County Senior Football Championship, Group 4 Round 2
MOYLE ROVERS 3-14
MOYLE ROVERS recorded a facile 14 points win in the end over a very young Fethard side at Kilsheelan on Friday night last in Round 2 of the County SF Championship. In the process Rovers were recording a second consecutive win in the round-robin series while â€˜The Blues,â€™ struggling to field a team on the night, are still without a point after their two opening games.
Powered on from midfield by a dominant Peter Acheson and Sean Keating, and with centre-forward Liam Boland in excellent free-taking form, the Powerstown/Lisronagh outfit led from the third minute and stayed there right to the end.
One of the highlights on a cold blustery night was the accuracy of Boland from frees, both out of the hands and off the ground, raising eight white flags and another from play towards the end. But his contribution was much more than that as time and time again he set up attacks with accurate long range passes - a welcome feature in a game that the hand pass is now often overplayed.
The early exchanges were fairly even and after 27 minutes Rovers led by just 0-6 to 0-4. Boland with four frees and points by Craig Condon and Sean Keating accounting for the Rovers scores while three Cathal Hurley points and a great point from 40 metres by young Eoin Fitzgerald were Fethardâ€™s response.
Things changed dramatically though in the run-up to the interval with Craig Condon netting from close-in and Liam Boland adding another free on the stroke of half-time to leave it 1-7 to 0-4 to Rovers.
The second half followed a similar pattern to the first with exchanges even for most of the period. Rovers added on six points to Fethardâ€™s four, perhaps the pick of the lot being an exquisite point from Craig Condon from a very difficult angle at the gate corner of the field. Ronan Desmond also got in on the act with a point of his own following a move which he started himself on the half-back line. Fethard kept in touch all the time with four more frees, three pointed by Cathal Hurley and another by corner-forward Carl Maher.
A two-goal salvo in as many minutes towards the end of the encounter gave the scoreboard a more lob-sided appearance at the conclusion.
In the 54th minute Rovers put together their best move of the game with Ronan Desmond, Craig Condon and Sean Keating combining before Conor Conneally took his goal chance well.
A minute later county star Peter Acheson capped a powerful performance with a blaster from 10 metres out giving county teammate Paul Fitzgerald no chance in the Fethard goal.
After that it was all over bar the shouting, and there were few to shout at a very poorly attended game. Cathal Hurley added another free for Fethard before Sean Keating had his second point of the night to leave the final score at 3-14 to 0-9 in favour of Moyle Rovers.
Rovers are in the process of rebuilding having lost a few from last season through retirements and emigration but they can be encouraged with some good performances from Friday nightâ€™s game. Aaron Kelly was solid at full-back while the half-back line of the two county minors Luke Boland and Ross Mulcahy with Ronan Desmond dominated with some great fielding by Luke Boland in particular. Sean Keating and especially Peter Acheson had the better of the midfield exchanges while in the forwards Liam Boland with a nine points contribution and Craig Condon were most prominent.
Fethard too are suffering from personnel losses since last year with no less than six players either emigrated, retired or now playing their football outside of the county. Friday nightâ€™s team was very much an under 21 team with a couple added and while beaten the experience gained with prove beneficial. Cathal Hurley and Declan Doyle were up against it in the centre of the park but performed well. There were also some excellent displays in particular from Brian Delahunty at wing-back, and also Gavin Fitzgerald, Alan Oâ€™Connor, Ronan Fitzgerald, Willie Morgan, Ciaran Oâ€™Meara and Carl Maher. Right at the death with the game all but over half-foward Ciaran Oâ€™Meara was helping out in defence diving full length to block a certain point from Sean Keating. There will be other days.
Moyle Rovers: Ian Browne, Edmond Burke, Aaron Kelly, David Foley, Luke Boland, Ross Mulcahy, Ronan Desmond (0-1), Sean Keating (0-2), Peter Acheson (1-0), Brian Mulvihill, Liam Boland (0-9, 0-8F), David McGrath, Conor Conneally (1-0), Craig Condon (1-2), Rian Clancy.
Fethard: Paul Fitzgerald, Eoin Dillon, Gavin Fitzgerald, Alan Oâ€™Connor, Willie Morgan, Ronan Fitzgerald, Brian Delahunty, Cathal Hurley (0-7, 0-6F), Declan Doyle, Ciaran Oâ€™Meara, Kenneth Oâ€™Donnell, Brian Healy, Carl Maher (0-1F), Eoin Fitzgerald (0-1), David Hayes.
Referee: Keith Oâ€™Brien.