JK Brackens 3-11 Aherlow 0-10
JK Brackens, last year’s defeated finalists, got their county senior football championship campaign off to a winning start when overcoming the challenge of Aherlow in this FBD Round 1, Group 2 game played in Dundrum on Saturday evening.
Played before a small crowd, due to Covid restrictions, Brackens were full value for this victory as they signalled their intent from the throw-in.
This was a game that had everything: three black cards, resulting in 10 minutes in the sin bin; a breach of the new kick out rule, scores resulting from the advanced mark, plus a penalty to Brackens in the sixth minute.
Brackens started this game at a blistering pace, with Eanna McBride putting over a fine point after just a minute. Shane Scully got through for the game’s opening goal four minutes later and a converted penalty by Dean McEnroe on six minutes put them firmly in the driving seat. Aherlow settled and Barry Grogan opened their account with a converted free on seven minutes. Grogan then doubled his tally two minutes later from open play.
With both defences on top, scores were hard to come by and a Barry Grogan pointed free with 19 minutes on the clock cut the deficit to four. Shane Doyle was shown the first of the black cards by referee Johnny Butler and with Brackens reduced to fourteen, Aherlow failed to capitalise on their numerical advantage.
The Templemore side added two more points from Paddy Cadell and Dean McEnroe to go into a six-point advantage as half time approached. However Aherlow finished the half well and points from Barry Grogan and Mark Russell in injury time left four between the sides at the break, JK Brackens 2-3, Aherlow 0-5.
As in the opening half, Brackens got off to the better start after the break, with a point from McEnroe on three minutes. This was followed up with their third goal six minutes later from Cathal Scully to effectively wrap up the game.
Eanna McBride added a point before Barry Grogan was shown the second black card of the evening. Neil Quinlan and Shane Scully tagged on points for the town side before Seamus Grogan pulled one back for the men from the Glen with fifteen minutes remaining.
Dean McEnroe continued to add to his tally with points from open play and placed balls. Barry Grogan returned from the sin bin to hit over three more points but by this stage Brackens had the game wrapped up.
Late on Tom O’Donoghue got a black card for Aherlow, but his dismissal had no effect on the outcome.
JK Brackens: Kuba Beben, Michael Egan, Lorcan Egan, Martin Delaney, Eanna McBride (0-2), Tom Murphy, Neil Quinlan (0-1), Paddy Cadell (0-1), Lorcan Roche, Lyndon Fairbrother, Cathal Scully (1-0), Jordan Moloney, Dean McEnroe (1-6, 1-5 frees), Shane Doyle, Shane Scully (1-1).
Subs: Conor Cadell for Shane Doyle, Eoin Fitzpatrick, James Corcoran for Cathal Scully.
Aherlow: Jack Whelton, Tom O’Donoghue, John Moloney, Danny Cunningham, Tadhg Carew, Cathal Dillon, Sean Mullins, Mark Russell (0-2), Ed O’Meara, Ray Hennessy, Seamus Grogan (0-1), Laurence Coskeran, Kevin Franks, Barry Grogan (0-5 frees), Bernard O’Brien.
Sub: Stephen Moloney for Sean Mullins.
Referee: Johnny Butler (Upperchurch-Drombane).