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Reserve C Quarter-Final Match Report

posted 26 Aug 2012, 07:00 by Andy Kildangan GAA   [ updated 26 Aug 2012, 07:05 ]

By Declan McGrath

Saturday, 25th August 2012 at Sarsfields Park, Newbridge

Having beaten the same opposition in the first round of the championship, Kildangan faced into this game with plenty of confidence, yet fully aware of the challenge ahead. A downpour just before the game left the already heavy pitch conditions very soggy, which made the game very difficult for both sides particularly during the opening half.

After a tentative start, Maynooth opened the scoring when a bad bounce on the slippery surface saw the ball skid past Kildangan full back John Miller and into full forward Sean Sinclair who placed a neat pass to teammate, Cian Byrne, which was finished into the net with a scramble. As Kildangan struggled to get the ball out of their own defence, Maynooth capitalised and points quickly followed from Sean Lennon and Edmond Cooney as they raced into a six point lead. Tom Devereux began delivering ball from the middle of the field as Kildangan slowly got into the game but one by one, the attacks were smothered and cleared by a disciplined Maynooth defence where full back Brendan Broderick was dominant.

Brandon Foley, who was Kildangan’s liveliest forward in the opening period, landed a fine point which was to be Kildangan’s solitary score in the first half.  Willie Lawlor, Billy Stephenson and Rory Jacob battled hard while under huge pressure, but Maynooth managed two more points from the boot of Cormac Molloy to lead 1-5 to 0-1 at the change of ends.

During the break, Sean Brilly steadied what looked like a sinking Kildangan ship and Shane Stafford was introduced along with a number of positional changes in attack. Kildangan, with the strong wind at their backs, got off to a good start with Brandon Foley pointing a free before Tom Moran and Tom Devereux registered scores of their own to bring Kildangan back into the game. With Kildangan now winning everything around the middle third and exerting considerable pressure on the Maynooth defence, the inevitable happened when Robbie Murray played Tom Moran in, who made no mistake with a low shot to the net. Stephen Quigley, Robbie Murray and Brandon Foley added points as Kildangan went ahead, with Maynooth scarcely managing to get beyond the half way line. The score of the game was yet to come, when good work involving Brendan Abbey and Tom Moran ended with Brandon Foley chipping the ball high into the top corner of the net to put Kildangan 2-7 to 1-5 ahead. 

That goal was the score that triggered Maynooth into action as a mistake in the Kildangan defence culminated in Maynooth’s first point of the second half. Kildangan were then rocked by a controversial goal from Maynooth’s Hugh Faherty who appeared to flick the ball to the net having been in the square long before the ball was played in. With Maynooth now just a point behind Kildangan’s character was tested.  Players like John Miller, Willie Lawler, James Stynes and Robbie Murray showed what they were made of as they stood up and drove Kildangan forward again. Two late points from Stephen Quigley and Pauric Casey put Kildangan 2-9 to 2-6 ahead.  Both sides had near misses on goal before the final whistle sounded to put an end to this hard fought game.

In what was the proverbial ‘game of two halves’, Kildangan will take heart from the spirit shown by the team in the second half and look forward to the semi-final where we will hope to go one better than last year.

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