Garda edge out Maynooth

Garda College 0-14 NUI Maynooth 1-10

With so much inter-county talent on parade, the game had a high profile, and didn't disappoint. There were six yellow cards and one sending off which might give the impression it was a dirty match..Not so.

Two evenly-matched sides were level six times, three in each half, before the home side finished with a brace of points. But, all credit to Maynooth who can count themselves unfortunate not to have forced extra-time.

Garda owed much to the brilliance of Kerry senior Aidan O'Mahony at corner back and later at centre-back. He even found time to kick a superb point which tied the game for the fourth time.

Another to make a major contribution was Cork's James Masters, who came on a a sub. This was his first taste of Sigerson football and while his three points were all from frees, he'll be a huge asset once he settles.

The winners had a solid goalkeeper in Joe Hayes while Galway's Kieran Fitzgerald at centre back, Mayo's Pat Kelly on his left, Laois's Darren Rooney at midfield and Dabhach Dineen and David Marshall (Dublin) also excelled.

Maynooth were hugely disappointed at the final outcome and rightly so.

Apart from the opening quarter, during which the sides were level three times, they dominated the second quarter principally due to the excellence of Ross Munnelly and Bernard Brogan and were full value for their 1-6 to 0-6 half-time lead with Munnelly goaling from a penalty in the 17th minute.

Brogan was an inspiration at left corner forward for the visitors, scoring four magnificent long range points from play.

Munnelly, too, wreaked havoc in the Garda defence in that opening half, but he drifted out of the game in the second moiety as the home defence, inspired by O'Mahony and Fitzgerald, finally got to grips with the Maynooth dangermen.

After Munnelly's goal, Maynooth began to play their best football and with Brogan, Declan Lally and Padraig Donnelly all doing well in attack, Garda began to struggle.

On the change-over the home side started better, with three points, the best of them from O'Mahony.

Garda had moved O'Mahony to centre-back where he continued to dictate matters and after the sides were level on two further occasions, the home side produced the best score of the game, a point by David Marshall.

It was a score to inspire, and Dabhach Dineen responded with another tremendous point to put Garda two to the good with three minutes of normal time to play. In those hectic closing moments, Garda lost the services of Dave Fenton for a second yellow offence, and were forced to defend as Maynooth threw every thing at them.

However the best the visitors could manage was an injury time point by Ross Munnelly and Garda hung on for the win and a quarter-final clash with UCC at The Mardyke next week.

Scorers: Garda: J. Masters (frees), D. Marshall (0-1 free) 0-3 each; P. Mulvihill, D. Dineen 0-2 each; D. Fenton, P. Kelly, A. Marshall (free), A. O'Mahony 0-1 each.

Maynooth: R. Munnelly 1-2 (1-0 pen, 0-2 frees); B. Brogan 0-5 (0-1 free); P. Donnelly 0-1.

GARDA: J. Hayes (Clare); K. Larkin (Westmeath), A. O'Connor (Longford), A. O'Mahony (Kerry); R. Quinn (Kildare), K. Fitzgerald (Galway), P. Kelly (Kildare); D. Rooney (Laois), D. Fenton (Kerry); P. Mulvihill (Westmeath), D. Dineen (Dublin), A. Marshall (Dublin); D. Marshall (do.), N. Stack (Offaly), D. Foran (Wexford).

Subs: J. Masters (Cork) for Foran; R. Loftus (Mayo) for Stack; S. McGlade (Cavan) for Quinn.

MAYNOOTH: D. Clarke (Mayo); R. Finnegan (Galway), D. Sweeney (Meath), M. Carey (do.); K. O'Neill (Dublin), M. Foley (Kildare), G. Brennan (Dublin); M. Kennedy (Meath), V. Curry (Monaghan); R. Munnelly (Laois), S. Dwyer (do.), D. Lally ((Dublin); R. Valentine ((Louth),) P. Donnelly (Kildare), B. Brogan (Dublin).

Subs: C. Brennan (Meath)

Referee: M. Meade (Limerick).

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