Shannon Blues 1-20 Wolfe Tones 0-12
Shannon Blues advanced to the semi-finals with a handsome quarter-final win over the Wolfe Tones on Sunday afternoon. A goal from Josh Ryan early in the second half put the game out of reach for the Tones. The Blues moved the ball well out of defence, and their speed and strength, along with some good finishing, saw them into the next stage of the championship.
It was a low scoring opening 15 minutes, midway through the half the teams were tied at a point each. Each side had a decent handful of chances that went amiss. A free each from Sean Hurley and his namesake Kieran at the other end was all the teams had to show for their early endeavors. The Blues carried the ball at speed from deep, the pacy Brian O’Seanachain and Fionn O’Herlihey had the Tones defence on their heels at times, but scores were at a premium.
|Danny Grimes upended by Josh Ryan.|
As the half wore on the spaces opened up and scores started to come easier. The Blues mixed it up with hitting Hurley low, or Josh Ryan high, in the full forward line and the tactics paid dividends. Three unanswered points from Hurley and Denis McElligott opened a gap between the teams that endured to the half time whistle. The Tones cause was not helped after they were hit a couple of body blows. Star forward Shane McGuinness was withdrawn due an eye injury, and midfielder Jarlath Boyce was black carded. The teams traded points down in the run in to half time with Blues going into the break up by three, 0-8 to 0-5.
The second half saw the Blues pull away. With Brian Fanning covering excellently in the half back line, the Blues went into a higher gear and opened the gap to seven with points from Hurley, O’Seanachain, and Darren Wallace. The Blues had threatened the goal a couple of times, however one ball was scooped off the line and another shot hit the crossbar. Although the Tones survived these scares, the signs were ominous. Soon afterwards Ryan found himself clean through as the Blues cut through the defences, and the big man slid the ball under the keeper.
Gerry Troy and Tones pushed in the second half, but the Blues
were not to be moved.
Facing a 10 point deficit now the Tones worked hard to respond. The men in blue and navy saw more possession and converted it into scores. Gerry Troy featured well in the forward line, and the half backs worked hard to win turnovers. Points came from Hurley, Troy, and Cormac Joyce-Power who had moved to the edge of the square. One felt, however, that with the way the Blues were playing a comeback would be improbable. The Blues continued to move the ball at speed with their fast paced running game, and created the chances to keep themselves out of touching distance to see themselves safely over the line. The Blues now face a date with Galway in next week’s semi-final..
Blues: Darragh O’Shea, Fionn O’Herlihey, Trevor Wallace, Denis McElligott, Barry Hartnett, Brian Fanning, Brian O’Seanachain, Wayne Guthrie, Lee O’Donoghue, Darren Wallace, Greg Horan, Josh Ryan, Kieran Hurley. Subs: Cormac Coffey.Tones: Darren McDonnell, Daniel Grimes, James Reilly, Fergal O’Brien, Jack Smith, Steven Guing, Jarlath Boyce, Sean Hurley, Mike O’Brien, Cormac Joyce-Power, Gerry Troy, Shane McGuinness, Cormac McWalter. Subs: Darren Maguire, Paraic Fogerty, Andrew Mooney. Garvan Jones, Keith Gill, Pa Collins.
By Rory O'Donnell