Shannon Blues 6-20 Wolfe Tones 1-17
Given the results of the earlier games, a Shannon Blues win in the final match of the day could see them securing the second seed and joining Donegal with a semi-finals spot, patiently awaiting the winners of next week’s quarterfinals.
There was very little separating the sides in the opening fifteen minutes. The Blues got scores from the ever reliable Kieran Hurley and Darren Wallace while the Wolfe Tones midfield pairing of Jarlath Boyce and Sean Hurley fielded both the Blues and Tones kick outs well. A Cormac McWalter goal put the Wolfe Tones slightly ahead before Josh Ryan responded by hitting the back of the Tones net to level the score.
Both sides enjoyed some great scores from their forwards, with Paraic Fogarty and Shane McGuinness showing especially well inside for the Wolfe Tones. The Tones appeared to have the momentum heading towards the break until Lee O’Donoghue hit Darren Wallace with a great pass inside and Wallace only had Tones goalkeeper Darren McDonnell to beat. The Blues kept working hard, adding a couple more points to their tally before Wayne Guthrie finished a good move with another shot on goal. Guthrie recovered his first effort, which bounced off the left post, to slot another goal past Darren McDonnell and leave the Blues ahead by seven points at the break.
The Wolfe Tones opened the scoring in the second half before Denis McElligott and Kieran Hurley hit back for the Shannon Blues. Cormac Joyce-Power added two points for the Wolfe Tones, with Mike O’Brien and Jarlath Boyce working to keep their side in the game. Barry Harnett did well in the Blues back line cutting off several Tones chances.
Wolfe Tones substitute Keith Gill picked up a black card and for the second time in the day, a goalkeeper was moved outfield – goalkeeper Darren McDonnell moved out to corner back and Shane Hayes came into nets. The Wolfe Tones looked to be tiring as the Blues continued to run at them with pace.
Greg Horan and Blues substitute Cormac Coffey got on a lot of ball around the middle of the field and were able to find Kieran Hurley and Darren Wallace who contributed another goal each for the Blues. The Tones created a few chances for themselves upfront but were unable to get through the swarm of Blues defenders. Greg Horan got on the ball again and this time took it on himself, adding a sixth goal for the Blues.
The Blues proved that they deserved a shot the second semi-finals spot, continuing to work hard to track back and break down any Wolfe Tones attacks despite their advantage on the scoreboard. The Blues had plenty to spare in the end, however finished level on points with Galway for second place. The toss went the way of the Westerners and it will be Galway with a bye into the semis, while the Blues and Tones will do it all over again in the quarter final next week.
Wolfe Tones: Darren McDonnell, Jack Smith, James Reilly, Patrick Collins, Steven Cruing, Darren Maguire, Jarlath Boyce, Sean Hurley, Mike O’Brien, Cormac Joyce-Power, Cormac McWalter, Paraic Fogarty, Shane McGuinness
Shannon Blues: Darragh O’Shea, Trevor Wallace, Fionn O’Herlihy, Brian Fanning, Barry Harnett, Denis McElligott, Wayne Guthrie, Brian Shanahan, Lee O’Donoghue, Darren Wallace, Greg Horan, Kieran Hurley, Josh Ryan
By Aisling Kerr