Monday, August 2, 2010

Sunday August 1 - Senior Football: Armagh-Notre Dame v Wolfe Tones

Wolfe Tones 1-14 Armagh Notre Dame 3-8

A draw seemed like a fair outcome at the end of an exciting 60 minutes of football. Each side enjoyed extended periods of dominance. It seemed as if Armagh-Notre Dame had done enough in the last 10 minutes to take full points from the game, then it looked as if the Tones had pulled off a last minute comeback. Armagh-Notre Dame’s Craig Berrigan had the final say with a fisted point four minutes into injury time to level the scores and keep Armagh-Notre Dame’s hopes alive for the senior championship.

The Tones Marty Carey looks to round Darren Gilsenan.
The northerners led at the half by four points. Despite playing second fiddle on the overall balance of play, two goals in the first 30 minutes gave the orchard county boys a cushion. The first came from Darren Gilsenan who was found on the edge of the square by David Quinn and the angled shot found the back of the net. The second came from Quinn himself. Craig Berrigan came steaming down the middle screaming for the ball, and after gaining possession, his handpass found Quinn who palmed the ball into the empty net. The Tones enjoyed plenty of the possession but struggled to convert it into points on the scoreboard. Marty Farrell had a couple of uncharacteristically wayward efforts and Dan McCabe struggled to get into the game. Darren Kelly pointed twice for the Tones and Farrell and McCabe put a free each over the bar, but scores were not coming easy for the Tones. Seamie O’Hare accounted for two Armagh-Notre Dame points and Berrigan a third well taken effort. The Tones introduced Sean Kelly at half time, a move that paid dividends. Kelly pointed a 45 just before half time to keep the Tones very much in the game at the break.

Armagh-Notre Dame's Craig Berrigan shoots with Craig Diaz in pursuit.
With Eoin Naughton switched to midfield the Tones second half performance improved immensely. Kelly was also an important factor in the Tones second half surge. Kelly had a hand in almost all of the good things happening for the Tones. A goal came seven minutes after the restart, and Kelly found Ricky Kerr who finished from close range. Kelly and Michael O’Brien had brought the Tones within two points with a score each, the first two of the second half. Another Kelly point put the Tones two points to the good and the South Boston side were motoring. After 14 minutes Marty Farrell finally put a point over from play and it began to look like the Tones would carry the day. It was a different Armagh-Notre Dame side for the last 15 minutes of the game however. Johnny Cooper had moved to wing back, and the Dubliner pointed after supporting the attack, and there were two points between the teams. Three minutes later Armagh-Notre Dame had reclaimed the lead. Darren Gilsenan found Berrigan on the edge of the penalty area and the Dunboyne man finished low and hard to the far corner. Cooper pointed another and Gilsenan put the northerners three points ahead with three minutes of normal time left. Armagh now looking like they had done enough, but a great finish was in store. Marty Farrell and Quinn exchanged points with 2 minutes of normal time left, but there was plenty of injury time to be played. The Tones looked like they had pulled off an almost miraculous win. Four points in quick succession put the South Bostonians a point ahead three minutes into injury time. Marty Farrell (2), Dan McCabe, and Eoin Naughton each pointed, Farrell putting the go ahead score over the bar, but the northerners had one last effort left in them. Seamie O’Hare steadied to take a free from beyond 45 yards and his high ball dropped into the square and was fisted over the bar by Berrigan. The final action of the game was the ensuing kickout and neither side looked to be too unhappy with the eventual outcome, with both sides in the reckoning in the weeks leading up to the playoffs.

Tones: K. Gorham, E. Naughton (0-1), N. Devereaux, K. Regan, C. Diaz, M. O’Brien (0-1), M. Magee, J. Farrell, D. Kelly (0-2), R. Kerr (1-0), M. Carey, M. Farrell (0-5), D. McCabe (0-2). Sub: S. Kelly (0-3). Armagh-ND: D. Bourke, D. Hughes, J. Cooper (0-2), F. Meehan, J. McCormack, C. O’Toole, S. Dineen, C. Brophy, S. O’Hare (0-2), C. Berrigan (1-2), D. Magill, D. Gilsenan (1-1), D. Quinn (1-1).

By Rory O'Donnell

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