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Kinvara in second half no-show

posted 27 May 2012, 08:50 by Unknown user
Craughwell 1-15, Kinvara 1-11

The old adage “a game of two halves” was very much to the fore here in this Salthill Hotel Senior Hurling Championship Group tie, played in sweltering heat in Kenny Park, Athenry.

Playing with the strong breeze in the first half, Kinvara led by seven points at half time, and in the process made Craughwell look very ordinary. However, a revitalized Craughwell side appeared for the second half and overtook Kinvara with ten minutes remaining, and held onto the lead til the final whistle.

There was two major turning points in this match. The first was the last two points of the first half, both scored by Craughwell’s Niall Healy. Before then, Kinvara led by 9 points, and it was them really who would need those two scores, but instead, it meant that the half-time deficit was reduced to just 7 points. The second turning point was a penalty awarded to Craughwell just after half-time, after their player ran into a Kinvara defender. At the time, Kinvara had stretched their lead to 8 points, but Niall Healy blasted the ball to the net, and reduced the margin down to 5 points, and also take the wind out of Kinvara’s sails.

The first half opened with Niall Healy pointing from an early free. But Kinvara, playing with the breeze, quickly settled into the game with points from David Huban (sideline), Conor Kavanagh (free), Colm Callanan (free) and a point from the stick of Damien Huban. Not long after, Damien Huban received possession in the middle of the park, and he send a high shot goal-bound. It was to drop in the square, where David Huban got the deftest of touches to flick the ball to the back of the net. Kinvara 1-4, Craughwell 0-1. Although Niall Healy replied for Craughwell with another free, the Kinvara backs were now fully on top and winning every ball in their sector. Although Kinvara did hit three wides in a row, they then followed with two further points from frees, with one each from Conor Kavanagh, and another long range effort from Colm Callanan. Niall Healy kept Craughwell in touch with his side’s first point from play, but Kinvara responded with three scores – Niall Curtin from play, another Colm Callanan free, while Damien Huban slotted over his second. Kinvara now led by 9 points, with 4 minutes left in the half. However, instead of stretching the lead, it was Craughwell who had the final say of the half, as Niall Healy scored his 4th and 5th points of the half, with one from play and another from a free.

Half-time: Kinvara 1-9, Craughwell 0-5.

The second half started with Craughwell on the attack, and they had three chances in the opening three minutes. One flashed wide, while Colm Callanan blocked two others. Then David Huban scored a point for Kinvara to stretch the Kinvara lead to eight points, and give hope to the supporters that they had what it took to contain the Craughwell challenge in the second half. However, it all began to go wrong when sub Mark Horan was allowed solo through, and although full-back Brian Carroll met him fairly, the referee deemed it was a foul and awarded the penalty. Up stood Niall Healy and he immediately reduced the margin to 5 points. From here on in it was all about Craughwell, with their half-back line and midfield taking full control, and their snipers up front causing all sorts of problems. In the meantime, Kinvara failed to win any sort of ball from our puckouts, and so our full-forward line were starved of possession, and the pressure became constant on our backs. In the fifteen minutes after the penalty, Craughwell created 15 scoring chances, converting 8 points, and 5 wides, on top of two more superb saves from goalie Colm Callanan (one of them being a double acrobatic save with Brian Carroll). In the same time, Kinvara created one scoring chance, and that was hit wide. Influential in the above stats, was the powerhouse performance by Adrian Cullinane now switched to centre back, the creative hurling of sub Mark Horan, while up front the big Alan Callanan was now very dangerous every time he got the ball. The Craughwell eight points were from Alan Callanan (three), Adrian Cullinane, Niall Healy (three placed balls), and Fergal Healy. The scores now read Craughwell 1-13, Kinvara 1-10.

With five minutes to go, Kinvara got faint hope as sub Tadhg Reynolds pounced on a poor Craughwell puck-out, and as the line to goal was closed down, he slotted over the bar for Kinvara’s first score in almost 25 minutes. Just before he scored, Kinvara had struck another wide, and if that had also gone over, then maybe panic could have crept into Craughwell’s play. But it was not to be. After hitting another wide, Niall Healy pointed from play, and then corner forward Keelan Cullinane popped over his first point. Craughwell had even time to hit their 9 wide of the match, before the final whistle was blown.

So, an impressive second half performance from Craughwell when they needed it. For Kinvara, they looked almost as good as Craughwell in their first half performance, although they never really threatened the Craughwell goals as much as they should be, and have to be. Craughwell scored 5 points against the breeze in the first half, whereas Kinvara only scored 2 points when against the breeze. It was really our poor collapse in the second half, on top of a lack of goal threat in the first half that proved our downfall.

Finally, our star-man for Kinvara yesterday was no doubt goalie Colm Callanan. In the first half he raised three white flags from long range frees. Not only that, he made several brave saves in the second half that kept the winning margin at only 4 points to Craughwell.

Kinvara Team:
Colm Callanan 0-3 frees, Aidan Moylan, Brian Carroll, Shane Quinn, Alan Leech, Shane Kavanagh, Ger Mahon, Jonathon Kavanagh, Cathal Curtin, Niall Curtin 0-1, Damien Huban 0-2, Conor Kavanagh 0-2 frees, Colm Burke, David Huban 1-2 (0-1 sideline), Dara Smith.
Subs: Tadgh Reynolds 0-1 for N. Curtin, Stevie Moylan for J. Kavanagh, Niall Bermingham for C. Curtin.
Others: Michael Smith, Peter Mahon, Ger O’Dea, Paul Keane, Ian Bermingham, Paul O’Sullivan, Sean Bermingham, Eanna Linnane, Ger Linnane, Mark Kavanagh, Enda Mahon, Darragh Kilkelly.

Craughwell Team:
Jamie Ryan, Ger O’Halloran, Ian Daniels, Shane Dolan, Dermot Ryan, Fergal Healy 0-1, John Ryan, Hugh Whirskey, John Greaney, Adrian Cullinane 0-1, Mike Coughlan, Keelan Greene, Niall Healy 1-9 (1-0 pen, 0-5 frees, 0-1 ’65), Alan Callanan 0-3, Keelan Cullinane 0-1.
Mark Horan for K. Greene.
Others: Colin Rooney, Damien Rooney, Tom Rooney, Mark Monaghan, Dermot McMahon, Cathal Whirskey, David Flaherty, Brian Dolan, Cian Larkin, Tom Davey, Michael Farrell, Niall Donohue, Cathal Greaney.