Battling sides play out dour draw

Mulryan Construction Roscommon IFC Final: Oran 0-8 Kilmore 1-5

When the highlights reel of the 2016 club championships is produced, this forgettable final certainly won’t feature as both sides failed to perform in front of a bumper crowd and in perfect weather conditions in Strokestown last Sunday.

  Oran manager, Eamon Harney, was still proud of his players’ commitment to the cause: “We looked in trouble at half-time four points down but we have a great bunch of young lads here. They have serious heart and serious sprit and they never give up. I am very, very proud of them.”

  Kilmore’s Stephen Coy on the other hand wasn’t so happy: “I suppose we left that behind us but not scoring at all in the second half was just not good enough and we are very disappointed with that but we are still in the championship and that’s what matters and we have another day to put it right.”

  When you consider that Kilmore, who led by four points at half-time, failed to score at all in the entire second half and that was against a 14-man Oran who had Colm Mahon red carded after only 6 minutes of that second period, you will get an indication of the type of game it was.

  Eamon Harney felt the sending off was harsh. “It was a great battle. I think we matched Kilmore all the way out there today. We lost a man early in the second half with a red card and it was a bit harsh I thought.”

   Despite this, as the second half went on, Oran looked the more likely winners as Kilmore kicked some awful wides and Oran were that little bit more dangerous going forward. But it was a pity that the game was so poor as one of the biggest crowds ever seen at an intermediate final was there on a perfect day for football.

  Kilmore’s Coy was impressed with his side’s efforts in that first half but admitted there was improvement needed: “Our first half performance was brilliant I thought and we have plenty to work on and hopefully we will get it right for the replay.”

  Kilmore were marginally the better side in the first half and when they were awarded a penalty which they scored in first half injury-time, it should have provided the platform for them to go on and take the title. Jack Sharkey, Colm Garvey, Dermot Foley, Derek Connellan, John Donohue and Paul Garvey were playing well and at half-time they were looking good.

  But Oran regrouped after the break, Thomas Fetherston moved to full-back and he restricted the previously rampant Paul Garvey. Cathal Kenny shored up the middle at centre half-back and Kieran Whyte and Adrian Cassidy were impressive as Oran clawed their way back into the game in that second half.

  But it was a desperately poor final and both sides will be happy that they will have a chance to redeem themselves in the replay.  

  What a busy time it is for Oran as they now contest the county senior hurling final on Sunday next with a replay in this final the following weekend.