Joe Mallon SFC round one
It’s Déjà vu again as Moorefield pulled off the trick they managed to repeat on countless occasions in last year’s championship. The reigning Kildare and Leinster champions trailed by eight points at one stage and conceded as many goals in 35 minutes as they did in the entirety of last year’s Kildare championship, yet they somehow managed to pull off another incredible comeback.
It was mainly down to the brilliance of Eanna O’Connor, who, after coming on as a substitute in the 35th minute, landed eight points in an almost surreal showing.
This game had all the feel of a league encounter on a sunny Sunday afternoon to it for the first 40 minutes, and the Moorefield teamsheet certainly encapsulated that. Manager Ross Glavin was clearly keen to try a few things out, with none of Eanna O’Connor, Ronan Sweeney, Eddie Heavey, David Whyte or Liam Healy starting.
Carbury began with Kildare goalkeeper Aaron O’Neill in midfield, and he certainly looked comfortable there when setting up his side’s second goal.
It was the side from the western border of Kildare who flew out of the traps as they found the net after just four minutes when Eoghan O’Flaherty rifled home a penalty after he had been pulled down by Niall Galvin in the square. That score was followed up by points from Dale Redmond and the lively Sean Haslem as a disjointed Moorefield looked well off the pace.
Aaron Mullins finally got his side off the mark in the 10th minute with a tidy point, before Mark Murray lofted over a close range free to leave just a goal between the sides. That deficit was doubled in the 12th minute however, as O’Neill bundled his way through the middle and somewhat fortuitously found O’Flaherty, and the former county man angled a brilliant shot into the bottom corner.
Moorefield eventually kicked back however, and they took control of the game for a 10-minute spell as they registered four points in a row and could have had a goal. Mark McDermott got their first in the purple patch before Mullins smacked over a brilliant second, and Ian Meehan cut the gap to three when he broke through to score.
Niall Hurley-Lynch could have levelled matters when he was sent through on goal, but he cannoned his effort off the bottom of the post. Meehan did reduce the arrears to two points soon after, but Moorefield were undone again when a long kickout from Declan Conroy floated over the midfield and found Stephen McGylnn who picked out the overlapping Jack Cully, and the young sharpshooter smashed home his side’s third goal. Haslem followed up with a great score under pressure, and though Ryan Moore responded with a good point for the Moores, Cully flicked over one on the stroke of half-time to give Carbury a 3-4 to 0-7 advantage.
Moorefield came out with the same starting 15 for the second half, and they immediately had a score on the board when McDermott landed his second, but they were rattled by the concession of a fourth goal when Cully set up Derek McCormack to find the net. It could have been a remarkable five soon after when O’Flaherty palmed goalwards, but his effort went narrowly wide.
Moorefield’s inevitable rally came as they brought on the likes of Eanna O’Connor and Daryl Flynn, and two quick points from Mark Murray and a brilliant James Murray score helped give them some hope. Carbury steadied the ship with a point from McCormack shortly before his withdrawal, and O’Flaherty soon posted his side’s first score from a placed ball to give them a seven-point cushion.
O’Connor took hold of the game after that however, scoring five points in as many minutes to pull his side right back into contention and cut the gap to three with five minutes left to play. One of those scores arrived from play, but a couple of the frees were truly exceptional efforts from huge distances.
McDermott cut the gap further with another fine score, but Carbury finally stemmed the tide when Cully nudged over from close range to give his side some respite.
O’Flaherty and Mullins traded scores at either end as Carbury kept their noses just about in front, but O’Connor finally pulled Moorefield level in the third minute of injury time. Conroy went short with the kickout, but McDermott cut it out and won a free that O’Connor converted to put his side into the lead for the first time, and McDermott sealed the victory with a late point.
Scorers for Moorefield: E O'Connor 0-6(5f), M McDermott, A Mullins and M Murray(1f) 0-3 each, I Meehan 0-2, R Moore and J Murray 0-1 each.
Scorers for Carbury: E O'Flaherty 2-2(1-0pen, 1f), J Kelly 1-2, D McCormack 1-1, S Haslem 0-2, D Redmond 0-1.
Ian McDonnell; Liam Callaghan, Anthony Durney, Niall Galvin; Mark Dempsey, James Murray, Kevin Murnaghan; Ryan Moore, Aaron Masterson; Ian Meehan, Cian O'Connor, Aaron Mullins; Niall Hurley-Lynch, Mark McDermott, Mark Murray.
Subs used: Eanna O'Connor for Cian O'Connor 35mins, Adam Sweeney for Durney 41mins, Daryl Flynn for Masterson 42mins, Jason Phillips for Murray 47mins, A Masterson for Mullins 57mins.
Declan Conroy; Kevin O'Neill, William Groome, Josh Browne; Andy Dermody, Brian O'Flaherty, Morgan O'Flaherty; Tom Colleary, Aaron O'Neill; Dale Redmond, Derek McCormack, Eoghan O'Flaherty; Jack Cully, Stephen McGlynn, Sean Haslem.
Subs used: James Kelly for McCormack 43mins.
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