JAFC v Newcastle West

We played Newcastle West in the third and final game of the football championship in Knockaderry on Friday night.  A key game, with the winner going directly to the West final, everyone was expecting a good game. On a night for the ducks, conditions were difficult for both teams as the ball handling was extremely difficult, but both teams tried hard.

With the aid of the wind we started very promising and dominated possession for the first quarter. Our backs and midfield were in control and held the Newcastle West attacks comfortably. We were struggling to create clear scoring chances and so the scoreboard remained bare for some time. Eventually we found our scoring range and tacked on a few nice points. With a couple of minutes to go in the half we had a hard earned 3 point advantage. However, Newcastle West then struck for a goal which tied the game at half time on a score of Monagea 0-4 Newcastle West 1-1.

The third quarter was dominated by Newcastle West, who backed by the wind dominated the play and created some good opportunities. We also contributed to our downfall in this quarter by giving away possession in key areas of the field and gave up some soft goals. The net result was that Newcastle West struck four goals in this period and the game was effectively over. To our credit we persisted and over the remaining quarter, we dominated the play and scored six points. The final score was Monagea 0-10 Newcastle West 5-3. Overall it was a strange game with Monagea having a large share of the possession but Newcastle West getting the vital big scores and on that basis, Newcastle West more than deserved their win.

We now play Fr. Caseys in the semi-final of the West championship. After our narrow one point win over them in the second round, they will be gunning for revenge and a tough battle is to be expected.

JAFC v Fr. Caseys

We played Fr Caseys in the second round of the west junior football championship in Mick Neville Park on Friday evening. After a convincing win against Cappagh in the first round, confidence was high of a solid performance, even though we were short a number of regulars. The night was very blustery and so the game was going to be the classic “game of two halves”.

We took the advantage of the wind in the first half and after a slightly slow start began to dominate possession but were struggling to create scoring chances. Fr Caseys, whose team were very young and lively, began to run with the ball and carve out some decent chances but were also struggling with scoring in the conditions. Slowly we came more into the game and got the first score of the night. From this we dominated the play but continued to struggle to create chances. Eventually we scored a fortuitous goal from Sean and followed it up with a couple of points. Fr Caseys created a couple of scoring chances but Mark was very alert and made good saves on both occasions. The half time score was Monagea 1-3 Fr Caseys 0-0.

Fr Caseys were expected to dominate the second half but it was Monagea who started best. However, we again failed to score and Fr Caseys grew into the game. Fr Caseys eventually found their range and started to pick off some good points. We continued to take the battle to Fr Caseys and kicked a couple of vital points. Eventually Fr Caseys took the lead after a number of good points and with only three minutes to go, defeat appeared to be our lot. But the high level of confidence from recent wins, kept the team spirits high and they continued to attack. Eventually with only two minutes to go, after some good combination work, Tom went on a mazy run and unleashed an un-stoppable shot to the top left corner. We defended well over the remaining few minutes and scored another point in injury time to seal the win. The final score was Monagea 2-6 Fr Caseys 0-9.

We now play Newcastle west in the final round on the weekend of the 23rd July, but at this point we have guaranteed a place in the west semi-final.

JAFC v Cappagh

We started our junior football campaign on Friday night with a game against Cappagh in the Bog Garden. Cappagh won the West – beat us in the final – and County junior championship in 2015 but are back playing in the junior championship again this year. This years championship in the west only includes four teams as Ballyhahill were promoted and other teams have reverted back to junior b.

On Friday night we had a very youthful team in action and from the throw in they played to their strengths and moved the ball quickly. This was matched by the Cappagh players who also opted to kick pass a little more often. Initially our rustiness was shown and we struggled for scores but after some poor efforts Ciaran got us off the mark with a couple of well struck frees. The work-rate of our players in the middle lines was impressive and we turned over the ball on a number of occasions. Eventually our pressure payed off and Evan, Michael and Shane were rewarded with goals. Cappagh pulled one goal back from a penalty before the break. The half time score was Monagea 3-5 Cappagh 1-3.

Facing a slight breeze, we were glad of the lead but the boys continued their high work-rate and created a number of very good opportunities, most of which fell to Jason, who scored some nice points. We contained the Cappagh forwards until the mid-point of the half when they struck for their second goal. Over the remainder of the half, both sides scored some nice points but the win was ours and the final score finished Monagea 3-14 Cappagh 2-9

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