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Strong finish sees Kinvara over line!

posted 28 Apr 2012, 14:29 by Unknown user   [ updated 28 Apr 2012, 14:47 ]

Kinvara became the first team to qualify for the group stages of this years new look County Senior Championship thanks to a solid win over neighbours Ardrahan in Kenny park this evening. Losing at half time and down by three points halfway through the second half, it took a finishing run of six unanswered points to give the seasiders the win.
This was Kinvara's first championship win in almost 24 months. During that time we have played 10 without success, but this one was worth waiting for and enables Kinvara to advance to the safety of the championship proper, and who knows what happens then.
For Ardrahan it will be disappointment. They looked in a good position in the third quarter but several missed chances in that quarter was their updoing. But they have another chance in Round 2 and no doubt will be a tough proposition for any side.

The first quarter of this match belonged to Kinvara who took an early lead of 0-6 to 0-2 after 15 minutes. Main player here for Kinvara was Damien Huban, who rolled back the years with three well taken points from centre-forward. He opened the scoring with a white flag, and although Iarla Tannian responded shortly after, Damien added his second, and then Conor Kavanagh pointed after some good build-up. Ardrahan's Johnny Glynn raised a white flag of his own, but then Kinvara hit Ardrahan for three more - Damien Huban added his third, Conor Kavanagh a second and Colm Burke popped over one.  
But if the first 15 minutes were Kinvara's, there is no doubt that the next 15 belonged to Ardrahan. They outscored Kinvara 0-8 to 0-2 in this space and had Kinvara looking extremely shaky. Iarla Tannian raised another minor from play, Gerry Hennelly struck one, then the unstoppable Iarla Tannian struck again, and then Johnny Glynn pointed from a free. Kinvara had one reply from a placed ball from Conor Kavanagh, but the next four scores came from blue jerseys. Johnny Glynn, Iarla Tannian and Gerry Bond all pointed from play, while Iarla Tannian struck over a '65. As the interval aproached Kinvara did narrow the gap thanks to another free from Conor Kavanagh.
Half-time: Ardrahan 0-10, Kinvara 0-8.

Kinvara started the brighter in the second half, and within three minutes the sides were level again, with Johnny Kavanagh driving over from midfield, and Dara Smith taking advantage of good Kinvara forward pressure to slot one over. But the next 15 minutes was all one-way traffic as Ardrahan assumed control. Points from play were got from the sticks of Davy Kennedy, Cormac Diviney and Gerry Hennelly, to give the blues a three point cushion. But this could well have been much more as they missed five scorable chances that could have seen them with an almost unassailable lead.

But cue the Kinvara revival. The busy Ger Mahon struck the first one from half-way as he burst through. Next up was Niall Curtin from play and this was swiftly followed by the equaliser from Cathal Curtin, also from play. This game was now on the edge, but one did feel that the balance of power was with Kinvara as the fresh legs of Peter Mahon, Niall Bermingham and Tadhg Reynolds began to tell. Ger Mahon won a free on his own half-back line, and as we seen before, up stood goalie Colm Callanan, and he made no mistake in rifling it straight over the bar to give Kinvara the lead. With time running out, he was again urged from his line and this time struck a free sweetly over the black spot from 70 yards. Kinvara now had a dangerous two point lead, and Ardrahan were doing all they could to get a late winning goal. They dropped in 4 long range frees into the square in the dying minutes but could not get the winning score, although they did have one very close effort. With the Kinvara forwards still working hard, they were rewarded when a nice combinaton between Conor Kavanagh and Colm Burke saw the former being fouled on the '21 and he duly sloted it over for a white flag and the three point win.

This was as much a team effort than individual performances. All fifteen starters and three subs played their part in this win. Work rate was high with some great teamwork being shown. Colm Callanan was faultless in goals, and deadly for points! All six backs did extremely well, with Aidan Moylan and Shane Quinn being outstanding in the corners, while full back Brian Carroll guarded the house like his own with a flawless display. Much of the platform of this late win must rest on the stickwork of wing backs Ger Mahon and Alan Leech who swept and drove plenty of ball upfield. In the centre of defence Shane Kavanagh had a very good evening's work, and quietened the risk of Ardrahan's Johnny Glynn in the second half.
Up front, the workrate of all was second to none. This can best be shown in that 8 different players scored from play for Kinvara. And although David Huban was held scoreless, his contribution was invaluable, especially when moved to the half forward line in the second half, as he led the challenge home from there. Rumour has it he was also spotted driving out with the ball from his own full back line with a minute left on the clock! 
The three subs did very well when inroduced and contributed to this handome win. 

Ardrahan too had many fine displays throughout. Their star man Iarla Tannian struck five points in an awesme first half performance, while corner back Pat Holland was also most effective throughout. We wish them all the best in their next game, and hopefully we will see this very proud club in the group stages.

So, a good day for Kinvara and the management of Ollie Bergin, Mike Burke, John Linnane and Michael Kilkelly. There will be tougher challenges ahead. But for now we will take this and look forward to being in the last 16 of the 2012 Galway Senior Hurling Championship:

Colm Callanan (0-2f), Aidan Moylan, Brian Carroll, Shane Quinn, Alan Leech, Shane Kavanagh, Ger Mahon (0-1), Cathal Curtin (0-1), Johnny Kavanagh (0-1), Niall Curtin (0-1), Damien Huban (0-3), Conor Kavanagh 0-5 (0-3f), David Huban, Colm Burke (0-1), Dara Smith (0-1).
Subs: Peter Mahon for J. Kavanagh, Niall Bermingham for Damien Huban, Tadhg Reynolds for D. Smith.
Mike Smith, Stevie Moylan, Ger O'Dea, Paul Keane, Ian Bermingham, Paul O'Sullivan, Sean Bermingham, Eanna Linnane, Ger Linnane, Mark Kavanagh, Enda Mahon, Darragh Kilkelly.

Ciaran Callanan, Pat Holland, Damien O'Shaughnessy, Shane Kennedy, Joe O'Leary, John Greene, Gerard Forde, Iarla Tannian 0-4 (0-1'65), David Kennedy (0-1), Ritchie Mullins, Jonathan Glynn 0-3 (0-1 f, 0-1'65), Gerard Bond (0-1), Cormac Diviney (0-1), Brian Glynn, Gerry Hennelly (0-2)

Referee: Peter Murphy (Loughrea)