Sunday, August 17, 2014

Junior A Football Semi-Final: Cork v Connemara Gaels

Connemara Gaels 0-13 Cork 2-9

Cork and the Gaels played a very exciting 60 minutes of football.  The teams were evenly matched and there was very little between the teams throughout.  A goal in either half ended up delivering the goods for Cork who had the ability to stretch the Gaels defence that little bit more when going forward.

The Gaels AJ Maguire looks for a way through the Cork defenders.
It was an absorbing first 30 minutes with the game moving up and down the field nicely.  The Gaels moved the ball well through Conor McNamara in midfield, and Emmet McConnell and AJ Maguire in the half forward line.  The youth league product, Maguire, produced a very controlled performance, and accounted for a well taken point mid way though the half.  Kevin Owens at corner forward pointed twice, as did Conor McNamara bursting though the middle, and Chris Devlin stole forward from corner back to tally a score. 

Cork’s scoring came in a spurt of a goal and two points.  The goal came from a Jack Lynch pass to Cian Clifford and the tall corner forward finished well.  Lar Barden and John Crowley pointed, while towards the end of the half it was a Mike Moynihan point followed by one from Jack Lynch that edged Cork into a lead heading into the break.

With the game in the balance a second half Cork goal put the rebels in the driver’s seat.  The Gaels had restored parity.  Subsitute Kieran Cox proved effective in the Gaels forward line and Kevin Owens swung two lovely points over the bar.  Emmett McConnell had put the equalizer over the bar just before Cork hit with the goal.  James O’Donnell had saved the Gaels’ bacon on two occasions, but there was not much that the Leitir Mor man could do after Alan Keating stole between two Gael’s defenders to fetch a high ball, turn and finish well to the far corner.  Moynihan followed up with a point to make it a four point difference.  Owens reduced the tally to the goal, and try as they might the Gaels could not make the breakthrough to the Cork rearguard.  A late Cork penalty came off the post, but time was not on the side of the Gaels to try to rally once more.  Cork will be making an appearance in a final for the first time in 11 years.

Gaels:  J. O’Donnell, S. Murray, C. Devlin, C. Conroy, P. McNicholas, K. Walsh, B. Joyce, C. McNamara, C. Lee, E. McConnell, AJ Maguire, K. Lowe, K. Owens.  Cork:  K. Reid, M. Carolan, D. O'Donovan, D. Brogan, D. O’Regan, S. Leonard, N. O’Connor, J. Lynch, J. Crowley, M. Moynihan, L. Barden, C. Clifford, A. Keating.

By Rory O'Donnell

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