Monday, August 8, 2016

Junior A Football: Cork v Aidan McAnespies

Cork 1-13 Aidan McAnespies 0-11

Cork just about held on to the win a game in which the second half produced an exciting 30 minutes following a pedestrian enough opening half.  With McAnespies digging deep to field a team, old warhorses Paddy McCusker and Dermot Gormley started, one expected a fairly straightforward win for the rebels.  It was far from it as there was never more than a score between the teams and the decisive goal could easily have gone to the Macs, however Ollie Murphy was the hero for Cork with a great save from close range, to effectively deliver the rebels from the jaws of what could have been a very demoralizing defeat.

Darren O'Donovan gets a shot off in spite
of the attention of Dermot Gormley.
The Cork defenders had to work hard to keep McAnespies at bay in the first half.  The shorthanded Macs had plenty of possession and created a good number of chances to keep Seamus Loftus, Mike Carolan and their co-defenders busy.  In spite of some timely interventions by the aforementioned, McAnespies tallied five points, one a brilliant effort from distance by midfielder, Pete Carr. 

For their part Cork still enjoyed the majority of possession and put eight points over the bar, Leigh Cunningham coming up with three, the second following a great move in which the side linked well to make the opening.  Cork’s forward line played in spurts though, and missed a host of chances that would have put more distance between the teams.  Other scores came from Niall O’Connor, Jack Lynch, and Padraig O’Shea.  It was still all to play for at the break with Cork ahead by three, 0-8 to 0-5.

The sense of urgency rose in the second half as McAnespies saw victory as within their grasp and Cork saw that defeat was very possible.   McAnespies reduced the deficit to a point with plenty of time to play as Paddy McComiskey and Chris Flynn pointed back to back after the teams had traded three scores a piece.  The Corkmen just could not shake the challenge of their opponents.  There were worry lines furrowed on Cork brows for much of the half as each missed chance from the rebels kept the door open for their opponents to snatch victory. 

It could have gone either way in the end.
With just two points in it, Ollie Murphy stood his ground to save well from a 14 yard shot at goal to prevent McAnespies from taking the lead, but Chris Flynn reduced the gap to a point with 5 minutes to go.  Cork played the possession game to try and run out the clock as McAnespies worked hard to win the ball back or force a mistake.  Cork picked their moment to break upfield, and a Mike Moynihan free kick floated over the bar to make it a two point difference.  Rebel hearts beat easier after second half subsititute Kevin McMahon netted in injury time and Cork get a much needed win heading into the playoff stages of the championship.

Cork:  O. Murphy, T. McCluskey, M. Carolan, D. O’Donovan, B. Devlin, S. Loftus, N. O’Connor, J. Lynch, L. Cunningham, M. Moynihan, J. Lyng, P. O’Shea, P. Wallace.  Macs:  N. Duffy, S. Machen, T. Flynn, R. Finn, T. Rigney, P. McCusker, P. Carr, S. Lynn, M. Daly, A. Mallon, C. Flynn, C. Wallace, D. Gormley.

Cork the Gaels contested the junior B semi-final Sunday.
The Shannon Blues junior A team put themselves in contention for a semi-final spot with a 4-6 to 0-9 win over Galway.  While, in Junior B football the finalists were decided on Sunday afternoon.  Donegal defeated Hartford by a score of 2-15 to 1-3, while the Connemara Gaels beat Cork by a score of 2-7 to 1-14.  The final is scheduled to be played on Saturday, August 13 at 5:30.

By Rory O'Donnell

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