Kepak Roscommon SHC semi-final
Padraig Pearses 1-19 Oran 0-19
Last Sunday’s second hurling semi-final in Athleague took a very similar path to the first game as hot favourites Padraig Pearses were made fight all the way by an Oran side who can count themselves unlucky not to have got at least a draw from this closely fought encounter.
Indeed, had goalkeeper Jerry Fallon converted a 58th minute penalty, it might have been a totally different story. The Oran netminder actually had two attempts at the penalty as his first effort was saved by Padraic Dolan. When the referee ordered a retake for an infringement, Fallon’s second effort struck the butt of the post before being cleared.
As it was, Pearses survived and sharpshooter Daniel Glynn pointed another free to seal a very fortunate win for Shane Sweeney’s side.
Pearses were totally on top in the early stages, going five points to no score ahead after only five minutes of play. However, once Jerry Fallon converted a monster free in the 6th minute Oran were up and running, and by the second quarter Ciaran Farrell’s men were back in the game and had actually drawn level.
A feature of the game was the unerring striking of Daniel Glynn for Pearses and Paddy Fallon for Oran, this duo giving an exhibition of free-taking throughout.
Oran led by 0-13 to 0-12 at half-time – and were good value for that narrow lead. Fallon and Glynn continued to trade blows until the only goal of the game arrived in the 47th minute. With Oran ahead by 0-17 to 0-15, Pearses swept downfield and sub Sean Canning netted in style, nudging his side ahead.
The teams traded further points as the tension rose. With Pearses a point ahead, Adam Phelan was in on goal for Oran in the 55th minute, but Padraic Dolan (who was outstanding) made a superb save. Soon after, Fallon levelled the scores again, via a long-range free. With injury-time approaching, points from David Loughnane and another Glynn free edged Pearses ahead. Then we had that penalty being retaken and missed. Pearses had survived an almighty scare.
In the end, the final pairing that most people had predicted at the start of the season has become a reality, but both Pearses and Four Roads had to battle all the way to make the decider. As to who will be crowned champions, it looks an even money bet at this juncture.
Padraig Pearses: Padraic Dolan; David Dolan, Paul Dolan, Luke Corbett; Eoghan Costello, Shane Naughton, Jamie Curley; Mark Naughton, Eoghan Cogavin (0-1); Leon Feehily, Daniel Glynn (0-12, 4 65s, 8 frees), Mike Donoghue; Darragh Finn (0-1), Oisin Kelly (0-4), Matthew Comerford. Subs: Tiege Cogavin for Fehily (30), David Loughnane (0-1) for Donoghue (h/t), Sean Canning (1-0) for Comerford (39), Jimmy Donoghue for M Naughton (55).
Oran: Jerry Fallon (0-1, free); Michael T McCormack, Jack Gunning, Shane Keane; Michael Hussey (0-1), Eoghan Grady (0-1), Brian Diffley; Hugh Rooney, Declan Leonard (0-1); Adam Phelan (0-2), Eamon Kenny, Thomas Fallon (0-1); Paddy Fallon (0-10, 9 frees, s/l), Cathal Kenny (0-1), Denis O’Regan (0-1). Subs: Oisin Keenan for Diffley (42), Kevin Crehan for McCormack (52), Joseph Henry for T Fallon (55).
Referee: Francie Kelly.
Man of the Match
Padraic Dolan (Padraig Pearses)