OB Construction Intermediate Football Championship (semi final)
Con Magee’s Glenravel 0-14 Patrick Sarsfield’s 0-10
Con Magees Glenravel qualified for the intermediate football championship final for the second year in succession, where they will meet near neighbours All Saint’s in two weeks’ time. Although there is no disputing the fact that they fully deserved their semi-final success over Patrick Sarsfield’s at the Toome venue on Saturday, they depended on their defensive qualities to get them over the line on a sodden Toome sod.
Joe Cassidy’s men appeared to be home and hosed as the match clock ticked close to conclusion with a three point cushion, but a Garry Lennon inspired Paddies were not about to settle for second best.
Lennon, who had impressed throughout, appeared to be in for a goal in the 54th minute only to be denied by the Glenravel net minder Jonathan Fyfe who came out to make a smashing intervention, and when the ‘Bear Pit’ residents were back on the goal trail a few minutes later it was the turn of centre back Sean Higgins to make a superb blocking tackle to deny replacement Daniel Smith.
Both sides had impressed in their respective trips to the last four of the competition and when they crossed swords in Toome on Saturday last a good crowd gathered in anticipation. Despite the gloomy forecast.
the Sarsfield’s men had the favours of the stiff southerly based breeze for the first period but despite the strong elements in their favour they were on par at 0-02 apiece at the end of the opening ten minutes.
Glenravel opened their account in the second minute via a point from corner forward Eamon Fyfe, who was to impress throughout, while back to back white flags raised by Kevin McKernan, who also impressed in the green and black and an Eoinn Hynds point for the Glensmen, ensure level parity 0-02 apiece after ten minutes.
Despite the strength of the elements little was to separate the sides in the early stages, but as the Glensmen were on top in the central zone where Cathal Higgins was dominant with Rian Lennon ever ready to nip forward, back to back points from Eamon Fyfe ensured a 0-04 to 0-02 advantage at the end of the opening quarter.
The Sarsfields men came back as the short blast approached and it was to be the city lads who were to finish the stronger with their ‘go to’ receiver Kevin Mc Kernan busy in providing openings.
A few exellent points fom the Con Magees saw them open a gap, but Brian Healey and Niall McKenna hit points apiece to cut the gap to the minimum at the end of the first period, and after having faced the stiff breeze the Glenravel men went in at the break with a 0-07 to 0-06 lead.
With the breeze at their backs Glenravel nipped quickly out of the starting blocks in the second half as Daniel McQuillan, David Higgins and Cormac McKeown extended their advantage to four points. When that gap was stretched to five the Con Magees fans in the good sized attendance must have felt they were well on track for a final spot. However the Paddies came back with three unanswered points via the excellent Garry Lennon, and just two points separated the sides with less than ten minutes on the clock.
The free flowing moves of the early part of the half were now gone for the Glenravel men and the Paddies upped the ante as they went in search of the scores that would bring them right back into contention. When they cut the gap back to just two it looked like anyone’s game and when corner forward Brian Healy got in on goal the Glenravel fans held their breath. Any connection seemed certain to finish in the net, but Healy’s shot was blocked by the knee of the Con Magees custodian Johnny Fyfe who turned the ball around the post for a 45.
Still the pressure was on the Glenravel men as they struggled to end a long scoreless spell, but the impressive Eamon Fyfe settled the nerves with a well taken point from a 45 and they added the insurance point in added time to set up a final meeting with Ballymena in two weeks’ time.
Jonathan Fyfe, Charlie, Henry, Sean Higgins, Conor Carey, Rian Lennon (0-01), Niall Swann, Declan Traynor, Cathal Hynds, Callum Higgins (0-01), Cormac Mc Keown, Eoin Hynds (0-02), Daniel Mc Quillan, Aidan O’ Donnell (0-01), David Higgins (0-01), Eamon Fyfe (0-06)
Subs – Conleth O’ Loan, Senan Black, Eamon Ward, Conor McNeill, Eoin Mc Cusker
Michael Brady, Caolan Mc Donnell, Joe Mc Nally, Martin Mc Polin, Philip McPeake, Daniel Mc Kernan, Liam Mitchell, Caolan Mc Kernan, Cormac Murray, Sam Walsh (0-01), Niall Mc Kenna (0-01), Conor Glenholmes, Kevin Mc Kernan, Garry Lennon (0-08), Brian Healey
Referee – Sean Laverty (Moneyglass)