Kelly to the fore as Athy fend off Clane for second win in SFC

Robert Cribbin

Reporter:

Robert Cribbin

Kelly to the fore as Athy fend off Clane for second win in SFC

Athy's Barry Kelly about to score his side's second goal during their Senior Football Championship victory over Clane on Saturday afternoon

Athy 2-17

Clane 1-14

Senior Football Championship Group 4 Round 2

Athy made it two wins from two in Group 4 of the Senior Football Championship with a relatively comfortable victory over a youthful Clane side on Saturday afternoon.

Clane had been rather competitive when level at 0-5 apiece halfway through the first half until 1-7 without reply for Athy put them out of sight with Kevin Feely getting a well created goal.

Barry Kelly also found the net in the second half and although Darroch Mulhall was given a straight red card for an incident with Noel Haverty the 2018 beaten county finalists still had more than enough for a six point win.

Niall Kelly was the standout player for the team in red as he kicked 0-7 in an impressive showing that sets Athy up for qualification to the next round.

Despite the defeat Clane still got a lot out of it with their youngsters showing well as Shane O’Sullivan got on the scoresheet with a late goal.

Athy almost had a dream beginning when Darroch Mulhall had a chance in the opening minute but the corner forward could only pull his effort across goal.

Clane then went ahead with a point from Shane O’Sullivan but it didn’t last long with Mulhall, James Eaton and Mick Foley responding to give Athy the 0-3 to 0-1 advantage.

Clane were heavy underdogs but like the opening round defeat to Johnstownbridge they showed plenty of promise and they kicked four of the next six points with a score from James Behan coming before Danny Egan kicked a trio of efforts.

Athy’s sole points during that period came from Eaton as the teams were deadlocked at 0-5 each halfway through the half.

After Liam McGovern kicked a 15th minute free Athy took complete control with further scores from Kevin Feely and Niall Kelly pushing them four points clear.

The four point lead soon became seven when after a poorly directed Paddy McKenna kickout went to Kevin Feely the midfielder combined with Danny O’Keefe before firing a shot into the bottom corner.

Eaton and Niall Kelly scored further points before the break and the game was effectively over as a contest with Athy leading 1-12 to 0-5.

Sam McCormack kickstarted the second half with a point for Clane but Athy maintained their winning momentum with Kelly and David Hyland scoring.

The second half threatened to be a non event but Clane did everything in their power to make sure that didn’t happen with three points on the bounce from McCormack, Bernard Deay and Danny Egan.

There was a further boost in the 42nd minute as Athy’s Darroch Mulhall was given a straight red card for an incident with Noel Haverty.

Mulhall kicked a point in bizarre fashion prior to his sending off and when he swapped scores with Bernard Deay, Athy maintained a 1-15 to 0-10 buffer.

Despite the numerical disadvantage Athy always looked a threat in attack and they proved that when they ended the game as a contest with a well worked quick free seeing Ross Bell fisting over before moments later sub Barry Kelly crashed a left footed shot past McKenna for goal number two.

It was Barry’s older brother Niall who was doing most of the damage for Athy and he showed when given the space what he can do and he kicked his seventh point late on with a lovely outside of the boot effort.

To their credit Clane never gave up and they dominated the final few minutes with points from O’Sullivan, James Behan and Chris Byrne.

O’Sullivan also lashed in a goal as Sean O’Dea’s men got a lot closer than maybe they should have but Athy still did enough to claim a 2-17 to 1-14 success.

Athy: James Roycroft; Sean Ronan, Cathal McCarron, Mark Hyland, Ross Bell 0-1, David Hyland 0-1, Brian Kinahan, Kevin Feely 1-1, Mick Foley 0-1, Kieran Farrell, Liam McGovern 0-2 (0-2fs), Niall Kelly 0-7 (0-1f), Darroch Mullhall 0-2, Danny O’Keefe, James Eaton 0-2 (0-2fs).

Subs used: Barry Kelly 1-0 for McGovern 39 mins, Tony Gibbons for Farrell 50 mins, John Moran for Kinahan 52 mins, David McGovern for Foley 52 mins, Eoghan McGlinchey for O’Keefe 53 mins, Conor Ronan for Kelly 56 mins.

Clane: Paddy McKenna; John Lynch, Cian O’Donoghue, Noel Haverty, Cathal Egan, Robbie Phillips, Peter McCreevy, Paddy Regan, Sean Christiansen, Sam McCormack 0-2, Shane O’Sullivan 1-3 (0-1f), Bernard Deay 0-2, James Behan 0-2, Danny Egan 0-4 (0-4fs), Chris Byrne 0-1.

Subs used: Dan Reilly for McCreevy h-t, Eoin Naughton for Regan h-t, Shane McCormack for Christiansen 51 mins, Robbie Hyland for Behan 51 mins, Ethan O’Donoghue for D.Egan 57 mins, Cathal Geoghegan for Sam McCormack 58 mins.

Ref: Paddy McDermott