Saturday, November 10, 2007

Novice County Championship Semi Final

Cromane 0-10 Churchill 0-09

Cromane qualified for the Novice County football final a hard fought win over Churchill in Milltown on Saturday last. They now go on to face Ballydonghue in the final, which is fixed for December 2.

Cromane will be delighted to have come through what was a very though encounter. Churchill may have lacked the impact players that Cromane have in Sean O’ Sullivan and Donnchadh Walsh, but they were probably the better all round team over the 60 minutes.
Cromane made a very good start playing into a slight breeze and went 2 points up after four minutes when Sean O'Sullivan tapped over a twenty metre free and Donnchadh Walsh thundered forward to kick a great point from play.

Churchill got a real foothold in the game and dominated the remainder of the first half. Johnny McCarthy and Conor Daly both scored good points and levelled the game after ten minutes. Churchill were doing well in most areas of the pitch, Gary Rolls was outstanding at corner back, Daniel Doyle was on top in his tussle with fellow county panellist Sean O’Sullivan while captain Garret Walsh was superb at centre back.

Churchill looked good until they got into the final third of the pitch, but they really strug­gled to convert their domi­nance into scores. Conor Daly and Johnny McCarthy and Daly again all added to Churchill's first half total with points from play but O’Sullivan finished the half with a simple tap over free and the men from Tralee bay went in at half time a mere two points to the good at 0-05 to 0-03.

The opening five minutes of the second half saw a flurry of scores. O'Sullivan added a free straight after the throw-in for Cromane, but Churchill quickly responded with another couple of points from play from their twin strike threat of Daly and McCarthy.

Cromane were, finally, finding their feet in the game, however, and they applied a quick bout of pressure that yielded three more points from Donnchadh Walsh, JP McCarthy and a superb effort from Sean O'Sulli­van from a sideline ball.

The sides were level at 0-7 apiece and then 0-8 apiece as Johnny McCarthy and Sean O'Sullivan swapped further points. Donnchadh Walsh, Michael Teahan and Peter Reilly were all doing well for Cro­mane at this stage, but it was their inter-county star Sean O'Sullivan who was to prove to be their real inspiration.

Churchill substitute Pa McCarthy cancelled out anoth­er Sean O'Sullivan free to leave the sides locked together again with three minutes remaining. Cromane won a free about 60 metres out from the Churchill goal and it was a real case of 'commeth the hour commeth the man' as Sean O'Sullivan somehow managed to score from what looked to be an impossible distance out.
Churchill rallied once more and had a final chance of bring­ing the game into extra-time, but Johnny McCarthy saw his effort from a free drift agonis­ingly wide and with it Churchill's chances of victory.

Cromane will now go in with confidence to play a Ballydonghue side that sit right beside them in the lower half of Division 4 of the County league. For now though the Mid Kerry side will just cele­brate their qualification for a county final.

Cromane: Liam Walsh, Peter O'Reilly, James Foley, Noel O'Reilly, Michael Teahan, Colm Joy, John O'Sullivan, Francis Casey, Donnchadh Walsh (0-02), Sean O'Sullivan (0-07), Paul Partrick O'Sullivan, JP McCarthy (0-01), Emmet Casey, Noel Foley, Cian O'Keeffe

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