McGuigan Builders Intermediate Football Championship First Round
Carrickmacross 0-11 Seán McDermotts 1-7 12/6/11
Carrickmacross survived a scare in their first IFC game in five years as they edged past Seán McDermotts by the narrowest of margins in Clontibret on Sunday. Both teams deserve credit for producing an exciting, keenly-contested game, especially given the difficult conditions. Carrick held the edge for most of the match, but a hard-working Seán McDermotts team, who were two divisions below their opponents last year, put it up to the championship favourites all the way.
A late goal by substitute Damien Larkin closed the gap to a point, but Carrick squeezed through. Carrick’s win was built on the performances of Andy Callan, Mark Downey, James Conlon and Owen McNally, in the absence of the injured Stephen Gollogly James Treanor, Páraic McGuirk and Philip Farrell led the way for the Seáns, who will be ruing the fact that ace marksman Larkin was unable to start due to injury, while Pat Kieran also missed out.
The Seáns took an early lead when James Treanor converted a 20-metre free after a foul on Danny McNally, before their keeper Murt Cleere made a good save to deny Declan Finnegan, who had taken a pass from Ciarán Singleton. A point from play by Paddy Lonergan brought Carrick level, but McNally sent over a good score at the end of a move started by some great pressure by the Seáns, which saw them dispossess Carrick in the middle of the field. Carrick again threatened a goal when James Conlon burst through and exchanged passes with Ciarán Ward, but his shot was blocked by Emlyn Clerkin.
A foul on Ronan McMahon allowed Mark Downey to bring Carrick level from a 25-metre free and Downey then won and scored a 20-metre free to put his side ahead for the first time. Downey turned provider for the next point, which was scored by Andy Callan, who added a fine point from distance after the Seáns had coughed up possession in their own half. Treanor tapped over a 13-metre free after a foul on Páraic McGuirk to end 19 scoreless minutes for the Seáns and Treanor then linked up with McGuirk and raced clear for a well-taken point. Callan lofted over another nice point from play after a one-two with Ronan McMahon to send Carrick in at half-time with a two-point lead: 0-6 to 0-4.
Callan pointed a 30-metre free after a foul on Downey to put three between the teams, but the Seáns stayed in touch thanks to a good score from sub Damien Connolly. The Threemilehouse side were unlucky not to close the gap further when a long-range effort by Noel Rice hit the crossbar, before Downey and McNally swapped points from 20-metre frees – Downey’s after a foul on Conlon and McNally’s after Ward had been penalised for over-carrying.
Ward kicked a point from a very difficult angle with his last action before he was replaced by John McMenamin, who proceeded to hit a point with his first touch. Callan linked up with Lonergan to open up a five-point gap, but Treanor set up sub Paddy Kieran to get a point back for the Seáns, who set up a grandstand finish when Damien Larkin scored the only goal of the game in the first minute of injury-time after a cross from McGuirk. Carrick held on, though, to advance to the next round, while the Seáns have been drawn to play Tyholland in the back door.
Carrickmacross: C Keenan; O McNally, J McNally, N McEnaney; D Finnegan, M McNally, E Sherry; J Conlon, J McGeown; P Lonergan (0-1), M Downey (0-3f), C Ward (0-1); C Singleton, A Callan (0-5, 1f), R McMahon.
Subs: S Mulholland for Singleton (40 mins), J McMenamin (0-1) for Ward (53).
Seán McDermotts: M Cleere; P Farrell, E McElvaney, E Clerkin; N Lynch, M Kieran, B McQuaid; P McGuirk, C Hughes; D McNally (0-2, 1f), N Rice, E McQuillan; D McEntee, J Treanor (0-3, 1f), S Larkin.
Subs: D Connolly (0-1) for McQuillan (22), D McMahon for Hughes (24), Paddy Kieran (0-1) for Lynch (inj., 41), D Larkin (Capt., 1-0) for S Larkin (51).
Referee: B McNally (Cremartin).