Connemara Gaels 3-2 Wolfe Tones 0-13
The Gaels and Tones were locked in pitched battle for 80 minutes after the game went to extra time. The Gaels banged in 3 first half goals and although they did not score at all in the second half, still held the lead until just before the full time whistle. Marty Farrell point leveled the scores and forced into the extra time period. The Tones had the extra bit of gas in the tank to outscore the Gaels three points to one and advance to a semi-final against Aidan McAnespies next Sunday.
|Tomas O'Connor and Ryan Caffrey tangle.|
The first half was hotly contested with each side contesting every inch of space. The Gaels got off to a great start with Kevin McCarthy finishing a move involving Martin Farragher and Tony Brosnan. The Tones enjoyed the advantage in possession thereafter and set about chipping away at the rock face. Conor Moynagh did well at wing back and came forward on every opportunity, scores were set up for Ciaran Hurley, Gary Brilly who took two fine efforts, and then a third for the veteran Kilcock man.
The Gaels fought hard at the back end of the half, but seemed to struggle going forward. The main threats of Brosnan and Farragher were kept in check. The wave broke in the final 5 minutes of the half however. A Tony Brosnan point was followed by two goals, one each from Cillian Fahy and Sean Conneeley. Conneeley was to be found wherever needed and worked extremely hard, and on this occasion was the extra man going forward. Ryan Caffrey found him coming unmarked and the finish was coolly placed into the bottom near corner. At the break it was 3-1 to 0-5.
The Tones put the first three points of the second half over the bar, two Hurley frees and a Brilly effort from play. While the Tones made better use of their possession, the Gaels efforts were frequently broken up before a shooting chance presented itself. The half went scoreless for a long stretch and play was scrappy with frequent stoppages. While the football was not attractive the excitement was at fever pitch with each team trying to gain an edge by whatever means possible.
The Gaels had a chance to make up the three points. Kevin McCarthy’s shot was blocked with a foot in the penalty area and a penalty awarded, however, Sean Conneeley’s shot was well saved by Darren McDonnell, and the rebound was drilled against the post. The Gaels were hanging on to that lead, though not through adding to their tally. McVeety edged the Tones within a point and there were five minutes left to play. The crowd were on their feet for the final minutes, and the Gaels still blanked for the entire 30 minutes. Marty Farrell leveled the scores with a point entering injury time and after a Martin Farragher shot was skied the final whistle sounded. At the 60 minute whistle it was 3-1 to 0-10 and there would be extra time.
The first period of extra time saw chances for either side few and far between. The only score was a Donal Nugent pointed free. Noel Graham broke the Gaels scoring duck with a point just after the restart, however Nugent restored the Tones lead with another free. After Sean Conneeley had to leave the field having picked up a second yellow card the Tones would have a one man edge to see out the final minutes. After the Tones added an insurance point, the Gaels pushed for a goal to try and steal the game but it did not come. The Tones into the semi-final where they will meet Aidan McAnespies.
Gaels: E. Connolly, K. McGeary, F. Cooney, N. Duggan, R. Caffrey, C. Mulkerrins, C. Fahy, N. Graham, S. Conneeley, M. Farragher, F. Burns, K. McCarthy, T. Brosnan. Tones: D. McDonnell, E. Powderly, P. Faulkner, C. Moynagh, S. George, D. McVeety, D. Hyland, A. Molloy, M. O’Brien, G. Brilly, C. Hurley, T. O’Connor, M. Farrell.
By Rory O'Donnell