Joe Mallon SFC round one replay
Confey will rue the opportunity they missed on Sunday evening when they let a two-point lead over Moorefield slip late on, allowing the beaten county finalists from 2016 to earn a reprieve and another day out. The north Kildare side looked the more tired of the two teams in Wednesday evening's replay in St Conleth's Park, and the fact that they managed just one point from play shows just how little they offered going forward and how stringent Moorefield were at the back.
They were well in the game after beginning the second half with a goal to draw level, but Moorefield, led excellently by Mark Murray's nine-point salvo, kicked 13 points to Confey's two over the remainder of the game.
The game started at almost pedestrian pace as neither side committed to push too many men forward, and though Moorefield had the greater share of possession it was mostly lateral handpassing as Confey's blanket defence ensured there were few gaps to prise a way through for the Newbridge club.
It was far from surprising that there were just seven scores in the first 30 minutes, though it was Moorefield that got the most crucial one of all as Adam Tyrrell netted a 13th minute goal that threatened to spark the game to life, but not even the former Kildare forward's fine effort could light the match on a dour opening half.
It took eight minutes for the scorekeeper to be called into action, and it was the man who bagged the equalising point on Sunday, Mark Murray, that opened Moorefield's account for the evening with a tidy left-footer effort from close range.
Another five minutes passed before Tyrrell found the back of Colin Heeney's net as he thundered home a powerful effort after being expertly picked out by a crossfield kick by Eddie Heavey. They almost found a killer second goal moments later when Ryan Houlihan lofted a beautiful ball over the Confey full-back for Kevin Murnaghan to latch onto, but Heeney managed to turn his close range effort around the post. Murray slotted over the resultant '45, catapulting Ross Glavin's side into five-point lead.
It took 21 minutes for Confey to register their first score, and it seemed to give them a lift once they did. Gately pointed a close range free, but Tyrrell offered an instant response with an accurate effort of his own soon after. Robbie McMahon kicked Confey's only point from play of the first half with a neat effort at the end of a good move involving Paul Divilly and Gary Savage, and their challenge received a boost when Tyrrell was black carded on the stroke of half-time for pulling down David Slattery as he bore down on goal, a debatable decision but you can see why referee Billy O'Connell went for that colour. Gately slotted over the free to leave just a goal between the sides at the break.
Confey began the second half in whirlwind fashion as Conor Daly netted a goal following after 18 seconds, tapping home the rebound to a top class diving save from Tom Kinsella on James Gately, but the goal came as the latter injured himself while taking the initial shot, while former Kildare midfielder Hugh Lynch was forced off with a hamstring injury he picked up during the build-up to the goal.
Confey never recovered from the loss of those two key players, and Moorefield's response was absolutely immense as they tagged on eight points without reply over the next 17 minutes.
Murray landed three points from frees and one exceptional effort from play during a period in which Eanna O'Connor and Eddie Heavey also posted eye-catching scores.
The eventual victors lost Ryan Houlihan to injury 10 minutes before the end, while Confey had Conor Jennings sent off after he received a second yellow, but that had little effect on the outcome of this game as Moorefield sauntered towards the finish line with points from Aaron Masterson and Mark McDermott keeping them well clear of their opponents.
Confey will go into the losers' section in the second, and though they were hugely disappointing in this defeat, they will be a side every other team will be looking to avoid. Moorefield look to have shaken off the cobwebs from Sunday and they will not be a side on any of the other winners' wish lists in round two.
Scorers for Moorefield: M Murray 0-9(6f, 1'45), A Tyrrell 1-1(1f), E Heavey 0-3(2f), E O'Connor, A Masterson and M McDermott 0-1 each.
Scorers for Confey: C Daly 1-0, F Barry and J Gately 0-2f each, R McMahon 0-1.
T Kinsella; M Dempsey, L Healy, S Dempsey(C Barrett 58mins); J Murray, K Murnaghan, C O'Connor; A Masterson, D Flynn; D Whyte(I Meehan 23mins inj), E Heavey, R Houlihan(M McDermott inj 49mins); E O'Connor, A Tyrrell(S Healy 31mins BC(L Callaghan 53mins BC), M Murray.
C Heeney; C Dennehy, J O'Neill, A Grehan; C Chan, C Jennings, P Griffin; G Savage, P Divilly; C Jennings, H Lynch(D McLean 31mins), R McMahon(N Carney 40mins); D Slattery, J Gately(F Barry 32mins), C Daly.
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