Round Two of Dowling Cup 2008

November 8, 2018

Clogherinkoe got their Dowling Cup campaign off to a rip roaring start on Saturday (16th) with the narrowest of wins over home siders Milltown. The €4 admission fee was most definitely justified as the sun was shining bright and all winter cobwebs were blown off. Milltown cannot feel aggrieved at losing as the Cloughs led for the majority of the game and only for a very-very last minute gasp goal from sub Ian Fitzgerald was the margin spliced very thinly.

Clogherinkoe were quick to the ball in the opening half with net minder Paddy Tierney being tested within seconds of the throw in. Milltown who already had a game under their belt however were first to open the scoring proceedings. A 45 taken by Wayne Dignam found Myles O’Reilly who confidentially popped it over the black spot. Clogherinkoe responded after some great work from Pat Farrell, Sean McEvoy and Bernard Reilly. Captain Brian Gravin excelled in midfield and fed great balls into the forward line of Brian Kelly, Ciaran Gravin and Dean Hanley. Brian Kelly got on the end of a particularly good pass and levelled up matters 8 minutes into the game. Clogherinkoe’s next score was handed to them when Milltown’s impressive Anthony Dunne made a text book mistake. Pat Farrell and Brian Gravin turned provider to Ciaran Gravin who registered his first of six scores of the afternoon. Two minutes of pure unadulterated football was played before Clogherinkoe got their next score. Ciaran Gravin knocked in a ball that although dropped shot of his intended landing zone, still reaped rewards when Brian Kelly latched on and tacked on another point. Gravin made no mistake with the next 45 and with the Cloughs slowly creeping ahead Milltown began to come into the game. A silly foul on Kevin Dowling, who covered every blade of Milltown’s pitch, resulted in Myles O’Reilly collecting his second white flag of the day.
Three minutes later midfielder Alan Dignam brought his side within a point after some great moves from Dowling and Anthony Dunne. The Cloughs went ahead by one after Brian Kelly won Tierney’s kick out; Dean Hanley collected the pass and laid the ball off to Ciaran Gravin who was causing absolute havoc in the Milltown back line. A Neill Bergin attempt was collected by the goalie while Robbie Dunne also made darting runs at the Milltown defence of Rory Donoghue, Andrew Dunne and Derek Ryan who held like super glue. However, their efforts were rewarded when Myles O’Reilly once again brought the margins back to one point. With half time looming both teams battled for possession with renewed vigour. Milltown had the final say before Castlemitchell’s Joe Foley blew for time out with a well taken point by the tenacious Anthony Dunne. Clough’s manager, Davey Anderson, had a few words of encouragement for his charges at half time and whatever advice was dished out seemed to work as the Cloughs sprinted off the blocks. Gordon Miggin defended well and started the Cloughs off on a route taken by Conor Swan and Kevin McEvoy which resulted in Ciaran Gravin pulling the Cloughs ahead. New recruit Robbie Dunne also added his name to the score sheet after a run that beat everyone for pace while half back Damien Farrell got a passport to come forward and score a great point. With six minutes on the clock and Milltown still silent, the Cloughs were in their element and relentless. Fresh legs in the form of Eoghan O’Toole proved helpful for Milltown but still the Cloughs kept tacking on the scores. Neill Bergin added to the home siders woes with a point to bring the score line to 09-0.05. The usual suspects of Dowling and Dunne were being worked to the bone but their attacks were snuffed out on reaching the back and half back line. Ciaran Gravin decided to tack on two more points for the Cloughs from his new position partnering brother Brian in midfield  to bring the score line up to 0.11-.0.05.
Milltown may have shown cracks in their veneer but they were certainly not broken. Myles O’Reilly fired a warning shot across Clogherinkoe’s Gary Ryan’s net and although the effort was collected, the intention was clear. Neill Bergin had the final say for the Cloughs with a well earned point on the 23rd minute. Were Clogherinkoe seemed to relax on the offensive and employ a more defensive roll, Milltown took the space and used it to the max. The introduction of subs Eddie Owens and Ian Fitzgerald certainly livened up the afternoon. Sub Emmet Mulhall broke the Milltown deadlock with a great point from play while O’Toole made a valiant run at the Cloughs goal mouth only to be intercepted by Sean McEvoy at the last minute and sent wide. Anthony Dunne was still running on Duracell batteries and supplied Vincent Murray with a gift of a pass. Murray dutifully raised a white flag but it was not in surrender as what happened next brought tears to many eyes. With injury time running on Milltown conjured up every ounce of energy and fight they still had in them. The goal that both teams threatened throughout the match and coveted was finally awarded to Milltown’s Ian Fitzgerald. Eddie Owens and Wayne Dignam were pivotal in this attack which brought Milltown back to within a point of the Cloughs. However this last gasp goal was the last play of the game, much to the relief of Clogherinkoe.

Gary Ryan, Conor Swan, Sean McEvoy, Gordon Miggin, Damien Farrell (Kevin Codd), Pat Farrell, Kevin McEvoy, Brian Gravin, Bernard Reilly, Paul Lowry (John Jones), Neill Bergin, Robbie Dunne, Dean Hanley, Ciaran Gravin (Niall Lowry)  and Brian Kelly.

Paddy Tierney, Derek Ryan, Andrew Dunne, Rory Donoghue (Eoin Dowling), Eoin Harty, Hughie Garrett, Colm Gerraghty( Eddie Owens), Alan Dignam (Eoghan O’Toole) , David Mulpeter (Emmet Mullhall), Kevin Dowling, Anthony Dunne, Myles O’Reilly, Vincent Murray, Jason Dunne (Ian Fitzgerald) and Wayne Dignam.

Referee: Joe Foley, Castlemitchell.