Dominant JohnstownBridge Withstand Late Towers Rally
Intermediate Football Championship Round 2 Replay Wed 14th Aug 2013
JTB 1-14 Round Towers 0-14
On a warm but overcast evening in Hawkfield, Johnstownbridge and Round Towers again locked horns just three days after the stalemate in St. Conleth’s Park which ended JTB 1-10 Towers 2-07. For the winners, the reward of a place in the quarter finals, the losers to face Eadstown in Round 3.
The Bridge started the game with venom, Keith Cribbin pointing in less than a minute and his brother Paul fisting the ball over the bar in the 4th minute after a Seán Hurley wide seconds before. Round Towers got on the board in the 8th minute from a Jason O’Brien point after a bad miss from a Richie Scahill free. Less than a minute later however, Seán Hurley reaffirmed Johnstown’s grip on the match by rounding two Towers defenders with his trademark dummies on the right wing and finding Keith on his inside to set up the only goal of the match placed neatly past Tower’s net-minder Robinson. Three minutes later, Seán himself pointed from 40 yards out after missing a 30 yard free a minute earlier. The Kildare town contingent showed they weren’t going to lie down and responded quickly with two points in the next two minutes both from play, from Dean Houlihan and Niall Cleary respectively. After the teams swapped a wide apiece, Towers marksman Niall Cleary again split the uprights to leave only two points between the sides 1-03 to 0-04. The midfield pairing of Keith Cribbin and team Captain Barry McNally lead by example, winning a huge amount of possession and dirty ball in the middle third using their superior awareness to distribute the ball effectively to wing forwards Paul Cribbin and Daniel Flynn. In the 22nd minute, Daniel pointed from play after Barry found him on a marauding run into space. Just a minute later, Eoin O’Donoghue pointed after a well worked and patient attack involving several players not willing to waste possession. Cathal McNally got his first score on the board in the 24th minute and deservedly so, after being and integral part of many previous JTB attacks. Towers responded through Niall Cleary straight away but his effort was soon cancelled out by Paul Cribbin’s 30 yard effort from open play less than a minute later. Towers responded with a point 2 minutes later from a 25 yard free from Scanlon. Seán Hurley found himself standing under the referee’s yellow card a minute later after he was deemed to have thrown his arm out when in possession making contact with a Towers half-back. This however didn’t dampen their spirits, a minute later Daniel burnt up the right wing with serious pace, leaving several black and amber jerseys for dust before laying it off to Cathal for an easy point on thirty minutes (at least he made it look easy!). Cathal again got himself on the scoreboard 1 minute into injury time; after being pressured down onto the end line by the Towers defenders it looked as though the chance had been lost, however Cotzy turned a seemingly impossible effort into a score. The teams went into the break JTB 1-09 Round Towers 0-06.
As the teams had their break, the lights were switched on in the centre of excellence to exclude the now dark cloud cover encroaching over the field. The Tower’s players came out early and seemed oblivious to the lights and the weather as they waited in their positions for Johnstownbridge to join them. They looked focused, they weren’t giving up on this lightly and the six point half time lead enjoyed by the boys from the top end of the county was under threat.
Johnstown’s first point of the second half came after 2 minutes from the boot of Seán Hurley. Towers responded with two quick points from play in the 33rd and 34th minute from O’Brien and Scanlon. Three minutes later Jimmy Farrell was dragged down 35 yards out with a Seán Cavanaghesque challenge. Keith took the free off the ground and made no mistake with a textbook effort dropping over the black-spot. A minute later Daniel picked up the ball on his own 21 yard line after Trojan work from the backs to turn over possession. He ran 60 yards before giving it to Cathal who worked it over the bar with style. Towers quickly responded in the 40th minute of the half with a free given for an off-the-ball incident in around the 21 yard line, whilst play was in the middle third. Scanlon again showed his class by slotting it over to keep the gap to six again. Towers missed an almost certain chance just a minute later with thanks to incessant work by Luke Flynn in full-back to make his man mis-cue the shot. Keith had another sweetly placed point off the ground in the 43th minute after Daniel’s jersey was almost removed on the 30 yard line! At this point the gap was up to 7 points but to give the townies their due they showed the spectators their intention to make it back into the top flight by digging deep to keep their chances alive. At the end of the 3rd quarter Scanlon had an almost certain goal when he cutely took a free quickly trying to catch Ian Farrell off his line. Ian read the shot well and got back on his line to punch the ball over the bar. Towers were lifted by this attack and notched up another 2 scores in the following two minutes to narrow the gap further. With just 10 minutes remaining and only 4 points between the sides, Paul Cribbin made a storming run up the left wing finding a neat pass inside to Keith whose quick hands laid it off to Cathal for his 5th point of the game. Towers scored a free through Scanlon 3 minutes later and again with 4 minutes to go from a 40 yard free which was brought closer by the referee for alleged dissent.
The teams swapped a few wides in the dying minutes to leave the final score JTB 1-14 Round Towers 0-14 in an intriguing and sporting contest.
There were a few rumblings from a some ‘Bridge supporters leaving the ground on how we let them back into the game and didn’t score in the last 10 minutes etc. etc. near the end, but let’s face it this was the second time the full squad have played together because of commitments to the county teams (how many clubs would envy a problem like that! Not to mention Brian Flanagan also unable to play due to injury). It’s always good to have a few areas for improvement because you can’t improve on a perfect performance and quietly everyone felt there are bigger things to come from this team. To top the evening off the Camogie team beat Celbridge to progress in the Championship too.
Round Towers 1 J Robinson, 2 M. Kelly, 3 S Murphy, 4 P Golden, 5 P. Cornish, 6 B Waters, 7 D O’Neill, 8 D Houlihan 0-1, 9 K Whelan, 10 J O’Brien 0-3, 11 R Scahill 12, C Leavy, 13 DJ Flynn, 14 N Cleary 0-5, 15 N Scanlon 0-5 (4 frees)
Johnstownbridge 1 I Farrell, 2 S O’Connor, 3 L Flynn, 4 P Mooney, 5 S McNally, 6 M Donnelly, 7 E O’Donoghue 0-1, 8 B McNally(C), 9 K Cribbin 1-3(2 frees), 10 D Flynn 0-1, 11 P Cribbin 0-2, 19 Cian Farrell, 20 J Farrell, 14 S Hurley 0-2, 15 C McNally 0-5.
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