12 April 2009 – Senior Football League Division 2
Johnny’s ten points not enough for Asca
Having helped Carlow to secure a great win over Wicklow in the NFL, Asca’s Johnny Kavanagh dashed to the Presentation College to assist his club in this Senior League Division Two game against Clonmore. But in spite of kicking an incredible ten points (8 frees), Johnny ended up on the losing side as a late free from Clonmore’s own sharpshooter, Gavin Byrne, gave his team a narrow victory in this scrappy and often bad-tempered affair.
Asca opened the scoring with a point from burly midfielder Gavin Deering before Pauric Lawlor and David Mulvany replied with points for Clonmore. Although playing against a strong wind, Johnny Kavanagh (0-3, 2f) and Jason Reilly put Asca into a 0-5 to 0-2 lead after 10 minutes, one of Kavanagh’s points a brilliant solo effort after he ran half the length of the field.
The next ten minutes belonged to Clonmore as Gavin Byrne made full use of the wind to point a long sideline kick and a difficult 50m free. Then came the crucial score of the game as Ronan Doyle did very well to get above the defence to punch a “Garryowen” from Jamie Doyle to the net to put Clonmore ahead by 1-4 to 0-5 on 20 minutes. Kavanagh (2f) exchanged points with Mulvany and Jamie Doyle to give Clonmore a narrow 1-6 to 0-7 half-time lead and the wind and the slope to face in the second half.
Undaunted by the elements, Clonmore quickly extended their lead on the resumption with points from John McGrath, Jamie Doyle and a Byrne free. Two more Kavanagh frees reduced Clonmore’s lead to a goal on 40 minutes – 1-9 to 0-9. There was a nasty undertone to this game throughout and it boiled over on the 45th minute when Clonmore’s David Mulvany retaliated after being heavily tackled and was shown a straight red card by Referee Pat Keogh.
Clonmore now looked to be in severe trouble – only three points ahead, down to 14 men, playing up the hill and against the wind and with Asca dominating midfield through their big men, Paul Murphy and Gavin Deering. However, as often happens, the 14 men lifted their game and almost immediately Paul Byrne popped up from wing back to kick a fine point and within seconds was back clearing a goal bound shot off his own line: 1-10 to 0-9 on 46 mins.
From there on it was backs to the wall stuff for Clonmore as Johnny Kavanagh kicked points from all angles, with brother Pat also popping over one, to reel in Clonmore and level the scores at 1-10 to 0-13 on 58 minutes. Asca launched several frenzied attacks on the Clonmore goal in search of the winner but Paudge McGrath, Colin Doyle, and John Connolly used all the experience to keep their goal intact.
With the final whistle looming, Clonmore made a breakaway attack and forced a free which Gavin Byrne kicked under pressure to scrape a one point win for the visitors, leaving Asca and Johnny Kavanagh to wonder how they ended up going home empty handed from this game.
Asca: Joe O’Reilly, Peter Griffith, Jason Slater, Emmet Dalton, PJ Lawlor, Nigel Brady, David O’Regan, Paul Murphy (0-1), Gavin Deering, Jason O’Reilly (0-1), Pat Kavanagh (0-1), John Kavanagh (0-10, 8f), Mick Long, Ivor Bowe, Bernard O’Brien. Subs: Ken Whitney, Noel O’Reilly, Mick Ryan.
Clonmore: Paudge McGrath, John Kelly, Colin Doyle, Ger Doyle, Wesley Byrne, John Connolly, Paul Byrne (0-1), Pauric Lawlor (0-1), Ronan Doyle (1-0), Enda McGrath, John McGrath (0-1), Gavin Byrne (0-4, 3f, 1sl), Jamie Doyle (0-2). David Mulvany (0-2), Ray O’Neill. Sub: Clive Lambe
Referee: Pat Keogh (Rathvilly)