Carnew in control
Darcy Sand Intermediate Football Championship: carnew emmets 4-15 s'ford-gr'con0-12
A very impressive performance from Carnew Emmets saw them put a wasteful Stratford-Grangecon to the sword in the Darcy Sands Intermediate Football Championship clash played in Kiltegan on Friday evening last.
A Carnew side inspired through impressive showings from Padraig Doran, Sean Murphy, Conall McCrea and Brendan McCrea were never really in any trouble from a hard-working and honest Stratford-Grangecon team who quite simply proved too wayward in their shooting and never truly troubled Cormac Doyle in the Carnew goal to any great extent.
James Hickey's men on the other hand were hungry for majors from the off and had their first within a matter of minutes when corner-back Paul Nolan horsed the ball over Patrick Cronin's line for the perfect start for the Wexford border men.
Stratford-Grangecon would fire eight wides in that first half as well as some outstanding scores while in the second half they lacked real penetration through a well-stocked Carnew defence who sought to break at every opportunity.
Nolan's early goal settled Carnew and nippy corner-forward Cillian Gilligan lofted over a wonderful point off his left to follow it up for a 1-1 to 0-0 lead.
Loyal and immense Stratford-Grangecon servant Kieran Byrne got them off the mark with a pointed free after two earlier wides from team captain Mark Murphy.
A John Kavanagh free and Cillian Gilligan's second, this time after a shaky Stratford-Grangecon kick-out, left Carnew sittting pretty at 1-3 to 0-1 ahead, but Stratford-Grangecon owned the next short spell but could only convert one of three chances, that another pointed free from Kieran Byrne.
Carnew lost John Walshe to injury at this point and sent in Enda Donohoe in his stead with Adrian Myers dropping back to the full-back line.
Kieran Byrne reduced the Carnew lead to three points before fine Stratford-Grangecon play saw singles from Colin Byrne and an outstanding effort from Matt Manley to leave just one between the sides at 1-3 to 0-5.
Carnew gathered their thoughts and had white flags from Conall McCrea who reacted quickest to a John Kavanagh free coming off the upright and a Cillian Gilligan bomb.
Stratford-Grangecon needed to hold steady and get to the half-time break within sight of Carnew as they would be playing down the hill in the second half. Alas, goals from Brendan McCrea and Cillian Gilligan put paid to those hopes and Carnew took a dominant 3-5 to 0-5 lead into the half-time hiatus.
Any notions that Carnew would relax or that the hill would play any huge part in the second half were soon dispelled when Conall McCrea bagged two fine scores either side of a Michael Mangan effort.
Carnew introduced John Doyle Jnr to the fray and the youngster went on to have a superb stint, bagging 1-2 to his credit, the goal a cheeky little punt past Cronin.
Stratford-Grangecon never once threw in the towel and battled right to the death with team captain Mark Murphy firing over one of the scores of the game to bring the curtain down on the game with Carnew Emmets running out convincing winners at 4-15 to 0-12.
Carnew had big games from Brendan McCrea, Conall McCrea, Sean Murphy, Cillian Gilligan and Andrew Hughes. They look to be an improving side with plenty of options off the bench.
Stratford-Grangecon were well served as always by Kieran Byrne, and they had fine showings from Ian Moore, who bagged two beautiful points late on, Michael Mangan, Matt Manley, Mark Murphy and Colin Byrne to name but a few.
Scorers - Carnew Emmets: Cillian Gilligan 1-3, Brendan McCrea 1-1, John Doyle Jnr 1-2 (1f), Conall McCrea 0-4 (1f), John Kavanagh 0-3 (3f), Paul Nolan 1-0, Sean Murphy 0-1, Enda Donohoe 0-1. Stratford-Grangecon: Kieran Byrne 0-4 (1f), Colin Byrne 0-2, Ian Moore 0-2, Matt Manley 0-1, Jason Bolger 0-1, Mark Murphy 0-1, Michael Mangan 0-1.
Carnew Emmets: Cormac Doyle; John Walshe, Andrew Hughes, Paul Nolan; Adrian Myers, Padraig Doran, Niall Osborne; John Doyle Snr, Sean Murphy; Jack Doyle, Conall McCrea, Brendan McCrea; Cillian Gilligan, John Kavanagh, Nick Skelton. Subs: Enda Donohoe for J Walshe (inj), John Doyle Jnr for N Skelton, Justin House for J Kavanagh, Paudi McGing for C Gilligan, Joe Hughes for B McCrea, Mark Collins for P Nolan
Stratford-Grangecon: Patrick Cronin; Joe O'Neill, Marcus Hanbidge, Eric Fenlon; Adam Doyle, Eoin O'Neill, Ian Moore; Mark Landon, Shane Byrne; Mark Murphy, Matt Manley, Kieran Byrne; Ruairi Phelan, Jason Bolger, Colin Byrne. Subs: James Norton for L McGrath, Declan Bollard for M Landon (BC)
Referee: Stephen Fagan (Baltinglass)