Intermediate Football Championship- Preliminary Round
St. Ergnat’s 1-8 Tir na nOg 0-7
St. Ergnat’s Moneyglass advanced to the quarter-finals of the Intermediate football Championship following this victory over Tir na nOg at Creggan on Sunday past. The introduction of Kevin’ Kindo’ Marron early in the second half proved a master stroke and he raced through to score the game’s only goal in the 49th minute to swing the advantage very much in favour of the Marrion Hill side.
The teams were level at 0-2 each at the end of an easily forgettable opening half but the Whilehill side had played into the breeze during the opening 30 minutes and must have fancied their chances of pushing on for a win on the restart.
It was St. Ergnat’s however who took control and a superb Colm Duffin point after three minutes lifted their performance and while the result was still in the balance until late in the game, it was Moneyglass who pushed on to win and earn a place against Sarsfield’s in the quarter-final.
St. Ergnat’s were first to score with Colm Duffin opening their account with a point in the opening minutes but those hoping for a scoring feast were going to be disappointed with both sides pulling men behind the ball and building slowly from the back.
As both defences dominated the game turned into a slow burner as each side in turn saw attacks turned over. As the bright sunshine which had illuminated the early exchanges was replaced by a heavy shower Sean Duffin finally got Tir na nOg on the score-sheet with the equalising point from out on the right in the 21st minute.
A minute later Moneyglass were back in front when Seanchann Duffin converted a close range free but Kevin Sheerin finally shook off the attentions of Tiernan Duffin to fire over a good equaliser with four minutes remaining to the break.
Liam Brady tested Sean Paul McAtamney with a long range effort as half-time approached and as the ball swirled in the wind the big Tir na nOg net minder took no chances, punching it wide for a ‘45’ which came to nothing.
As the sides headed to the dressing room the good crowd in attendance at this double header must have been hoping for better and when Christy Sheerin pointed Tir na nOg ahead in the opening minute of the second half the game suddenly came to life.
Two minutes later it was all square again as Conaill Prenter screwed over a point from an acute angle and Colm Duffin followed with an excellent point in the third minute to put the Moneyglass men back in front.
Tir na nOg suffered a setback when Sean Redmond, who had been excellent, limped out of the contest five minutes into the second half to be replaced by Peter Cullen and Kevin Marron entered the contest for Niall Boyd in the St. Ergnat’s side with 11 minutes gone.
Marron began to assert his influence around mid-field as Seanchann Duffin sent over a fine point to edge his side three in front and Moneyglass seemed to be gaining control but Aaron McNeilly responded for Tir na nOg to cut the deficit once more at the end of the third quarter.
Back came Moneyglass and Sean Paul McAtamney opted to punch a teasing delivery from Dermot McErlain with Prtenter lurking and it fell invitingly to Kindo Marron who returned it between the sticks and there was three between the sides again.
The momentum was now very much with St. Ergnat’s as Sean Paul McAtamney made a brave blocking save with his legs to deny Conaill Prenter but Sean Kelly moved up-field from corner-back to send over a good point in the 19th minute and put his side four ahead.
The Tir na nOg challenge had lost a lot of its earlier momentum but Kevin Sheerin took advantage of a defensive error to send over from close range as both sides rang the changes in an effort to add momentum to their respective sides.
Darren McCormick added another point for the Whitehill side as they battled to get back into contention and there was only two between the sides as St. Ergnat’s began to throw the ball around and keep possession.
As referee Brendan Toland signalled four minutes of extra time it was vital that the next score went the way of the Whitehill men but in the event it was Kevin ‘Kindo’ Marron who struck in devastating fashion to put the game out of reach.
The Moneyglass replacement received the ball in the clear to the right of goal and as he raced through on goal he appeared to have lost control but he struck first time on the ground to beat the advancing keeper from close range.
Tir na nOg tried to respond but to no avail as the opposition defence stood firm and a pointed free from Christy Sheerin proved only consolation and the game’s final score and it is St. Ergnat’s who now go forward to meet Sarsfield’s in the quarter-final.
St. Ergnat’s looked the fresher side throughout and always carried a greater threat in attack and the introduction of Kevin Marron proved a master stroke. His partner at mid-field, Colm Duffin, Seanchann Duffin and Dermot McErlain were always a threat while at the back Tiernan Duffin, Sean Kelly, Patrick McCormick and Padraig Mackle gave nothing away.
Tir na nOg had to work hard for all their scores and lacked the penetration of their opponents but Colm Duffin, Sean Duffin, Christy Sheerin and Aaron McNeilly gave it everything but in the end the spoils of battle went to the Marrion Hill side.
St. Ergnat’s: Mark Carey, Miran Neeson, Tiernan Duffin, Sean Kelly, Padraig Mackle, Conor Boyd, Patrick McCormick, Colm Duffin, Niall Boyd, Seanchann Duffin, Gavin Murray, Fearghal Duffin, Dermot McErlain, Liam Brady, Conaill Prenter, Subs: Ryan Doyle for Liam Brady, Kevin Marron for Niall Boyd, Ryan Boyd and Sean McGlinchy for Gavin Murray and Padraig Mackle
Moneyglass Scorers: Colm Duffin 0-2, Seanchan Duffin 0-2, Conal Prenter 0-2, Sean Kelly 0-1, KevinMarron 1-1
Tír na nÓg 1. SP McAtamney 2. B. Magee 3. C. Duffin 4. S. Redmond 5. B. McCormick 6. C. Duffin 7. D. McCormick 8. C. Sheerin 9. M. Duffin 10. C. Dobbin 11. C. McKeown 12. A. McNeilly 13. S. Duffin 14. K. Sheerin 15. D. Fagan 16. M. Dempsy 17. K. Kerr 18. D. Hastings 19. D. Mallon 20. P. Sheerin 21. D. O’Kane 22. R. O’Neill 23. P. Cullen 24. C. Logan
Scorers: K. Sheerin (0.2), A. McNeilly (0.2),C. Sheerin (0.1), D. Fagan (0.1), , D. McCormick (0.1)
Subs used: P. Cullen for S. Redmond (35mins), R. O’Neill for C. Duffin (40mins), C. Logan for C. McKeown (46mins), C. McKeown for D. Fagan (53mins), P. Sheerin for M. Duffin (53mins)
Referee: Brendan Toland (Tir na nOg)