Conor calls time on Croan’s

Callington IFC quarter-final

Éire Óg 0-14 St Croan’s 0-10

Éire Óg’s Conor Cox looking for options as Brendan Pacey from St. Croan’s tries to close him down during their Intermediate Football Championship quarter-final clash in Elphin last Sunday. Pic: Bernie O’Farrell

While Éire Óg never really looked like losing this quarter-final at Orchard Park in Elphin on Sunday last, they were never comfortable either. Indeed with 58 minutes on the clock Croan’s had reduced the margin to just a point. It was then that injury-time points from the outstanding Conor Cox, Liam Creaton and James Hester saw Pat Doorey’s men over the line and into the last four.

Éire Óg were by far the better team early on in a game which was played in perfect weather conditions. By the 20th minute they were in front by 0-6 to 0-1, with Cox scoring five from play and frees, some of those scores being majestic, fired over from a variety of angles and distances too.

St Croan’s got back into it, and with Damien Goggins lively up front they had reduced the margin to two by the 27th minute, 0-7 to 0-5. Two late Cox frees then saw Éire Óg ahead by 0-9 to 0-5 at the break.

Éire Óg, with Colm Lavin, Jamesie Greene, Liam Creaton, Brian Greene and Conor Cox all superb, kept their noses in front and led by 0-11 to 0-7 at the end of the third quarter. Still, they were finding it difficult to put Croan’s away, and Malachy Gately’s men came back into contention with points from Goggins, Dan Malone and Dean Muldoon.

Cox steadied the ship with a super point from play and two further late scores from Liam Creaton and James Hester saw them over the line by a four-point margin. The suspicion is that they will need to be more clinical if they are to beat Elphin in the semi-final.

For St Croan’s, Damien Goggins, Ross Timothy, Dan Malone and Cathal Connelly were best.

Éire Óg: Colm Lavin; Declan Flanagan, Aonghus McDonagh, Mark Finan; Joseph Hester (0-1), Denis Barron, James McGreal; Jamesie Greene, Sean Groarke; Tom Greene, Jason Doory, Liam Creaton (0-3); Brian Greene (0-1), Eamon Flanagan, Conor Cox (0-8, 5 frees). Subs: Enda Crawley (0-1) for Groarke (h/t), Eoghan Walsh for Barron (52), Jarlath Lavin for Finan (56), Barry Nolan for Cox (64).

St Croan’s: Michael Holland; Brendan Pacey, Cathal Connelly, Callum Pacey; Ger Connaughton, Ross Timothy, Mark Kilcommins; Adam Bracken (0-1), Richard Thompson; Kevin Lambert (0-1, mark), Dan Malone (0-1), Aaron Garvey; Keith Muldoon, Damien Goggins (0-5, 4 frees), Adrian Collins (0-1). Subs: David Ward for Connaughton (52), Dean Muldoon (0-1) for Kilcommins (61).

Referee: Ian Monaghan.

Man of the Match

Conor Cox (Éire Óg)