Kinvara stay in the hunt with spirited second half display

posted 27 Jun 2013, 14:05 by Unknown user
SHC, Sunday 23rd June 2013 in Kenny Park



A spirited second-half display when playing into the breeze saw Kinvara keep their hopes of reaching the knock-out stages alive as they put an end to Craughwell’s chances of progressing from Group C of the senior hurling championship in Athenry on Sunday evening.

After finding themselves two points down 10 minutes into the second period, Kinvara dug deep to hit five unanswered points and register a victory which was all the more impressive given that they were reduced to 14 men for the closing stretch of the game.

In Conor Kavanagh and teenager Conor Whelan, they have two of the most exciting inside forwards in the county, on their day, and their combined contribution of 1-14 went a long way towards securing this satisfying victory.

Whelan – a minor for the next two summers - could turn out to be one of the finds of the 2013 campaign and finished the contest with a hugely impressive 0-6 from play to effectively end Craughwell’s campaign.

After Michael Coughlan had opened the scoring for Craughwell, the seasiders hit a purple patch between the sixth and 13th minutes by hitting seven points without reply.

Whelan opened their account following good work by Shane Quinn and Niall Bermingham; and his side followed that up with three scores in as many minutes from Kavanagh  (free), centre-forward Alan Leech, and midfielder Shane Moylan.

The damage could have been worse for Craughwell as an 11th minute rasper from Kavanagh was deflected over the bar by goalkeeper Aidan Ryan, before Kavanagh (free) and Whelan made it 0-7 to 0-1.

Craughwell kept their composure and enjoyed a good second quarter after Niall Healy pulled a point back from a 50 metre free. Cathal Greaney hit a fine point on the run and then won a free which was converted by Healy to make it 0-8 to 0-4.

But Kavanagh extended Kinvara’s lead following a foul on Leech and, unmarked, Kavanagh then produced a stunning strike to the net, after David Huban provided the perfect pass from a Colm Callanan puck-out, to open up a seven point lead.

The Kinvara contingent in the small crowd were still celebrating when Aidan Ryan found the industrious Greaney from the subsequent puck-out. Greaney set up a short-range Niall Healy goal within barely 30 seconds of Kavanagh’s strike to the net at the other end.

Healys instant reply seemed to lift Stephen Glennon's sIde and they hit the next four scores in a row - three Healy frees and a superb Mark Horan effort on the run - to level the tie by the 25th minute.

Superb long-range puckouts from both goalkeepers, Ryan and county panelists Colm Callanan, were a memorable feature of this game and Callanan even got on the scoreboard when he landed a free from deep inside his own half.

Whelan registered his third point from play to extend Kinvara's slender lead, but Craughwell finished the half on a high when Horan collected an Aidan Ryan free and took off on a strong run before planting the sliotar expertly past Callanan in injury time. Horan's wonderful strike gave his side a slender one point lead, 2-8 to 1-10, at the break.

A fine point under pressure from Fergal Healy and a goal-bound Dermot Ryan shot which was deflected over the bar by Callanan opened up a three point lead within three minutes of the restart, and the expectation at this stage was that Craughwell, backed by the breeze, would push on for a coveted victory.

But Kavanagh converted two frees in reply to a placed ball from Niall Healy, and Whelan found the target following a good move involving Kavanagh, Bermingham and Huban.

Niall Healy put Craughwell two up from a 30 metre free but amazingly, Craughwell failed to find the target during the remaining 20-plus minutes of action.

Conor Kavanagh, who battled hard throughout, won and converted a free to reduce the deficit and then Whelan ran in from the right wing to equalise.

But when midfielder Steve Moylan was red-carded for a foul on Adrian Cullinane with 10 minutes to go, the advantage still seemed to be with the losing side.

With Shane Kavanagh, Colm Burke and Shane Quinn battling bravely in the heart of their defence, however, Kinvara coped with whatever pressure Craughwell put on them, while Conor Kavanagh, Alan Leech (a brillant effort from half-way) and Whelan (from out near the byeline) hit three superb points in a row for the South Galway men. 

Craughwell's frustrations were summed up by a late red card for wing back John Ryan following a chop down on Kinvara's Tom O'Donovan, and the way in which they faded out so badly from this game in the closing stretch will have haunted the club's players and mentors.

But full credit to Kinvara, who can now reach the knockout stages if they overcome Castlegar in their last group game. They were well served by Conor Kavanagh, Whelan, Huban, and Leech in attack, midfielder Moylan and defenders Ger Mahon, Quinn, Shane Kavanagh and Colm Burke. 

Horan, Cathal Greaney and Adrian Cullinane tried hardest for a Craughwell side in which Niall Healy hit 1-7, including seven placed balls, in a game which was well handled by referee Phelim Shanughnessy.

Colm Callanan (0-1 free), Aidan Moylan, Shane Kavanagh, Tadhg Reynolds, Shane Quinn, Ger Mahon, Colm Burke, Mark Kavanagh, Steve Moylan (0-1), Niall Bermingham, Tom O'Donovan, David Huban, Conor Whelan (0-6), Alan Leech (0-2), Conor Kavanagh (1-8, 0-6 frees).
Subs: Brian Carroll for A. Moylan (37 mins), Eanna Linnane for M. Kavanagh (45 mins).

A. Ryan, G. O'Halloran, I. Daniels, M. Monaghan, John Ryan, A. Culinane, J. Greaney, C. Greaney (0-1), M. Horan (1-1), M. Coughlan (0-1), D. Ryan (0-1), N. Healy (1-7, 0-7 frees), B. Dolan, K. Greene, F. Healy (0-1).
Sub: Jamie Ryan for Greene (47 mins).

Referee: Phelim Shaughnessy.