimmy Farrell. Johnny Doyle increased the lead to three points to no score with a free kick after 8 minutes followed by another from along the side-line on the dressing room side of the field. It must be said there was understandable disruption from JTB perspective losing Cotzy in the opening chapter and a true test to the management and squad lay ahead. Could this group of players recover from a blow like this and show the character which traditionally would have been expected from Senior Johnstownbridge teams in the past? On the stroke of ten minutes the usually goal hungry Niall Vaughan had his effort denied by Allenwood’s Shane McCormack but fell to the Black-Card replacement Des Holton who made sure of the chance rattling the net and dragging the match back into a contest. JTB 1-00 Allenwood 0-04.
Just 50 seconds later Niall Vaughan not happy with his first effort on goal, hit the top left hand side of the onion sack gusto to give his side a two point lead, JTB 2-00 Allenwood 0-04! Things had settled down and a great game was again unfolding in front of this large crowd of spectators. Allenwood’s Tom Byrne pointed from play after a wasted effort by Doyle kicking short into Ian Farrell’s hands due to severe pressure being exerted by Mickey Donnelly who was handed the stressful task of chaperoning the County legend again. Keith Cribbin then put a point on the board after a rough challenge on Eoin O’Donoghue who had an elbow buried into his back, the shot from the ground sailing over the black spot on 15 minutes JTB 2-01 Allenwood 0-05. Des Holton added to his tally with a well worked point linking up well with Vaughan on the right side of goals – a three point game, 17 minutes played. JTB and Allenwood exchanged wides from Ian McKeown and Martin Baneham respectively followed by a wide from Doyle. Paul Cribbin opened his account on the left wing after a super pass from Kelvin McNally on 23 mins to open the gap to 3. After the free went over, Allenwood’s Daragh Johnson was black-carded for an off the ball challenge on Kelvin just after he had given the pin-point pass to Paul, Stephen Conlon given the job to replace the wing-back and waited over 2 minutes for the referee to allow his entrance. Jimmy Farrell then hit the crossbar from a punched effort on 29 mins after well worked JTB attack. Doyle pointed from a free just before the half time whistle to leave the sides JTB 2-03 Allenwood 0-06. JTB must have been happy going into the break 3 points up after an unnerving start to the match. The rain was holding off over the field to the joy of supporters not afforded the luxury this time around to a covered stand.
The second half began with Doyle converting from a free 25 yards given after a side-line ball to JTB ignored by the officials leading up to the free. Doyle again converted a point from a free just after a missed effort from his side to leave the minimum between the teams after just 4 mins of the second half. Kelvin got a great touch minutes later to deny the Bogmen a certain goal before Doyle sliced a free kick wide on 37 mins to leave the score at JTB 2-03 Allenwood 0-08. Jimmy Farrell replied with a great point off his left after a surging run from Kelvin using Keith Cribbin to off-load a pass to the industrious Jimmy – 2 points again the gap. Allenwood responded with a point from the boot of Joseph Carroll to close the gap again to one. Eoin pointed to keep the momentum going for the ‘Bridge with a great move involving Jimmy and Niall to keep the opposition at bay once again JTB 2-05 Allenwood 0-09. Seconds later Keith launched a huge effort after a massive take by Seámus McNally in the middle of the field starting the move to give his side another point on the board on 42 minutes. Mark Hogarty replied almost instantly from play for Allenwood to claw it back to two. Johnny Doyle was given a great opportunity from just 20 yards out shortly after which he sent wide on 45 mins – 2 points still between the sides. Captain Jamesie O’Connor was dragged down in the 46th minute (in a challenge to which a black card was warranted) giving a free to the ‘Bridge quickly taken and Paul Cribbin took possession on the left wing to turn his marker and send the ball over for a score JTB 2-07 Allenwood 0-10. Paul receiving more than his fair share of company on the night it must be said.
Johnstownbridge at this point taking full control of midfield through Seámus McNally and his younger brother Kelvin backed up on either side by an industrious half back line and an eager half forward line drawing Doyle into midfield for assistance and subsequently diminishing the Allenwood attack with only 10 mins left. Keith then added insult to injury with a long range effort from play, sailing neatly over the black-spot, followed by a 53 yard free leaving 5 points separating the teams with 8 mins remaining on the clock. Mark Hogarty replied with a super point straight after from play to leave the sides JTB 2-09 Allenwood 0-11. Points were exchanged between Doyle and Vaughan in the closing minutes with another point from Price but the game hadn’t been in the balance for some 15 minutes. Allenwood gone to round 3, but not yet exiting the Senior Championship leaving the final score JTB 2-10 Allenwood 0-13.
Again our lads took on the challenge and stood tall. It was great to see Luke and Paul return, Luke having a huge presence in the full-back position and Paul’s threat going forward, however the experience gained in their absence is immeasurable and the future for this club is very bright indeed.
The 3 round is scheduled to be played September 7th with the winners being drawn against the already known quarter-finalists. Let’s see who drawn against us and take it from there. With Seán Hurley nursing a foot injury hoping to be back on the scene in 3 weeks or so who knows what can happen. We all know one thing is for certain with this side, they aren’t in this Senior Championship to make up the numbers! Thank you to all who made the trip to Kilcock to cheer on the lads, this doesn’t go unnoticed and makes a huge difference.
Allenwood 1 S McCormack, 2 M McCormack, 3 M Hogarty 0-02, 4 E Smullen, 5 S Conlon, 6 M Delaney, 7 D Johnson, 8 E O’Neill, 9 J Byrne, 10 M Baneham 0-01, 11 J Doyle 0-07, 12 T Byrne 0-01, 13 C Sullivan 0-02, 14 J Judge 0-03, 15 E Price 0-01 21. J Carroll 0-01
Johnstownbridge 1 I Farrell, 2 J O’Connor, 3 C Farrell, 4 P Mooney, 5 I McKeown 6 M Donnelly, 7 E O’Donoghue 0-01, 8 S McNally, 8 K McNally, 19 P Cribbin, 11 C McNally, 12 K Cribbin 0-05, 13 J Farrell 0-01, 14 N Vaughan 1-01 Black Card Replacement d Holton 1-00 for C McNally