Seniors seal late draw
Drumlane needed an injury-time free to save them a draw in Milltown last Saturday after a bold Shercock performance at O’Connell Park threatened to inflict the Sons of O’Connell’s first defeat of the season.
After Gareth Corrigan had handed Drumlane the perfect start with a well-taken goal inside seven minutes the hosts looked set to chalk-up their third win of this Division Two campaign, but Shercock battled bravely and held their opponents scoreless for all of 20 minutes while knocking over five points of their own to take in the lead at the break.
Noel Marron’s side levelled straight after the interval but squandered two clear-cut goal chances which allowed the visitors to remain in contention for the points and when Aidan Lennon’s free flew over the Drumlane crossbar with less than ten minutes to go, Shercock looked as though they were to pull off an upset here.
However, Drumlane dug deep and when substitute Padraig Leddy won his side a vital free on the edge of the Shercock square two minutes past the hour, Barry Corrigan kept his nerve to stroke over the resultant free that spared his side from defeat.
The same player had opened the scoring by chipping over a point with the goal at his mercy four minutes in before Liam Og O’Reilly levelled for the east Cavan men in the following attack.
Moving the ball swiftly among their forwards, Shercock carved out a goal chance when nippy corner-forward Noel Carroll latched onto a pass as he pierced through the Drumlane full-back line and drove a low shot that was met by a quick block from Danny Kelly.
It looked to be the wakeup call that Drumlane needed as they moved the ball down the other end in a similar fashion and when possession found its way towards Gareth Corrigan on the edge of the square the full-forward made no mistake in roofing the net and putting some temporary daylight between the teams.
Soon after John Fitzpatrick found Barry Cunningham in the left corner for the hosts with a cross-field pass and he used pace and power to round his marker and flight over a towering shot between the uprights.
The early signs were ominous for Michael Nulty and his team, but once Drumlane let their guard slip at the back Shercock countered with points from Cathal O’Reilly and Aidan Lennon that saw them level by the 20-minute mark.
Drumlane carved out a second goal chance before the break when Barry Corrigan thumped into the chest of Cunningham, but the corner-forward poked his chance wide and it was Shercock that would take in the lead at the break once Cathal O’Reilly landed his fourth point from full-forward.
Four minutes into the restart and Cunningham had the game level after good work from Cormac Fitzpatrick at the back for Drumlane, but the junior outfit kept their noses in front once Aidan Lennon squeezed off a shot from the left side heading towards the final quarter.
Cunningham squared the sides once more with a free well drawn by Darren Murphy and could have stormed in front had substitute Shane Kelly’s 35-metre shot between the posts not been harshly disallowed for over-carrying.
Instead it was Shercock that moved to seize the opportunity with Gary Smith doing well to earn a free which suited Lennon to fire over and hand his side back the advantage with the finish line in sight. Moments after, centre-forward Liam Og O’Reilly saw red for a second bookable offence which didn’t help the Shercock cause as they looked to hold on.
The home side threw on three subs to try and save at least a point in the closing stages, but it wasn’t until the added on minutes that Barry Cunningham’s free was fetched from the sky by Padraig Leddy, who was axed down by his marker and Corrigan took his time before slotting over the rewarded free much to the relief of the home contingent at O’Connell Park.
Drumlane – Danny Kelly; Cormac Fitzpatrick, John O’Dowd, Robbie Smith; Fergal Brady, Glen Fitzpatrick, JP Kelly; Darren Murphy, Paul Kelly; Stephen McCann, John Deignan, John Fitzpatrick; Barry Corrigan (0-2), Gareth Corrigan (1-0), Barry Cunningham (0-3). Subs: Shane Kelly, Ciaran O’Reilly, Enda Fitzpatrick, Padraig Leddy
Shercock – Michael Ward; Tom Reilly, Edward McDermott, Barry O’Reilly; Ciaran Lennon, Andrew Sloane, John McEnroe; Michael O’Reilly, Sean Magee; Paddy McPhilips, Liam Og O’Reilly (0-1), Gary Smith; Noel Carroll, Cathal O’Reilly (0-4), Aidan Lennon (0-3). Subs: Shane McPhilips, Declan McIntyre
Referee: Jim Hyland (Denn)
This report is copyright of the Anglo-Celt newspaper and may not be used in any other publication without agreement of the author.
The draws for this year’s Hotel Kilmore championships were last night (Monday) revealed, throwing up two interesting ties for Noel Marron’s Drumlane this summer.
The Sons of O’Connell have been drawn into Group Four of this year’s intermediate championship with an opening test against last year’s demoted side from the senior ranks, Knockbride.
The Canningstown men suffered relegation from the senior championship in 2008 after losing out to Belturbet by two points at Our Lady of Lourdes Park and are sure to provide Drumlane with a stiff challenge in the first round, which is set to commence at an earlier date this year of June 11.
As Group Four only consists of three sides, Marron’s men are set for a bye in Round Two followed by what could prove to be a defining bout with Cootehill in the final round of the group. Over the years there has been no love lost between these two sides and this year could well prove to be no different as Drumlane are set take on the Monaghan-border side in, most probably, July.
The top two teams from the group will advance into the quarter-finals, which will require another open draw.
2009 Intermediate Football Championship:
Group 1: Drumalee, Lavey, Ballyhaise, Killeshandra Leaguers
Group 2: Ballymachugh, Drumgoon, Bailieborough Shamrocks, Drung
Group 3: Laragh United, Killikere, Kill Shamrocks
Group 4: Knockbride, Drumlane, Cootehill Celtic
For the draw in full click the link below