Universal Graphics Junior Football Championship
Aghabog 0-14 Killanny 0-10 2/7/11
Aghabog got their JFC campaign back on track with a four-point win over Killanny in Corduff on Saturday. After a dull first half where there were more wides than scores, the game sprung to life after the restart, with the teams serving up 16 scores. Aghabog always held the edge, as they led from the 15th minute right through to the final whistle, but Killanny had more than their fair share of chances, with their nine wides including a few good goal chances.
Seán O’Brien and Gary McBride were in inspirational form for Aghabog, as corner-forward O’Brien hit nine points (seven from play), while McBride put in a great hour’s work at midfield. Paddy McCabe and Stephen Greenan also played well for Killanny, while Tiernan Duffy, Cian Wakely and Gavin and Daryl Traynor were best for Killanny, whose chances were hit by an early injury to marksman Peter Dooley and the sending-off of Eddie Markey at the end of the third quarter.
Eddie Markey gave Killanny an early lead, but Gary McBride brought Aghabog level from a 30-metre free after a foul on Francie Dolan. Seán O’Brien’s first point of the game edged Aghabog ahead for the first time and he then turned provider when his one-two created a point for Paddy O’Brien.
A cross-field pass from Dolan fell for Seán O’Brien to give Aghabog a three-point lead, before Killanny’s Stephen McMahon had a goal attempt blocked by Martin Fox. McMahon won and scored a 13-metre free to end 25 scoreless minutes for Killanny, but Seán O’Brien did likewise at the other end to restore the three-point gap. McMahon sent one over with the last kick of the half, though, to become the first Killanny forward to score from play and reduce their half-time deficit to two: 0-5 to 0-3.
Seán O’Brien started the second half as he meant to go on with a point after a pass from Gary McBride and although McMahon replied from a free after a foul on Markey, Aghabog’s main men linked up again for their next score as McBride caught the following kick-out and set up O’Brien for a good point. Michael Vernon had a chance to bring Killanny level when he burst through, but he dragged a low shot wide, although Gavin Traynor got a point back when he sent over at the end of a strong run, after a quickly-taken free by Cian Wakely.
Tiernan Duffy added a well-taken point after good approach play by Markey and Wakely, but Aghabog hit back when McBride converted a 20-metre free for a foul on O’Brien, who quickly tagged on a point from play. Killanny suffered a double-blow midway through the half, as Donal McArdle fired a goal chance wide after he had been well-placed by Tiernan Duffy, before Markey was shown a second yellow card. Another driving run by Tiernan Duffy saw him kick his second point and when Gavin Traynor linked up with McMahon to split the posts, the gap was down to the minimum. Killanny almost had another goal opportunity when sub Brian Kerley caught a high ball and bore down on goal, but referee Patrick Caulfield adjudged that he was in the square before the ball. Aghabog increased their lead with fine points by O’Brien and McBride and even though Gavin Traynor tapped over a 13-metre free for a foul on McMahon, O’Brien got on the end of a pass from Dolan to loft over a great score.
Peter Dooley, who had come back on in a desperate attempt to rescue Killanny, clipped over a left-footed point, but O’Brien responded with his ninth point – from a 20-metre free after a foul on Dolan. Killanny saw another attempt at goal go untaken when McMahon fired a shot past the post in injury-time and Aghabog put the game beyond reach with a point from sub Ciarán Logue. Aghabog have now won two, drawn one and lost one in their four championship games, putting themselves in the draw for the next round, while Killanny must now concentrate on the league.
Aghabog: S McBride; M Fox, S Brady, D Kelly; P McCabe, Shane O’Brien, S Greenan; A Brady, G McBride (0-3, 2f); Dermot Smyth, F Dolan, S McPhillips; Seán O’Brien (Capt., 0-9, 2f), P O’Brien (0-1), Damien Smyth.
Subs: C Logue (0-1) for Dermot Smyth (42 mins), M McBride for Kelly (46), G Treanor for Damien Smyth (60).
Killanny: K Quinn; C Wakely, Daryl Traynor (Capt.), R Duffy; P Markey, A Campbell, C Leegan; M Burns, E Markey (0-1); M Vernon, T Duffy (0-2), D McArdle; S McMahon (0-3, 2f), P Dooley (0-1), G Traynor (0-3, 1f).
Subs: B Kerley for Dooley (inj., H-T), P O’Callaghan for McArdle (46), D Byrne for Burns (57), P Dooley for Vernon (58).
Referee: P Caulfield (Blackhill).