McGuigan Builders Intermediate Football Championship Preliminary Round
Aughnamullen 0-7 Drumhowan 0-5 11/6/11
Aughnamullen battled past neighbours Drumhowan in a hard-hitting IFC game at Inniskeen on Saturday evening. It was a poor match, with wides outnumbering scores (13 to 12), but what it lacked in quality it had in physicality. There were seven yellow cards shown in the first half, while two yellows and a late red card followed in the second half. Sam Dooney, Damien Hamilton, Lee Conlan and Stephen Ward played central roles for Aughnamullen, whose disciplined defending was the key to their victory. Darren Duffy and Kevin Mooney were best for a disappointing Drumhowan team sorely lacking the presence of James McElroy, who has been forced to retire due to a long-running knee injury.
Aughnamullen settled into the game quicker, with Edmond McArdle sending over a 25-metre free after a foul on Chris Keenan and Seán Sheridan kicking a good point from play after a one-two with Mark McArdle. Edmond McArdle had a great opportunity to open up a five-point gap in the 15th minute when a Mickey Keenan pass put him through on goal, but he sliced his shot wide and Drumhowan finally got their first score two minutes later when Colm Lambe hit a fine point from play. Kieran Mooney added the equaliser in the 20th minute, but Aughnamullen retook the advantage when Chris Keenan linked up with Lee Conlan to kick a point from play. A well-taken point by David Millar levelled it up, though, before Colm Lambe converted a 30-metre free for a foul on Paddy Mulligan to edge Drumhowan ahead for the first time at 0-4 to 0-3, right on the half-time whistle.
Neither side scored in a very scrappy third quarter, which was characterised by handling and kicking errors from both teams, while both sides also added to their wides tallies, with Edmond McArdle off target from a 20-metre free for Aughnamullen. The first score of the half eventually came on 16 minutes when Lauren Ward pointed a 25-metre free after a foul on Sheridan, before Mark McArdle linked up with Edmond McArdle to edge Aughnamullen ahead. Lee Conlan got on the end of a Stephen Hamilton pass to double the Sarsfields’ lead, but a point from Lambe gave Drumhowan hope heading into injury-time. Aughnamullen sealed it in injury-time, though, as Chris Keenan linked up with Mark McArdle to send over the game’s final score. The game finished on a sour note when Kieran McElroy was shown a second yellow card after an off-the-ball incident involving Mark Meegan and it threatened to boil over when McElroy became involved again after the final whistle, but common sense prevailed in the end. Aughnamullen will play Currin in the first round, while Drumhowan will need to go through the back door if they are to repeat their run to the final of 2009, with Rockcorry their next opponents.
Aughnamullen: G Mulligan; S Ward, T Finnegan, S Dooney; B McConnell, M Meegan, D Hamilton; L Conlan (0-1), S Sheridan (0-1); M McArdle (0-1), E McArdle (0-1f), L Ward (0-1f); S Hamilton, C Keenan (0-2), M Keenan (Capt.).
Subs: P Bannigan for Sheridan (inj., 57 mins), D McConnell for B McConnell (61).
Drumhowan: E McElroy; M O’Neill, P Duffy, L McGuirk; Kevin Mooney, Darren Duffy, Dermot Mooney; A Mulligan, D McDermott (Capt.); P Mulligan, K McElroy, N Mooney; D Millar (0-1), C Lambe (0-3, 1f), Kieran Mooney (0-1).
Subs: C Deery for Kieran Mooney (38), C McGinnity for P Mulligan (42), Damian Duffy for A Mulligan (51).
Referee: D Boylan (Killanny).