Farragher on fire as Cashel just hold off Kinvara comebackJune 14, 2012 - 7:00am
CIARAN TIERNEY AT KENNY PARK
CASTLEGAR by a whisker. And yet the manner in which they had to hang on grimly for a one point victory should have caused plenty of soul-searching in the Cashel camp after the concession of three second half goals almost turned this bizarre game on its head at Athenry on Friday evening.
The victors were clearly the dominant force throughout, with former county midfielder Ger Farragher turning in a sparkling performance, but a suspect full-back line allowed Kinvara right back into a game which should have been well beyond the seasiders.
Time after time, long balls into the full-forward zone caused all sorts of problems for the men in green, who should have been on course for victory when a superb burst of scoring just before the interval gave them a comfortable seven point lead at the turn-around.
The tireless Kevin Brady had to be redeployed to curb the attacking menace caused by full-forward Colm Burke, who netted a goal in either half, and wing back Alan Leech – whose redeployment to corner forward caused all sorts of headaches for Castlegar in the second half.
Ultimately, Castlegar were the stronger side. Farragher helped himself to ten points, including three from play, with a commanding performance on an evening when much of the neutrals’ focus was on the performance of Kinvara defender Shane Kavanagh.
Kavanagh has been controversially omitted from the Galway set-up all year and played quite well on the half-back line here, but hardly gave the kind of display which would suggest he’s the answer to Galway’s problems at full-back.
If anything, another former county man, Ger Mahon, outshone Kavanagh in the Kinvara defence and the truth is they would have been hugely fortunate to take anything from a game in which Cashel had the lion’s share of possession. On the basis of this hour’s work, Farragher would be far more deserving of a Galway recall.
Scores from Conor Kavanagh (free) and Cathal Curtin gave the South Galway men an encouraging start, but Farragher showed that he was on form with three in a row from placed balls. Then Shane Kavanagh lobbed a fine ball into the danger zone for Burke to produce a wonderful strike for the game’s opening goal.
The lively Donal McGreal put in a fine hour’s work alongside Farragher in midfield and produced Castlegar’s first score from play on 13 minutes, in response to a long-range free from Conor Kavanagh.
Farragher produced a fantastic point from play in the 16th minute before centre back Tomas Mannion set up a good score for full-forward Enda Concannon, and Farragher pointed a sideline cut to edge Padraic Connolly’s side back in front.
For more, read this week's Connacht Tribune.