Navan O’Mahony’s 1-16 Curraha 2-10 Those who braved the elements for this Round 3 encounter were treated to an exciting game of football with the game in the balance until the final whistle. On an evening where the conditions resembled a mid-winter evening, the lead changed hands on six occasions.

After five minutes, Curraha had taken an early lead with a point from play followed up by a point from free. Navan O’Mahony’s had an opportunity to reverse this lead only for an impressive save by the Curraha netminder to deny Darragh Maguire’s goal shot. Shortly afterwards, Aodhán Mallon opened the scoring for his side with a point from play. Points from midfielder Evan Coffey and full forward Eoin Joyce propelled Navan O’Mahony’s into the lead for the first time.

This lead did not last long, however, with Curraha equalising seconds later. In the following five minutes, two points from Curraha saw them take the lead again. After twenty-one minutes, points from Jake Regan and Coffey left a point between the sides, in favour of Curraha. A point and a goal in quick succession left them in a dominant position, with five points the deficit. Navan O’Mahony’s regained some composure towards the end of the half, and two points from Regan frees meant the goal was the difference at the interval.

Navan O’Mahony’s 0-07 Curraha` 1-07

The second half opened with a well-taken point from Regan, followed a minute later with a free. Only two minutes into the half, a Joyce point had completely eradicated the lead Curraha had held at halftime before he put Navan O’Mahony’s into the lead with another well-placed effort. Louis Collins extended this lead with a point from play and was unlucky not to find the net with another effort, denied once again by the Curraha goalkeeper.

Curraha kicked back into gear again, kicking three points from play to reclaim the lead, followed up by a goal which gave a four-point lead again. With momentum very much in Curraha’s favour, Navan O’Mahony’s stepped up to the mark in the final ten minutes to do what was required of them. Led by Regan who had his shooting boots on, the gap was down to two points with five minutes remaining.

The lead looked set to be reversed when Regan broke through the Curraha defence and was ready to shoot on goal. With little other option, the Curraha defence fouled and Regan made no mistake in burying the ensuing penalty. A Regan free in the 28th minute left two points between the sides and an insurance point from Conor Brady was the last score of the game. In the final minutes with the game very much on the line, strong performances in the backs led by Paddy Dillon and an impressive interception from Mike O’Reilly were enough to keep Curraha at bay.

Navan O’Mahony’s Aaron Byrne, Darragh Murphy, Mike O’Reilly, Paddy Dillon, Brian Dillon, Conor Brady (0-01), Aodhán Mallon (0-01), Evan Coffey (0-02), Conor Finnegan, Cathal Smyth, Louis Collins (0-01), Darragh Maguire, Sean Walsh, Eoin Joyce (0-03), Jake Regan (1-08)

Jack McConnell for Regan