Young Grattans are going well this season under the guidance of coach Ger Carberry and could well emerge as the darkhorses in the battle for the Intermediate Football Championship title on the evidence of their emphatic eight-point victory over Kenagh in the Round 1 game played in difficult wet conditions at Moran Park, Carrickedmond on Saturday evening last.
A couple of early goals paved the way for the comfortable Grattans win and after getting off to a great start when Mickey Madden found the back of the Kenagh net in the opening minute, Kevin Jones converted a penalty in the 10th minute after he was brought down in the square. With the advantage of the stiff wind, the Stonepark side made the most of the scoring chances they created to establish a commanding 2-6 to 0-4 lead at the break.
Corner-forward Jones was particularly impressive as he clocked up 1-4 in the first half, landing a couple of excellent points from play to really inspire the determined Grattans outfit who showed a lot more urgency in producing a terrific team effort. Shane Cassidy (free) and Madden got the other scores and Kenagh were under a lot of pressure in their struggle to make an impact.
Shane Doyle fired over the four points (three frees) in the first half and Kenagh were most unfortunate not to get a badly needed goal with just a minute gone on the changeover when Padraic Connolly hit the crossbar.
That was a lucky escape for Grattans and while the lead was extended when Kevin Jones converted a free, keeper Daryl Egan came to the rescue when doing really well to save a goal attempt from John Rowan in the 41st minute.
While the dangerman Doyle kicked over the resulting ‘45’ for their first score in over half a hour, Kenagh had become very frustrated indeed and almost conceded another goal at the end of the third quarter when man-of-the-match Kevin Jones shot against the crossbar in having to settle for a point which brought his total tally to 1-6.
Further scores followed from Gerard Victory (free) and Shane Cassidy before Kenagh got a consolation goal in the closing stages of the game when Michael McCormack made no mistake from a penalty in the 56th minute.
Points were then exchanged twice with Gerard Victory ( frees) on target for Grattans while Shane Doyle grabbed a brace (free and play) for a most disappointing Kenagh side who will have to improve considerably if they are to remain in contention to qualify for a semi-final spot.
YOUNG GRATTANS: Daryl Egan; Mickey Stokes, James Orohoe, Gary Hewitt; Timmy Hegarty, David Trappe, Padraig Dennigan; John Balfe, Peter McKenna; Mickey Madden (1-1), Gerard Victory (0-3, all frees), George Balfe; Shane Cassidy (0-2, one free), Willie John McDermott, Kevin Jones (1-6, goal from penalty, four points from play, one from ‘45’, one from free).
Subs:- John Twaddle for G Balfe (18 mins); Karl Murray for WJ McDermott (half-time); Emmet Clarke for P McKenna (51 mins); Paddy Hegarty for M Stokes (57 mins).
KENAGH: Sean Percival; Niall Doherty, Padraig Fahy, John Gill; Joe McGann, David Jones, Emmet Kenny; James Rowan, John Rowan; William Jones, Michael McCormack (1-0, penalty), Alan Jones; Shane Doyle (0-7, four from frees, two from play, one from ‘45’), Padraic Connolly, Enda McGann.
Subs:- Robert Harrison for P Connolly (46 mins); Rory Connor for E McGann (46 mins); Alan Percival for W Jones (49 mins); Ian Farrell for N Doherty (51 mins).
Referee: Padraic McGee (Fr. Manning Gaels).