Clan na Gael 1-12
Ciaran Coffey put in a midfield masterclass as Rathnew got their first under-20 football championship points with a win over Clan na Gael on Monday night.
Coffey’s command and dominance in the centre of the park set the stage for a clinical Rathnew performance, with Dylan Smith, Seán Coffey, and substitute Rory Dowling netting for the hosts.
Clan na Gael — an amalgamation of Kilmacanogue and Enniskerry — put in a spirited second-half display on the night, with Alan Acres scoring his side’s goal, but found themselves outfought by a classy Village outfit.
On a mild Monday night, Rathnew looked to set out their stall right from the off. The Village men found themselves five points to no score up within the first 10 minutes. Jack Healy got the scoring under way, before Ciaran Coffey got the second point off a powerful run from deep.
Coffey’s physicality and power in the heart of midfield was a feature of the evening’s proceedings.
Sam O’Dowd and Cian Hunter put Rathnew four points up before Coffey displayed the other side of his game by collecting a pass off of the equally impressive Healy, before side-stepping inside and popping a peach of a strike over the bar with his left-foot.
Despite Owen Corrigan and Sam O’Callaghan getting Clan na Gael’s first scores of the game shortly thereafter, Rathnew managed to keep them at arm’s length, with Healy combining with Coffey yet again to make the score 0-07 to 0-04 before Dylan Smith scored the game’s vital first goal.
A high ball, dropped into the Clan na Gael square, was claimed by Seán Coffey, who helped it on to Smith. Smith didn’t let the opportunity slip, as he slotted the ball into Jack Cooney’s bottom left-hand corner.
Clan na Gael almost got a goal back a few minutes later. Kyle Dowling sloppily gave the ball away to Alan Acres who, with the goal at his mercy, could only put the ball wide.
That goal proved costly when Seán Coffey collected another high ball and put the ball past Cooney for Rathnew’s second goal to make it 2-08 to 0-04.
Sam O’Callaghan and Ethan O’Mahony each split the posts to reduce the deifict to eight, a gap which Clan na Gael were unable to reduce before the ha;f-time whistle blew.
Rathnew started the second-half looking to put the game to bed. Jack Healy and Michael-Anthony O’Doyle’ extended the Village’s lead to 10 points. An Alan Acres free reduced it to nine before Cooney came to Clan na Gael’s rescue with two big saves.
First, the shot-stopper denied Smith with a good save down to his left, before being called into action minutes later to deny Michael-Anthony O’Doyle as Rathnew threatened to run away with proceedings.
The Cooney heroics seemed to spark a revival in Clan na Gael, as they embarked on a mini-comeback in the final 20 minutes.
Alan Acres reduced the ddeficit to eight points with 41 minutes on the clock. A Rhys Cope free was followed up by a Sam O’Dowd point for Rathnew, before Acres scored huge goal for Clan na Gael to make the gap just five points going into the final 10 minutes.
A pair of points Sam O’Callaghan reduced that to a goal, with Clan na Gael riding a wave of momentum into the closing stages. only for Rory Dowling to quash any hope of a Clan na Gael comeback with a sucker-punch goal.
A sloppy line-ball was intercepted by O’Dowd, who fed the ball inside to Dowling. Dowling then made no mistake, stroking the ball past Cooney with the outside of his right-foot to finish off Clan na Gael and give Rathnew their first points of the U20 championship campaign.
Rathnew conclude their Group D games with a home game against St. Nicholas’. while Clan na Gael take on group leaders Arklow Geraldines Ballymoney in Enniskerry. Both games take place next Sunday, with 2pm throw-ins.
WicklowNews Player of the Match: Ciaran Coffey
Rathnew: P. Reynolds; F. O’Sullivan, L. Corcoran, C. O’Brien; K. Dowling, T. Moorehouse, T. O’Toole; C. Coffey, G. Hughes; M. O’Doyle, J. Healy, S. O’Dowd; D. Smith, S. Coffey, C. Hunter.
Replacements: C. Furlong (for J. Healy), K. Ryan (T. O’Toole), R. Dowling (for D. Smith).
Scorers: D. Smith (1-02; 0-01f), S. Coffey (1-0), R. Dowling (1-0), J. Healy (0-03), S. O’Dowd (0-03), C. Coffey (0-02), C. Hunter (0-01), M. O’Doyle (0-01).
Clan na Gael (Kilmacanogue/Enniskerry): J. Cooney; A. Skelly, J. Kavanagh, P. O’Toole; C. Gallagher, S. Cahill, T. Scully; R. Cope, O. Corrigan; A. McDonald, S. O’Callaghan, O. Smith; E. O’Mahony, A. Acres, S. Flynn.
Replacements: N. Nolan (for P. O’Toole), C. Power (for A. Skelly), C. Hinde (for A. McDonald), S. Browne (for E. O’Mahony).
Scorers: A. Acres (1-02; 0-01f), S. O’Callaghan (0-06; 0-02f), O. Corrigan (0-02f), R. Cope (0-01f), E. O’Mahony (0-01f)