Callington Ltd IFC semi-final
Éire Óg 1-10 St Croan’s 0-12
After a nail-biting penalty shootout win over St. Brigid’s the previous weekend, Éire Óg were hoping to carry on their momentum and defeat favourites St Croan’s.
It was St. Croan’s who had the upperhand early on. This was courtesy of some great points by Dan Malone, Cathal Connelly and Adam Bracken. Liam Creaton responded for Éire Óg. Their star man, Conor Cox, then found his range and began to work the scoreboard operator, the Kerry native displaying his excellent range of scoring skills. Cox also linked up well with Liam Creaton and Ross Nolan, with the latter scoring a great point midway through the first half to put the underdogs in front.
For St Croan’s, Richie Thompson commanded the midfield third, and when he found some space 45m out, he made no mistake to score a fine point. Philip Leech was shown a black card by referee Ian Monaghan a minute before half-time. Both sides had registered six points apiece at the break with the game there to be won by either team.
The second half began with Éire Óg hungry to lay down a marker as they had an extra man during the sin bin period. James McGreal found himself free on the edge of the box, but his shot rattled the post, much to the relief of St. Croan’s.
Fortunes swung forward and back in a close encounter. Greg Grogan put St. Croan’s back in the lead before Conor Cox levelled with a trademark score off the outside of his right boot.
Kevin Lambert then made an instant impact off the Croan’s bench, scoring as the game went into injury-time, Croan’s now ahead.
However, it was one of Éire Óg’s substitutes who would produce the game’s decisive score. Enda Crawley – who had a brilliant game in midfield – surged forward, and when the ball eventually came to that sub, Ronan Cahill, he buried it in the net to spark wild celebrations deep into injury-time.
The score stunned St. Croan’s, now two behind in injury-time. They drove forward, closing the gap to one, then winning a scoreable free that would have taken the game into extra-time. Instead, St. Croan’s decided to go for the jugular and played the ball short. It was turned over by Éire Óg who held on for a great victory. After all the thrills of their last two outings, what can we expect when they face St. Dominic’s in the final? What a journey Éire Óg are on!
St. Croan’s: M. Holland; P. Leech, G. Grogan (0-1), C. Pacey; B. Pacey, G. Connaughton, A. Collins; A. Bracken (0-1), A. Hurley; R. Timothy, O. Egan, R. Thompson (0-1); C. Connelly (0-3), D. Malone (0-3, 1 mark), K. Smyth (0-2, 2 frees). Subs: K. Lambert (0-1) for A. Hurley (42 mins), A. Garvey for P. Leech (62 mins).
Éire Óg: I. Burke; J. Hester, C. Lavin, A. McDonagh; E. Flanagan, T. Greene, E. Walsh; E. Crawley (0-1), J. Greene; D. Flanagan, L. Creaton (0-1), J. McGreal; C. Cox (0-6, 2 frees), R. Nolan (0-2, 1 mark, 1 free), J. Doory. Subs: M. O’Brien for J. Doory (45 mins), R. Cahill (1-0) for J. Greene (50 mins), C. Dunne for R. Nolan (53 mins), J. Mitchell for D. Flanagan (60 mins), F. Nolan for E. Flanagan (62 mins).
Referee: I. Monaghan.
Man of the Match
Conor Cox (Éire Óg)