Oran shock Tulsk to snatch final place

Mulryan Construction IFC Semi-Final: Oran 3-10 Tulsk Lord Edwards 2-11

Oran upset the odds to dump pre-match favourites Tulsk out of the championship after a roller-coaster game that may not have received high marks for defending, but was superb entertainment for the big crowd at Strokestown last Sunday.

  Oran dominated the first half and went in at the break leading by seven points having scored two great goals in the process, but Tulsk came roaring back into the game in the second half and the sides were level three times in the final quarter. With 8 minutes to go it was 2-10 apiece. But a well-taken goal on the break from Jack Earley was the crucial score as Oran secured a place in the final.

  Oran probably deserved to win it but Tulsk will rightly point to the fact that they missed at least four more goal chances during the course of the game. But it’s all about what’s on the scoreboard, and in that regard Oran took their chances and Tulsk did not and that was the difference

  The day remained dry and sunny and the crowd were treated to non-stop attacking football from the first whistle. Oran were by far the more clinical side in the opening half. Shane Regan pointed after 20 seconds and two Paul Kenny points saw them three up after only four minutes.

  But points from Martin Conway (a free), Richie Feeney (a fisted effort that could have been a goal) and Jack Conlon, saw it level after eight. Jack Earley and David Carleton, with a superb effort from 40 metres followed with scores before points from Adrian Cassidy (a ’45), Mikey Gunning and a super team score from Ross Earley saw Oran ahead 0-7 to 0-4 after 17 minutes. Indeed Oran were rocked by a very harsh looking black card given to Kieran Whyte in the 13th minute but his replacement Mark Gunning played really well.

  In the 20th minute Oran grabbed their first goal. It was Ross Earley who made his way in along the end line before picking out Gearóid Keenan and the midfielder blasted the ball past Reagan Fahey and now Oran were six ahead.

  Tulsk missed two great goal chances, in the 22nd minute when Jack Conlon dragged his shot wide, and in the 24th minute when Richie Feeney’s effort was blocked out for a ’45 which was converted by goalkeeper Reagan Fahey. Oran made Tulsk pay for their inaccuracy in the 27th minute when Shane Regan fielded a high ball and fed Mark Gunning who made no mistake from close range.

  The action continued to come thick and fast. Tulsk missed another gilt-edged goal chance in the third minute of stoppage time when sub Stephen McCormack was the culprit this time but Ryan Galvin followed up to point and at half-time it was Oran 2-7 Tulsk 0-6.

  On the restart it was Tulsk who totally dominated and by the 44th minute they were level. Within a minute they had a goal on the board after Richie Feeney opened up the Oran defence with a great run and Jack Conlon supplied the finish. And when Kieran Donoghue scored a quite spectacular solo goal in the 42nd minute it was Oran 2-8 Tulsk 2-6. Within another three minutes it was level after points from Jack Conlon and impressive sub Craig Burns. Would the favourites Tulsk go on and win it after staging such a brilliant recovery? The answer was no as Oran regrouped and got going again.

  The sides shared four points to leave it 2-10 apiece with eight minutes to go with Stephen McCormack scoring two frees for Tulsk and Adrian Cassidy and Shane Regan scoring frees for Oran. But then in the 53rd minute came the score that ultimately settled it. Shane Regan was once again the provider after a mighty catch and Jack Earley shot low and hard to the Tulsk net.

  Indeed Tulsk could have answered a minute later but David Carleton’s shot was well saved by Matthew Whyte. Stephen McCormack did tack on a close range free in the 57th minute but Oran held out for a famous win and now they face Kilmore in the final.

  Oran were best served by Matthew Whyte, Thomas Fetherston who was outstanding at centre half-back, Adrian Cassidy, Gearóid Keenan, Jack Eaeley, Shane Regan who was so effective at full forward, and sub Mark Gunning.

  Tulsk will be so frustrated at losing out in the final stages once again. They simply missed too many chances on the day but were best served by Kieran Donoghue, Jack Conlon, Richie Feeney and subs Craig Burns and Stephen McCormack.

Oran: Matthew Whyte; Jack Casey, Kevin Concannon, John Concannon; Adrian Cassidy (0-3, 1 free, ’45), Tom Fetherston, Mike Dwyer; James Regan, Gearóid Keenan (1-0); Ross Earley (0-1), Paul Kenny (0-2), Jack Earley (1-1); Kieran Whyte, Shane Regan (0-2,1 free), Mikey Gunning (0-1). Subs: Mark Gunning (1-0) for K Whyte (13, black card), Jack Gunning for Keenan (49), Paddy McCormack for R Earley (49), Declan Beirne for Cassidy (56), G Keenan for Regan (61), Ray Farrell for J Earley (63, black card).

Tulsk: Reagan Fahey (0-1); Ciaran Flanagan, Sean Murray, Darragh O’Rourke; Padraig Scott, Kieran Donoghue (1-0), Ryan Galvin (0-1); Tadgh O’Rourke, Dara Jones; Martin Conway (0-1, free), Shane Flanagan, Cathal O’Rourke; Jack Conlon (1-2), Richie Feeney (0-1), David Carleton (0-1). Subs: Declan Donoghue for Murray (20), Stephen McCormack (0-3, 3 frees) for Conway (25), Craig Burns (0-1) for Jones (h/t), Gavin Callaghan for Flanagan (h/t), Niall Casserly for Carleton (60).

Referee: Ollie Kelly