Seniors v Aghamore – relegation play-off – Match Report
Davitts 2-11 Aughamore 2-10
Davitts ensured their Senior Championship status for next season with a very impressive victory over Aughamore in Ballyhaunis on Sunday. Aughamore got off to a flyer and goaled in the first minute with Darren Duffy, easily their best player, finishing emphatically after a Conor Beirne cross. Kenny Feeney with two fine points had them five ahead before Josh Ronayne got Davitts off the mark with two points. Duffy with three well taken points and another from Feeney, with Ronayne pulling two back for Davitts, had Aughamore five points up and seemingly cruising. To compound Davitts woes, their influential midfielders and team captain Ronan McNamara got a straight red card in the 20th minute. The sending off, as is often the case, seemed to work in Davitts favour as they upped their workrate substantially. Two points from Ronayne and Michael Conroy narrowed the gap to three at halftime.
Aughamore added three points via Duffy (2) and Brendan Jordan to go six up after eight minutes of the second half but then the game turned completely on its head. Davitts took control around midfield with Paul Carey, Keith Prendergast, Colm Boyle, Alan Roche, James Cummins and Michael Conroy beginning to dominate possession in that area. Ronayne pointed in the 13th minute and then set up David McDonagh for a goal that Lionel Messi would be proud of. Conroy pointed in the 18th minute and young Thomas Waldron equalised a minute later. Declan Sweeney for Aughamore and Keith Prendergast for Davitts exchanged points but the crucial score came with four minutes of normal time left. Cathal Higgins intercepted a dangerous Aughamore attack and the ball ended up with Andrew Peters via Boyle and McDonagh. The young Davitts full forward escaped the clutches of David Kilkenny and finished clinically past Niall Walsh. The same player was dragged down three minutes later and Conroy made no mistake with the resulting free kick to put Davitts four up against all the odds. Darren Duffy completed the scoring with a goal two minutes into injury time after capitalising on Alan Freeman’s flick on.
Aughamore will be shell-shocked after letting this game slip from their grasp. Their best players were Iarla Carty, David Kilkenny, Alan Freeman, Kenny Feeney, Conor Beirne and Darren Duffy (one player that didn’t deserve to be on the losing side).
Davitts, who showed much more spirit and determination than their opponents, had heroes all over the field. It was a complete team effort and they fully deserved their victory after one of the gutsiest performances seen for some time.
Davitts: Adrian McNamara, Colm Roche, Cathal Higgins, Kevin Gallagher, James Cummins, Alan Roche, Colm Boyle, Ronan McNamara, Paul Carey, Josh Ronayne (0-6), David McDonagh (1-0), Keith Prendergast (0-1), Thomas Waldron (0-1), Andrew Peters (1-0), Michael Conroy (0-3). Sub used: Liam Kearns.
Aughamore: Niall Walsh, Niall Freeman, David Kilkenny, Colm Caulfield, Brendan Harrison, Iarla Carty, Colm Garvey, Enda Sweeney, Alan Freeman, Cathal Freeman, Kenny Feeney (0-3), David Kenny, Conor Beirne, Brendan Jordan (0-1), Darren Duffy (2-5). Subs used: Declan Sweeney (0-1), Fergal Boland.
Man of the match: Paul Carey (Davitts).