JJ KAVANAGH AND SONS COUNTY INTERMEDIATE FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL
PORTLAW FOOTBALLERS RETURN TO SENIOR RANKS
PORTLAW 1-8 DUNGARVAN 1-6
Eastern champions Portlaw were full value for their 0-2 victory in last Saturday’s County IFC final against Dungarvan which was played at the Gold Coast venue in ideal weather conditions. The Tannery club were contesting their sixth final in the grade with one win under their belt from 2016 against Geraldines by 2-4 to 0-8 while they also contested the deciders of 1966, ’89, ’92 and 2014, the latter against the Brickeys.
Following a hesitant start, Portlaw were the more spirited of the two sides in action here, they were very well organised in defence, led by JJ Kavanagh Man of the Match Darren Rockett. The winners closed down the Dungarvan play throughout , they led by 0-4 to 0-2 at half time and a goal by Luke Woods in the 33rd minute was key in giving them the confidence to go on and win the game.
Credit Dungarvan, they drew level before the second water break with a fine goal by Joe Allen, but it was Portlaw who drove on at this stage in outscoring their opponents by 0-4 to 0-2 for the remainder of the action to deservingly take the spoils and seal their return to senior football fare.
Portlaw received an early blow to their winning ambitions when defender James Rooney had to retire injured to be replaced by Jamie Murphy. Dungarvan started the brighter with two scores by Joe Allen in the 5th and 6th minutes, the first from play and the second a fine effort from play.
However, Dungarvan did not score for the next half an hour as Portlaw came to grips with their opponents and gradually grinded out their win.
Portlaw had a good goal scoring opportunity by Peter Woods before midfielder Luke Woods opened the winners’ account from play in the 11th minute. Dungarvan had plenty opportunities to stay in control on the scoreboard but they kicked six first half wides compared to two by Portlaw.
Team captain Michael Donnolly brought the teams level in the 13th minute with a pointed free as the teams headed for the uisce, as they started the game, level, at 0-2 each.
Dungarvan did not score in the second quarter, which was key to their ultimate defeat while Michael Donnolly pointed from a pass by Daryl Walsh before Jordan O Sullivan made it a double score game at half time at 0-4 to 0-2.
With the Dungarvan attack being kept in tabs by the winners’ defence, a key moment arrived in the 33rd minute when Frank Galvin provided for a well taken goal by Luke Woods. Trailing by 0-5 in a low scoring game, this shock to the system for Dungarvan eventually brought them to life.
Midfielder Colm Curran, who competed strongly throughout, pointed immediately after Portlaw’s goal and the game was back in the melting pot in the 35th minute when a quick free by Michael Kiely to Gavin Crotty fed Joe Allen for a well taken major in front of a crowded Portlaw goal. Allen added a superb minor in the 37th minute and the teams were now level for the second and final time, 1-4 to 1-4.
If Dungarvan were going to drive on for the win, now was the ideal opportunity but the opposite was the case. Portlaw reacted best to the Dungarvan goal and two pointed frees, the first by sub John Power and the second by Michael Donnolly restored their half time lead of 0-2 at 1-6 to 1-4.
Full forward, Frank Galvin increased the Portlaw lead to 0-3 and then Dungarvan had team captain Michael Kiely sent to the line on a second yellow card. Interestingly, this motivated Dungarvan to greater efforts in the remaining minutes.
Half time sub Kieran Power was denied a goal by the cross bar in the 50th minute with the consolation of a point before Michael Donnolly steadied the winners with a score from play to extend Portlaw’s lead to 0-3 with time ebbing.
Dungarvan threw everything at the winners’ defence before the final whistle but Portlaw’s defence stood firm as they did all through. Gavin Crotty finished the scoring with a late ‘45’ for the Blues but the honours went where they belonged and it is Portlaw who will be in the hat for the senior football championship draw in 2022.
Chairman of the County Board, Sean Micheal O Regan presented the intermediate cup to Portlaw captain Michael Donnolly in front of their many supporters while Ken Begley, representing JJ Kavanagh and Sons, presented the Man of the Match award to Portlaw’s centre back Darren Rockett.
Portlaw’s Top Three : Luke Woods, Darren Rockett, Jordan O Sullivan.
Dungarvan’s Top Three : Joe Allen, Jamie Nagle, Jack Lacey.
Observer’s Man of the Match : Luke Woods.
Number of Scorers : Portlaw : 5. Dungarvan : 4.
Scores From Play : Portlaw : 1-5. Dungarvan : 1-4.
Frees For : Portlaw : 21. Dungarvan : 15.
Wides : Portlaw : 5. Dungarvan : 7.
Score of the Match : Joe Allen’s 37th minute point for Dungarvan.
Portlaw : Luke Woods 1-1, Michael Donnolly 0-4(2f), Jordan O Sullivan, John Power(f) and Frank Galvin 0-1 each.
Dungarvan : Joe Allen 1-3(1f), Colm Curran, Kieran Power and Gavin Crotty(‘45’) 0-1 each.
Portlaw : Chris Mackey; Jack O Connell, Peter Boylan, Jack Behan; James Rooney, Darren Rockett, Jack Boylan; Luke Woods, DJ Foran; Jordan O Sullivan, Michael Donnolly, John Dee; Peter Woods, Frank Galvin, Daryl Walsh. Subs : Jamie Murphy for James Rooney(inj. 3), John Power for Peter Woods(40).
Dungarvan : Mark Boland; Conor Sheridan, Kealan Daly, Gavin Power; Jamie Nagle, John Curran, Jack Lacey ; Colm Curran, Darren Duggan; Joe Duggan, Michael Kiely, Joe Allen; Cathal Curran, Gavin Crotty, Kenny Moore. Subs : Kieran Power for Joe Duggan(h/t); Luke O Callaghan for Kenny Moore(40), Darragh Lyons for Cathal Curran(46).
Referee : Tadhg Tobin (Brickey Rangers).
Pictured at the County IFC final at the Gold Coast last Saturday were left to right : Mary Killigrew Club Covid Officer) , Noreen Barry, Margaret Cunningham(Club President), Michael Tutty and Grace O Callaghan (Club Secretary)