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Saturday 20 September 2014

Rathvilly subs help seal win

Published 29/07/2014 | 05:24

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The winners of this game, the second in the Brother Leo Park double header, must have taken note of the winning tally of the game that preceded between Naomh Eoin and Kildavin Clonegal and used it as a target they successfully hit to win their game too.

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St. Andrews will have to ask where their heads were at in the final moments as they could have forced chances at goal but in the dying minutes and seconds intensity eluded them and so did any chance of winning the game.

The game itself was a close affair by the finish but at half time with the men from Bagenalstown leading 1-6 to 1-1 you had to feel like there was only going to be one winner.

However, the substitutions made by the Rathvilly bench made all the difference in the second half and they were well worth their four point win.

The first half though belonged to St. Andrews and although the Rathvilly lads dropped two balls short into the hands of Rory Doyle it was the former team who went ahead with points from Jamie Clarke and Andrew Beaton.

Hughie O'Reilly at wing forward for Rathvilly was running himself ragged in possession and he was rewarded in the 12th minute with a nice point of his own and Rathvilly's first.

Midway through the first half Jeff Worth rattled Rory Doyle's net with a splendid finish having been put through by Brian Smith but that was the end of the Rathvilly scoring for the first half and along came St. Andrews with an impressive 1-4 in 10 minutes.

Andrew Beaton showed some of his form that saw him awarded man of the match in the Intermediate county final when St. Andrews were last promoted with three brilliant points in a row and then the hard working Andrew Kane sent over a point before a brilliant goal from Liam Galway in the last minute of the half gave St. Andrews a well deserved lead at the break.

Rathvilly came out for the second half and did two things, first they scored 1-5 or eight points in eight minutes and secondly they kept their opponents scoreless until the 10th minute.

This was a complete turnaround and one that seemed to stun the men who had not only surrendered a five point lead but now trailed by three.

A goal and a point from Conor O'Brien and two points from Robbie Ryan had pulled Rathvilly back into the game in the first five minutes of the restart, O'Brien's goal was a little bit special after a terrific solo run and then points from Conor Owens and Colin Byrne who had won a breaking ball had Rathvilly in front by three.

St. Andrews had made a change in the second half, bringing on David Corcoran for Nathan Byrne and he had an immediate impact when he scored from his first touch carrying the ball deep into the Rathvilly defence and tapped over with style.

A minute later Martin Mullins had the ball in the net for St. Andrews and a further point by Kane had his side in the lead by two points with 15 minutes to go.

Strangely though, St. Andrews wouldn't score again after that and Rathvilly seemed to find an extra compartment of fuel as Robbie Ryan and Conor O'Brien combined again and added a point each and substitute Jack McMillan also sent over a great point to send Rathvilly into the lead once more.

In the 60th minute then Conor Owens was fouled in the large rectangle and a penalty was awarded. The sharpshooter made no mistake from the spot and as the game headed for closure, his side were up by four points.

Two minutes of injury time followed and St. Andrews had a couple of chances to make something happen, but their delaying of the taking of one 30m free, which they put wide anyway, summed up their final few minutes.

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