Kilcavan 1-15 Spink 0-10
Laois Shopping Centre JFC ‘A’ Quarter-final
An impressive Kilcavan side are into the last four of the Laois JFC ‘A’ thanks to an eight-point win over Spink in the Laois GAA Training Centre this evening.
The game was a fantastic, full-blooded, honest contest in the opening half, swinging one way and then the other before Kilcavan finally took a 0-8 to 0-7 lead in at the break.
However, 1-1 from Jason Maher in a two-minute spell after half time swung the game decisively in Kilcavan’s favour. They even made light work of having to play the last 15 minutes with just 14 men following a straight red card to Rory O’Connell after he was given his marching orders for a wild challenge on Paddy Gorman.
There was only four points in it at that stage but Spink failed to score again and Kilcavan got the last four points of the game to run out comfortable winners.
Evan Hunt got the scoring underway with the first of his three points from play early on but Spink fought back well, Paul Simms, Sean Downey and Evan Dunne with a wonderful effort pointing to put them 0-3 to 0-1 ahead.
Dean O’Brien and Gordon Lalor struck back to tie things up at the end of the first quarter and then Ronan Gorry with a punched point and Rory O’Connell from distance had Kilcavan two clear.
Evan Dunne replied for Spink, blasting over from close range when a goal was a real possibility but Kilcavan hit back again, Jason Maher getting the first of his 1-6 tally with a nice point.
Two Dan Bergin frees had the sides level again and it looked as if Spink might take a lead into half time when Dunne popped up with his third point.
But a nice Barry Mangan point – after he initially had a goal attempt brilliantly saved by Joe Miller – and then another from Evan Hunt had Kilcavan leading 0-8 to 0-7 at the break.
A Jason Maher free got Kilcavan off the mark early in the second half and then he struck for a brilliant goal a minute later. Indeed it took a brilliant shot to beat Joe Miller, who was in fine form in the Spink goal and pulled off a handful of brilliant stops over the course of the evening.
Dan Bergin and Tony Shaughnessy pointed either side of a sweetly struck ’45 from Maher but Spink would add only one more point, another Bergin free as they began to fade in the final quarter.
O’Connell’s red card will rule him out for the semi-final but with Mick Tarpey on the comeback trail and Ollie Dixon with three weeks to get over his injury, they’ll take a bit of beating in this junior championship now. They finished out the game with three more points from Maher – including another free from outside the ’45 – and one each from Hunt and Gorry.
They’ll play O’Dempsey’s in the semi-final on Thursday, September 14, with Park-Ratheniska facing St Joseph’s on the same evening.
Footnote – The Laois GAA Training Centre was a hive of activity with two U-12 hurling finals going on at the same time as the junior football game. Whether by accident or design, the three-pitch facility adjacent to O’Moore Park, and within a stone’s throw of the County Board offices, is an incredible set-up. With work now started on dressing rooms it will be the envy of most counties once completed.
SCORERS – Kilcavan: Jason Maher 1-6 (0-4 frees, 0-1 ’45), Evan Hunt 0-3, Ronan Gorry 0-2, Dean O’Brien 0-1, Rory O’Connell 0-1, Gordon Lalor 0-1, Barry Mangan 0-1. Spink: Daniel Bergin 0-4 (all frees), Evan Dunne 0-3, Tony O’Shaughnessy 0-1, Sean Downey 0-1, Paul Simms 0-1
KILCAVAN: Derek O’Connell; Paddy Gorry, Eddie Conroy, David Ryan; Manus Dunne, Mick Bermingham, Dean O’Brien; Barry Mangan, Gearoid Treacy; Evan Hunt, Derek O’Connell, Eddie Conroy; Jason Maher, Gordon Lalor, Ronan Gorry. Subs: Sean Mangan for Lalor (45 mins), John McEvoy for D Conroy (55 mins), John McEvoy for Dunne (61 mins)
SPINK: Joe Miller; Kieran Bowe, Paudge Lalor, David Phelan; Seamus Dwyer, Paddy Gorman, Oisin Fitzpatrick; Sean Downey, Dan Bergin; Seamus Miller, TJ Lalor, Evan Dunne; Willie Dwyer, Paul Simms, Tony O’Shaughnessy. Subs: Willie Barry for Dwyer (41 mins)
REFEREE: Darren Bracken (Portarlington)