JohnstownBridge Dismantle Ellistown to Secure Final Place
Intermediate Football Championship Semi-Final Fri 20th September 2013
JTB 2-14 Ellistown 0-03
On a week which began in Johnstownbridge against a backdrop of seven girls receiving All-Ireland Camogie medals and lifting the Kay Mills cup for Kildare, the 1st team were gifted the inspiration required to move on and secure their place in a County Final. The scene was set, under lights in Naas on a cool evening, just 15 days before the Hugh Campion Cup will lifted in St. Conleth’s park.
From the throw-in Johnstownbridge immediately threw down the gauntlet and stamped their authority all over the game. Just 35 seconds into the half, Daniel Flynn took flight toward the Ellistown half-backline who had no other option but to take him down with an illegal challenge just outside the penalty area. Their indiscipline left Seán Hurley an easy free which he pointed. Cathal McNally followed 4 minutes later with a point from play. 1n the 8th minute Keith Cribbin won a ball on the 45 yard line from a kick out after a JTB wide, he pumped the ball directly into Cathal. Cathal left his marker flat-footed and went for goal. Cathal beat the goalkeeper and Niall Vaughan got his fist to it less than 2 yards out, to ensure it had the legs to reach the net.
The boys from the top-end of the county clearly had a grip in midfield from the off, Captain Barry McNally and Seán Hurley powerfully manning the middle third with Keith acting as an extra midfielder as required. 10 minutes into the game, Jimmy Farrell was taken down with a lazy challenge 25 yards out, which Seán punished with a free from his hands to leave the score JTB 1-03 Ellistown 0-00. Things didn’t ease up for the men from Ellistown as they couldn’t control the onslaught of seemingly effortless link-play. Paul Cribbin got his name on the scoresheet a minute later with a fisted effort from a move he himself had started. Just 30 seconds later the midfield again caught the kickout and found Cathal running away from goal to offload his already tiring marker. Cathal received the ball and kicked his point on the turn about 30 yards out. Ellistown managed a wide in the 14th minute after Niall got a point from play from 35 yards, feed from the untouchable midfield pairing. Ellistown replied with another wide before Cathal added further to his tally with another point created by Cian Farrell. Seán got another point on 19 minutes, from a move between Daniel, Barry and Seán; he dropped the ball yet still managed to recover the situation and leisurely knock it over with his left. Ellistown added another wide a few minutes later after clocking up high mileage over and back laterally in search of a way to break down the JTB defence, whose concerted effort was top class. Ellistown were beginning to get frustrated, to put it mildly. Seán got another point on 25 minutes from the outside of the right boot from 50 yards after Cathal had run into trouble near the corner flag on the right he jinked past two backs and coolly found Seán who’d found the space required for his attempt. 1-09 to no score, with only 25 of the planned 60 minutes played. Ellistown tried hard to break through and won some frees in around the 40 yard mark but chose to take them short, a tactic that proved unsuccessful for them as it seemed JTB had 2 men for each of theirs at times, a credit to the half back line in particular. Paul Mooney pointed on 27 minutes from a move he himself started, breaking out of his corner back position to use Keith as a link man before receiving it back to get the score. Jimmy Farrell came close a number of times toward the end of the half but it didn’t convert for him – to be fair he deserved at least one after his Trojan efforts.
The teams went into the break JTB 1-10 Ellistown 0-00. Unusually the Ellistown team chose to stay on the field for the break and huddled together. God knows they had a lot to discuss, but to be fair they weren’t so much doing things wrong, Johnstownbridge were doing everything right. The ball was moving at such pace beaten only by the pace of the players at times, it was a difficult task to slow the surge or indeed figure out where to even attempt to slow it. An even more unusual event occurred before the ball was thrown in for the second time; the referee for the evening, Fintan Barrett, decided to change the score to 1-09 to 0-00. After consultation with his linesmen, he deemed one of the scores to be wide! This wasn’t the first uncertain decision made by the linesmen on the night!
To their credit, Ellistown got stuck in at the beginning of the second half and fought hard when other teams may have given up. For their efforts they got the first score of the half from Andy O’Neill from a 45 yard free after only 3 minutes. They pushed on well and won a 45, only to put it wide minutes later. In the 8th minute Seán restored the score to 1-10 after pointing with the right boot from 21 yards out just seconds after Cathal McNally had a goal chance saved on the line by Ellistown’s goalkeeper Alan Melia. Andy O’Neill responded with two frees to treble his tally and get his team up to 3 points in the 11th minute. This however, was to be his and Ellistowns’ last score of the game (none from play) after which a stalemate took place for ten minutes before JTB recharged their attack to shift up a gear again. In the 20th minute two close goal chances from Niall and Cathal within 30 seconds somehow stayed out with calls of a foot-block and a 45 respectively, neither of which was given by the officials. A minute later Seán fielded a high ball on the half way line and romped through the defence throwing in an odd trademark dummy-solo before tapping over from 20 yards. He converted a free a minute later after Eoin O’Donoghue was brought down with a high challenge by corner-back Christy Kelly, who received a yellow card into the bargain. In the 23rd minute Ellistown sent in a high ball on top of net-minder Ian Farrell who uncharacteristically fumbled the ball, but Luke Flynn had the situation covered and took control working the ball out into the half-backs. JTB created great space with a move from Paul, to Cathal, to Seán who found Niall just a few yards out from goal and he finished in style to the back of the net for the second time, JTB 2-12 Ellistown 0-03. Just a minute later Paul chased a misplaced pass right out into the corner of the pitch left of goal and collected a ball others would have let go. He turned and found his brother Keith, in around the centre-forward area unmarked, with a pin-point pass and he slotted it over. The last score of the match came from Paul himself who won possession 60 yards out from goal. He took off as if he’d only come on to the pitch and the Ellistown defence couldn’t stop his charge before he pointed from 18 yards out. That was the final score of the game which ended JTB 2-14 Ellistown 0-03.
Ellistown 1 A Melia, 2 C Kelly, 3 M Kelly, 4 C Donnelly, 5 G Kinahan, 6 E Noons, 7 G Delaney, 8 T O’Loughlin, 9 P Hennesy, 10 K Donnelly, 11 A MacLoughlin, 12 A Leonard, 13 A Dempsey, 14 C O’Loughlin, 15 A O’Neill 0-03 (3 frees)
Johnstownbridge 1 I Farrell, 2 J O’Connor, 3 L Flynn, 4 P Mooney, 5 S McNally, 6 Cian Farrell, 7 E O’Donoghue, 8 B McNally(C), 9 S Hurley 0-07 (3 frees), 10 D Flynn, 11 K Cribben 0-01, 12 P Cribben 0-03, 13 J Farrell, 14 N Vaughan 2-1, 15 C McNally 0-03.
Subs 19 I. McKeon for J Farrell (24mins) 18 M. Donnelly for 4 P. Mooney (24mins) 19 P Haslam for 7 E O’Donoghue (27mins) 24 S. Flanagan for 14 N Vaughan
The determination from every member of the team was on show tonight. This is a group of players who’ve seen disappointment in the recent past and do not want to be tagged ‘Nearly Men’. This is a group of players who know there is one hurdle to go within the county at least. Nothing can be taken for granted and in the words of their Captain earlier this week; this is a team who will “Never back down”. These lads have worked fiercely hard to get to this point. Sure, they were happy to get through this game but they know there is still a lot of hard work to be done before the final and God knows they’re prepared to do whatever it takes to ensure they are their best when the day comes! The Johnstown attack are always given great plaudits after games but let’s not forget the backs have only conceded 7 points in the last two games, and only 2 of these from play. Johnstownbridge meet Castledermot in the Intermediate Final on Saturday October 5th in St. Conleth’s Park. Please get behind the team and go and support. #PrideInTheParish
Keep doing what you have been doing lads, everybody in the parish is behind you and the team management, every kick of the way!