Bective 1-10, Oldcastle 1-7
The stage was set for a first round championship match in the Intermediate grade in very good conditions in Pairc Tailteann when underdogs Bective took on 2017 semi-finalists Oldcastle.
For the first 17 minutes it looked like the form book was right as Oldcastle attacked with pace and were making a good return from their opportunities and pointed a free kick on 7 minutes to open the scoring. A turnover in midfield facilitated a fast Oldcastle attack through the middle and gave Jason Scully room to stick the ball in the Bective net a minute later.
The North Meath side then added a point from play which left it 1-2 to no score. Bective had equal possession in the first quarter and good attacking play but lacked adequate composure and had 7 wides from scoreable positions before Cathal McConnell pointed on 18 minutes. Bective's Sean Keating added a point but Oldcastle responded with 3 points from play to go 6 points ahead. Ben Malone and Ciaran McConnell came on as subs and helped Bective settle into their rhythm and curtailed Oldcastle's attacking moves. Paul McCabe and Brian Cantwell added a point each and the sides went in at half time with Oldcastle 1-5 to Bective's 0-4.
Bective attacked from the start of the second half and Marty Mulhall pointed a free after Brian Cantwell was fouled. Mulhall then made a turnover in midfield and punted a long ball to Sean Keating who got in behind his man and hit the back of the net, albeit via both posts. The teams remained level until Keating volleyed a point over the bar. Oldcastle levelled with a pointed free but Bective seemed to have the edge on fitness and McCabe added a free and Mulhall added two, before Cathal McConnell kicked another point with a minute to go. Oldcastle tried hard to create a goal chance, but the Bective defence held firm with some spectacular dispossessions, and Oldcastle had to be content with only a pointed free before full time was blown.
This was a hard working effort by the Bective men who showed plenty of character to overcome a 6 point deficit and win by 3. They were well prepared and up for this game and carried the momentum from their 6 league wins to achieve these two points.
Bective: Ciaran Breslin, Jack Grant, Diarmuid Rogers, Craig Roche, Colin O'Rourke, Jarlath Brennan, Dara Maguire, Paul Lyness, Kevin Brennan, Mark O'Brien, Marty Mulhall, Paul Mc Cabe, Cathal Mc Connell, Brian Cantwell, Sean Keating.