Finnegan finishes off Eire Og

Roscommon Herald Intermediate Football Championship Semi-Final Michael Glavey’s 3-7 Éire Óg 1-8 The play: Goals by Thomas Finnegan and Stuart Daly in a 90-second spell at the beginning of the second half earned victory for Michael Glavey’s in the first of two Roscommon Herald Intermediate football championship semi-finals held at O’Rourke Park in Castlerea last Sunday evening.   Taking to the field after half-time with a two-point deficit, the six-point haul in the 34 th and 35 th minutes turned the game irredeemably in Michael Glavey’s favour, and they went on to win by five points.   The first goal, scored by Finnegan, came at the end of a sweeping move that involved Eugene Stritch and Kevin Cummins. The second – a knock-out punch – was a penalty slotted away by Daly. Éire Óg, who deserved their half-time lead, never recovered from this double-blow, and the last 20 minutes was almost academic.    Thomas Finnegan deserves enormous credit for his team’s success. Deployed at corner-forward in a team that plays its football up and down its central line, he naturally drifted in and out of the play over the course of the sixty minutes. His interventions were as timely as they were seminal, however: as well as delivering the first of the two second-half goals, he scored a very important point in the 21 st minute of the match.   Having conceded an early score to Daly, an Éire Óg team led by Ross Nolan was settling into its stride by the 20 th minute. Finnegan did very well to catch a long pass from Alan Daly and he finished well past Éire Óg ‘keeper Richard Wynne. This score kept Glavey’s in touch with their rampant opponents and they trailed by just two points at the break.   This will be a melancholy winter in Loughglynn. Having failed to impress throughout the year – Éire Óg were fortunate to defeat Fuerty in the first round of the championship – the club was lucky to find itself in a county semi-final last Sunday. Victory in this game was far from beyond them, but excessive reliance on full-forward Ross Nolan has cost them dearly. Declan Flanagan performed very well in this game but nevertheless Nolan was the only potent man in the Loughglynn attack and intermediate football looms for at least another year for the club.   The opening quarter of this match was not memorable, and the match only really got going after points from Nolan in the 13 th and 20 th minutes. Finnegan’s goal was followed by two further points from Nolan, and Daniel Morgan’s goal in the 27 th minute gave Éire Óg the lead they deserved at half time.   The excitement created by events at the beginning of the second half compensated for what had been a somewhat dull opening period, and Glavey’s led by five points 20 minutes from the end.   A free from Ross Nolan at the end of the third quarter could have been a launch-pad for Éire Óg going into the final 15 minutes, but Glavey’s possessed the momentum and fired-up substitute Dermot Boylan scored three points during this period. The game was over by the 50 th minute and Nolan’s point shortly after that stage was inconsequential as Glavey’s advanced to the final. Players who did well: Declan Flanagan, Michael Creaton and Declan Woods were best for Éire Óg while Stuart Daly, Eugene Coggins, Kevin Cummins and Thomas Finnegan impressed for the victors. Man of the match: Thomas Finnegan was the man of the match in this game. Isolated at times in the corner, he intervened twice to score two very important goals. Finnegan’s point in the 55 th minute was also important: the white flag that it raised signalled the inevitability of Glavey’s passage into the final and pre-empted any possible Éire Óg comeback. Michael Glavey’s: Gary Brennan; Ian Daly, Cormac Costello, Martin McGuire; John T. Burke, Stuart Daly (1-1, 1-0 pen; 0-1 free), Joe Gorman; Alan Daly, John P. Burke; Eugene Stritch (0-1),  Eugene Coggins, Tommy Keane (0-1); Thomas Finnegan (2-1), Derek Waldron, Kevin Cummins. Subs used: James Heneghan for Keane (42 mins.); Stephen Ronane for Cummins (51 mins.); Dermot Boylan (0-3) for Gorman (55 mins.). Éire Óg: Richard Wynne; John Carty, John Grennan, Declan Woods; Brendan Corrigan,  Keith Johnston, Michael Creaton; Ray Doory (0-1), Paul Freeman;  Frankie Nolan, Barry Nolan, Declan Flanagan; Daniel Morgan (1-0), Ross Nolan (0-6, 0-4 frees), Vincent Walsh. Subs used: Brendan Scally (0-1) for Walsh (40 mins.); Chris Dunne for Morgan (43 mins.); Colm McKee for B. Nolan (62 mins.).