David McGrath was on the Moyle Rovers team that beat Cahir in the county senior football championship
Moyle Rovers 2-7 Cahir 1-5
Moyle Rovers progress to the knockout stages of the championship undefeated in their group, following a five-point win over Cahir in Clonmel on Saturday evening, but will be well aware that they will need considerable improvement to compete for ultimate honours.
Three wins from three looks well on their scorecard but the performance against group basement side Cahir didn’t suggest that they are title contenders.
It will allow manager John Owens to drive home the message to his players that improvement is needed for bigger challenges to come.
Cahir boss Jim Doolan will be disappointed with a third successive defeat but the manner in which they lost will give him hope as they face battles to maintain their senior status.
They ignored the dead rubber status of the game and pushed the group leaders all the way, and if they maintain their drive and impetus then their season should end on a positive note.
This was a game they could have won and two penalties – one missed and one scored – in the final ten minutes played a crucial role in the outcome.
Moyle Rovers led 1-3 to 0-3 at the interval, a Diarmuid Foley goal separating the sides, but a fine goal from Sean Murphy six minutes into the second half proved a huge fillip to Cahir, tying the sides at 1-4 each.
Rovers had edged 1-6 to 1-5 ahead just before the second water break but looked anything but secure. Wides from Riain Quigley and Liam Boland saw them fail to push out the advantage as Brian McKenna, Kieran O’Dwyer, Sean Murphy and Kevin Grogan led a Cahir charge that had the Rovers defence backpedalling.
The direct approach yielded dividends when a storming run by Stephen Grogan was only stopped by a foul by Rovers ‘keeper Brian Quirke and referee David Grogan pointed to the spot. A goal would have been a huge boost for Cahir but Quirke atoned for his mistake by diving to his left to parry away Jack Buckley’s penalty.
And Rovers quickly made them pay. Despite losing Ben Owens to a black card, they upped the tempo and Liam Boland stretched the lead out to two points and then converted a penalty with the last kick of the game.
It followed a pulldown on Riain Quigley by Cahir goalkeeper Patrick O’Donovan to prevent a certain goal. O’Donovan was blackcarded and corner back Patrick Meehan went into goal but could do nothing to stop Boland’s superbly-taken spot kick.
Moyle Rovers dominated early possession but despite Liam Boland pointing a mark for the opening score, they soon found themselves behind to Cahir points from Kevin Grogan and a Jack Buckley free.
They needed another free from Boland to draw them level and looked to be on route to a comfortable win when an Aidan McGrath shot was blocked and Diarmuid Foley picked up the rebound to shoot to the net.
The best move of the half saw them extend the lead to four points when Quigley pointed after great build-up play from Luke Boland and Diarmuid Foley.
Cahir had the margin back to a goal by half-time when Grogan pointed a free following a foul on the hugely impressive Brian McKenna.
McKenna continued his sparkling form when he hit a superb point two minutes into the second half. Shane Foley responded in the next move but Cahir’s improved performance was reflected in Sean Murphy’s goal to tie the scores.
Grogan, from a free, had a chance to put Cahir ahead but was just wide and then the referee rejected a Cahir penalty shout, awarding a free out for handling the ball on the ground by the tackled forward.
Instead it was a great Quigley point that restored Rovers’ advantage. They missed a glorious goal chance when Quigley had an open goal to palm to the net but Shane Foley’s final pass was slightly overhit and the opportunity missed. However Foley made amends when pointing after a great run on the stand side.
A Buckley free brought the margin down to one again, 1-6 to 1-5, following another great run from Brian McKenna before the drama of the two penalties at either end decided the outcome.
Moyle Rovers: Brian Quirke, Cathal McKeown, Dara Dwyer, Luke Fogarty, David McGrath, Jack Harney, Richard Power, Luke Boland, Danny Owens, Ben Owens, Liam Boland 1-3, 1-0 penalty, 0-2 frees; Diarmuid Foley 1-0; Aidan McGrath, Shane Foley 0-2; Riain Quigley 0-2.
Sub: Peter Acheson for Danny Owens.
Cahir: Patrick O’Donovan, Patrick Meehan, Ger Hally, Kieran O’Dwyer, Nicholas Reidy, Ger Quinn, Brian McKenna 0-1; Kevin Grogan 0-2, 1 free; Eddie Kendrick, Jake Kiely, Niall McKenna, Stephen Grogan, Robbie Costigan, Sean Murphy 1-0; Jack Buckley 0-2 frees.
Referee: David Grogan (Aherlow).
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