AFL3: Bective and Carnaross provide a thriller
15 June 2017
Cillian Comaskey Carnaross with Bective's Cathal McConnell
Bective escaped with a one point win in this hard fought important Division 3 league game in Carnaross on Wednesday June 14th.
Playing against a stiff breeze in the first half Bective struggled to win clean possession against a committed and a well marshalled Carnaross team. John Moran on his midfield debut worked hard and gained some good ball. Bective opened with a goal after 10 minutes when Cathal Mc Connell ran at the defence and fisted a ball across the square for Sean Keating to scramble home at the second attempt. This was followed by a good point from Ciaran Breslin and on the break Bective looked dangerous at times but poor choice passing often gave the ball away. However they added points from Ben Malone, Kevin Brennan (sub), Ciaran Breslin and Marty Mulhall to reach 1-5 at half time. Carnaross were equally threatening in attack but they suffered from poor finishing. Gary Brennan got in some vital touches to deny Carnaross but they eventually found the net and went into the break with 1-3.
Bective, now playing with the breeze, could have been expected to clock up the points but it was Carnaross who took the initiative and quickly drew level. It was 10 minutes before Bective scored but they quickly went 2 points in arrears after a fine Carnaross goal. Points were traded before a hopeful ball into the goal mouth was contested by Sean Keating and was illegally touched on the ground by a Carnaross defender and Marty Mulhall made sure with the resulting penalty. Paul Mc Cabe notched a free, as did Marty Mulhall, and Sean Keating added a point, but at the other end Carnaross were also busy adding 4 points. However a typically hard won free via Sean Keating in the right corner gave Paul Mc Cabe a chance to put Bective ahead and he duly did just that. Carnaross launched two further attacks but the ball was cut out by Bective defenders and they crossed the line 1 point ahead.
Bective: Ronan Murtagh, Ben Malone, Gary Brennan, Cillian Reilly, Dara Maguire, Jarlaith Brennan, Paul McCabe, Ciaran Reilly, John Moran, Paul Lyness, Mark O'Brien, Ciaran Breslin, , Marty Mulhall, Sean Keating, Cathal Mc Connell.
Bective emerged one point victors after an engaging, high intensity tussle played in Carnaross on Wednesday evening. The lead constantly switched between the two evenly matched teams with never more than a kick of the ball between them for the duration of the game. Marty Mulhall’s penalty with four minutes remaining proved to be crucial in the end.
Bective began the game with a bang with Seán Keating reacting quickest to a loose ball to scramble home a poacher’s goal. Carnaross were keen to banish the memories of last year’s JFC semi-final defeat and responded instantly through Leaving Cert student Frank O’Reilly. With the wind at his back, the ball in his hand, standing on the sideline and with only construction studies left to sit, he hit a H1 free that Maurice Fitzgerald would have been proud of. This lifted the Carnaross spirit as Dermot McGee broke through the heart of the Navan parishes defence and was unfortunate to see his effort rebound off the post. Bective steadied themselves with a point before Frank O’Reilly claimed a mark at midfield setting up an attack that resulted in the returning Charlie Brogan, uncharacteristically slipping the ball ever so gracefully past the onrushing keeper. The lively O’Reilly continued to torment the Bective defence with a second point. Bective continued to look dangerous on the counter attack as the physical and free flowing nature of the game continued. Dermot McGee kicked a delightful point from play but Bective finished the half the stronger with four of the last five points to take a 1-5 to 1-3 lead. Bective were the happier of the two teams at the interval as Carnaross with the aid of the stiff breeze hadn’t maximized their scoring potential, kicking 7 wides.
Bective were determined to repeat last year’s heroics and kill the contest early in the second half but McNiffe in goals stood up strong to a goal-bound effort from the edge of the square. Somehow, Ian Donoghue found himself in a scoring position and gleefully knocked over the first point of the half. Frank O’Reilly converted another free before Brogan repeated his first half heroics carefully threading the ball by the Bective keeper for his second goal, all the more impressive considering this was his first game back after a serious injury. The Carnaross full back line excelled throughout with constant dispossessions from a potent Bective full forward line, especially Aidan Lynch who was the stand out performer. Bective kicked three points in a row but Carnaross continued to bring the fight to them with Dermot and Frank breaking through the defence to finish off intricate moves up the field. With Michael Brogan forced off early on, Arms McDonnell dutifully lorded midfield despite being a wing forward and finished with six marks to his name. Bective converted a questionable free to leave the home team ahead by the minimum with four to go. The Carnaross defence repeatedly fought off relentless attacks but were penalised for a block on the line which resulted in Mulhall converting the penalty. Frank O’Reilly converted a free which left the minimum in it with 60 seconds left on the clock. Carnaross had chances to get something from this league encounter with the Bective defence held firm and left the field one point victors.
Despite the defeat, Carnaross left the field content with their full blooded performance, despite having nothing to show for it. On an evening where the defence excelled, the positives included Charles Brogan and John L McGee’s return to first team football after serious injuries along with Jack Roche gaining his first taste of his first team football.
Carnaross: Shane McNiffe; Aidan Lynch, Tomás Plunkett, Liam Brogan; Cian Yore, Ian Donoghue (0-1), Stephen Flattery; Michael Brogan, Cillian Comaskey; Niall McDonnell, Dermot McGee (0-2), Frank O’Reilly (0-5, 0-3f); Thomas Nugent, Charles Brogan (2-0), Shane Casserly; Subs: John L McGee for Michael Brogan; Jack Roche for Cian Yore.