Saturday 18 November 2017

Reville saves day with late goal-line clearance

A DRAMATIC goal-line clearance from corner-back Jon Reville two minutes into additional time helped Good Counsel College to emerge with a deserved two-point victory in the Leinster Colleges' Senior football 'A' championship game.

With a gale-force wind blowing straight down the pitch aided by heavy downpours, there was little room for anyone to hide on The Curragh plains, but credit to the sides as despite the dangerous, slippery underfoot conditions they still managed to serve up 60 minutes of tense and exciting football, with the result going right down to the final move of the game.

Good Counsel, having established a six-point lead into the second-half gale, were defending desperately through the final quarter as the backs came under intense pressure. But the full-back line of Jon Reville, Seán Stafford and Seán Donohoe defended superbly, aided by a half-back line where Darren Carty, Robert Vallejo and Liam Hennessy shone all through the game, building excellent attacks while also showing their defensive qualities particularly through that final quarter.

It was real torture for Good Counsel supporters in the closing minutes all the same. Two minutes into additional time the home side attacked strongly, with the ball breaking in front of goal as 'keeper Adam Diskin was left stranded by a deflection.

That left Luke Doran to fire in what appeared a goalbound shot, only for corner-back Revillle to get back and dive full length to his right to deflect the ball off the line and around the post for what turned out to be a fruitless '45 much to the delight of the visitors. They threw their arms in the air in relief on the final whistle of Maurice Deegan after holding on to clinch a dramatic victory.

Patrician College started brightly into the gale-force wind, opening with two points through Ryan King and Ben McCormack inside the opening five minutes. Good Counsel, who were finding it difficult to gain any sort of early rhythm, gradually worked their way into the game as midfielders Donncha O'Connor and Ian Carty began to impose themselves on the opposition with some driving play.

Ten minutes into the game the Barrowsiders opened their account when Aaron Diskin worked his way into space to kick over a neat point from an acute angle, while one minute later they were level through a John Walsh effort.

After 14 minutes the crucial breakthrough came. Wing-forward Adam Swan powered in a low shot that 'keeper Conor Earley could only beat away, but the alert Aaron Diskin pounced to first-time the ball to the net from ten metres, giving his side a 1-2 to 0-2 lead.

With two Seán Ryan pointed frees extending their lead, they began to move the ball with real purpose, but close to the break a Ben McCormack free reduced the deficit to leave the eventual winners leading by 1-4 to 0-3 at the interval.

After the re-start a Ben McCormack point left just three separating the sides, but then after a sweeping movement built out of the half-back line, the ball moved through six players and ended with John Walsh blazing wide from in front of goal, after just five minutes of the second period.

Good Counsel went on to hit a purple patch, adding excellent points through Cian O'Donohoe, Aaron Diskin and a huge Donncha O'Connor free to move into a 1-7 to 0-4 lead after 39 minutes. But the home side, inspired by Ben McCormack points, reduced the deficit to the minimum (1-7 to 0-9) with five minutes remaining. In a quick counter-attack the Good Counsel boys forced a free that Donncha O'Connor pointed, and this proved a crucial score in a dramatic finish.

New Ross Standard

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