Joe Mallon Renault SFC Group 3 Round 3
By Ian Baker
Despite Raheens scoring 1-4 to level the game in injury-time, Eoghan O’Flaherty’s 64th minute free rescued Carbury from the brink of a relegation standoff.
In the closing minutes of Saturday’s third round fixture, when Raheens had just drawn level in the 63rd minute, O’Flaherty showed nerves of steel to send Carbury into a preliminary quarter-final against Johnstownbridge.
Scoring five first-half points, O’Flaherty’s injury-time free sends Raheens into a tough relegation semi-final Naas.
Noel Mooney’s Raheens should have taken something from the game and will return to training this week terribly disappointed that they allowed Carbury a six-point half-time lead, only to draw level in the 63rd minute.
Where six points still separated the teams in the 45th minute, Alan Igoe’s 48th minute penalty left just three points in the difference.
So, when Colm Power followed-up with two points by the 56th minute and then substitute Paddy Woodgate registered a 63rd minute free, all the talk in the stand centred on, ‘what happens if there’s a draw?’
The answer is that scoring difference would have applied as extra-time wasn’t on the cards. As it happened Raheens needed to win; a draw wouldn’t have sufficed.
Carbury would have progressed, if the sides were level, as they edged Raheens’ scoring difference by three points.
All the murmuring and calculating ceased however, as O’Flaherty clipped over his seventh point, sending Carbury into a preliminary quarter-final.
All things considered, losing to Confey and Celbridge in the opening two rounds, Philip Wolfe’s Carbury can consider themselves on par being drawn against Johnstownbridge, who were convincingly defeated by Athy in the last round.
Is it a satisfactory facet of the Championship structure that Carbury progress after just one one-point win? It makes no difference, but it may be something that Wolfe considers ahead of their next fixture.
There were certainly easier draws in the preliminary quarter-final shake-up. We can only suppose it’s all about the destination, not the journey.
What will worry Wolfe is that Carbury were home and hosed in the 43rd minute, leading by seven points when Mark Cully scored his 43rd minute point.
But between Cully’s point and O’Flaherty’s winning free, Raheens held Carbury scoreless for twenty minutes. Maybe it’s the nature of games where something’s at stake?
O’Flaherty’s five and Derek McCormack’s three first-half points, along with singles from Jimmy Dunne and Morgan O’Flaherty, gave Carbury a commanding six-point lead against a Raheens side who took twelve minutes to open their account.
In the opening twenty minutes of the first-half, Raheens survived on two Alan Igoe frees, until Graham Waters scored their first point from play in the 22nd minute.
Only registering one point from play in the first-half, a further Igoe free meant Wolfe’s charges easily controlled the game, though it’s also likely that wind factored into the half-time margin.
The sides played a deadlocked game until Woodgate cut the deficit to six points in the 45th minute. Carbury controlled the game and should have had the experienced personnel to wind down the game.
Igoe’s penalty ignited a run of 1-4 in twenty minutes, and while this wasn’t startling feat, it gives them something to bring into their crucial game against Naas, having only won the Intermediate Championship in 2017.
Scorers – Carbury – E O’Flaherty 0-7 (3f, ’45); D McCormack 0-4; M O’Flaherty 0-2; M Cully and J Dunne 0-1 each.
Raheens – A Igoe 1-4 (pen, 4f); P Woodgate (2f), C Power and G Waters 0-2 each; B Winder 0-1.
CARBURY: Wayne Cummins; Danny Boyle, Brian O’Flaherty, Stephen McKeon; Justin Reilly, Dean Cummins, Willie Groome; Tom Colleary; Aaron O’Neill; Morgan O’Flaherty, Derek McCormack, Jimmy Dunne; Andy Dermody, Eoghan O’Flaherty, Jack Cully.
Subs: Mark Cully for Boyle (43 mins).
RAHEENS: Declan Campbell; Jack Hamill, Jason Earley, Aidan Dunlea; Tom Dore, Conor Earley, David Malone; Killian Thompson, Shane Crowley; David Fitzpatrick, Colm Power, Graham Waters; Tom Earley, Alan Igoe, Rory Donnelly.
Subs: Tom Early for T Earley (6 mins); Paddy Woodgate for K Thompson (36); Anthony Thompson for Dunlea (41); Mark Waters for Igoe (58).
REFEREE: Dave Coady.
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