Moynalvey deservedly came out on top by five points in this SFC Group C final round clash against Wolfe Tones at Summerhill on Sunday evening September 25th.
Moynalvey 2-15 Wolfe Tones 0-16
Both teams went into this game knowing a win would leave their opponents in a relegation playoff, it was the men in maroon and white who came out on top leaving the Tones in a three way relegation playoff with Ballinlough and Duleek/Bellewstown.
Having been under strength in the previous two rounds, Moynalvey were boosted by the return of Anthony Forde & Cillian O'Sullivan, although still minus the services of Padraic Harnan and the injured David McLoughlin, Moynalvey pulled off a huge win in this final group game to stay out of the relegation dogfight while dumping their experienced opponents into it.
Wolfe Tones lead twice in the opening seven minutes with their first two scores coming from the impressive Thomas O'Reilly and midfielder Stephen Corrigan, both times Moynalvey drew level with Mark O'Sullivan frees. O'Reilly pointed his second in the 11th minute, which was followed sixty seconds later by Cillian O'Sullivan's first of his six points leaving it 0-3 apiece.
A trio of unanswered points, two Mark O'Sullivan frees and an Anthony Forde point saw Moynalvey take a double scores lead, 0-6 to 0-3 after 18 minutes. Cian Ward pointed a free in the 20th minute, with Moynalvey's Forde replying with a superb individual effort. Two recent county minors, Thomas O'Reilly from last year & Brian O'Reilly from this year's team traded scores in the 22nd & 23rd minutes to leave the score board reading 0-8 to 0-5.
A brace of Thomas O'Reilly points reduced the margin to the minimum after 25 minutes; however Moynalvey extended their advantage back to three with points from Mark O'Sullivan & James Weldon. Tones' full forward Fiachra Ward split the uprights in the 28th minute and two minutes later his brother Cian was unlucky not two find the net with a rasping snap shot which hit the crossbar. Three points separated the sides at the break with Cillian O'Sullivan pointing off the right boot in the 1st minute of injury/additional time to leave the half time score reading 0-11 to 0-8.
Tones' Alan Callaghan pointed within 20 seconds of the restart and two Cian Ward frees had the sides level for a fourth time six minutes into the second period. The Cillian O'Sullivan show kicked into action between the 41st and 47th minutes hitting 1-3, with the goal coming when he rounded full back Daniel O'Neill and finished brilliantly to the back of David Nolan's net. Tones reply during this period was a Cian Ward effort from play, leaving Moynalvey five points to the good, 1-14 to 0-12.
Wolfe Tones replied to this set back with a pointed free, however they were dealt another sucker punch in the 49th minute when Conor Harnan set up unmarked substitute Dan Treacy who dispatched to the net for Moynalvey's second goal, putting seven between the sides. Tones tried in vain to raise a green flag of their own in the final ten minutes with sustained pressure on the Moynalvey goal, but the full back line of Robert Lawless, Cathal McCabe & Daren Brennan negated the threat of the potent Tones full forward line of Cian Ward, Fiachra Ward & Thomas O'Reilly to record a clean sheet.
Tones did add a few late points with Moynalvey's Cillian O'Sullivan rounding off his side's scoring to complete his personal tally of 1-6, leaving Moynalvey safe from relegation fears while leaving Wolfe Tones facing into a relegation play off on a 2-15 to 0-16 full time score.
Moynalvey put in a superb team performance with the second half displays of the full back line, Brian Harnan, Anthony Forde, Conor Harnan, and Cillian O'Sullivan central to the victory.
Despite a poor championship campaign Moynalvey now look forward to a Div. 2 A League final next Friday night against Rathkenny.
Moynalvey: Conor Egan, Robert Lawless, Cathal McCabe, Darren Brennan, Eamon Walsh, Brian Harnan, Anthony Forde (0-2), Stephen Donoghue, Donal Smith, Conor Harnan, Cillian O'Sullivan (1-6, 1f), Brian O'Reilly (0-1), Shane Lenehan, Mark O'Sullivan (0-5, 3f), James Weldon (0-1).
Subs: Dan Treacy (1-0) for Lenehan, Fearghal McCabe for Weldon, Paul Conneely for Smith, James O'Neill for O'Reilly.