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Tyholland battle past Aughnamullen into IFC semis

August 27th, 2011

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McGuigan Builders Intermediate Football Championship

Tyholland 1-11 Aughnamullen 1-10                                   


Tyholland are through to the IFC semi-finals after they crept past Aughnamullen in a tense finish at Drumhowan on Saturday. Tyholland looked set to ease to victory when they opened up a seven-point lead towards the end of the first half, but 14-man Aughnamullen dug deep to hit eight without reply and edge ahead. Tyholland, who went 25 minutes without a score in the second half, had two men sent off in the last ten minutes, but their star man Dermot Coyle hit the two crucial points to win it. Coyle, Peadar Farrelly, Paul Askin and Ronan McNally led the way for Tyholland, while Aughnamullen’s Sam Dooney, Chris Keenan and Damien Hamilton were unlucky to finish on the losing side.

Tyholland raced out of the starting blocks, scoring the first 1-2. The goal came when Paul Askin converted a penalty after an Aughnamullen player touched the ball on the ground in the square, before Ryan ‘Gooch’ McKenna and Askin added points from play. Chris Keenan got Aughnamullen off the mark when he tapped over a close-range free, but Dermot Coyle won and scored a 30-metre free for Tyholland, before clipping over a point at the end of a well-worked move involving Peadar Farrelly, Karl O’Connell and Paul Coyle. Aughnamullen got back into the game when Edmond McArdle and Mark Meegan combined to set up Chris Keenan for a goal, which halved the Sarsfields’ deficit to three. Askin replied with a good point from play and although Mickey Keenan got a point back for Aughnamullen, Dermot Coyle hit a point from play before turning provider for Ryan ‘Gooch’ McKenna to put five between the teams.

Coyle linked up with Askin to kick his fourth point of the half, before Peadar Farrelly got forward for his customary point. Aughnamullen were on top for the last five minutes of the half, but wasteful finishing prevented them from taking full advantage, although Pete Dooney did burst through for a good point. Colm Flanagan, who made a surprise return for Aughnamullen, had two goal chances in quick succession, but he fired the first one wide after good work by Pauric Bannigan and Mark Meegan and he blazed the second over the bar when he had been put through by Edmond McArdle. That left Tyholland ahead by 1-9 to 1-4 at half-time and it got worse for Aughnamullen after the half-time whistle when their captain Mickey Keenan, who had been booked just a few minutes earlier, was shown a second yellow card for dissent.

Aughnamullen needed a big start to the second half and they certainly got it, as they picked off six unanswered points in the space of ten minutes. Chris Keenan won and scored a 13-metre free before adding a point from play when Flanagan broke a long ball from Paul Mulligan down to him. Sam Dooney raided forward for a point after good approach play by Pete Dooney and Seán Sheridan and Pete Dooney was also involved in the next score when his high free fell for Mark McArdle to tap over. Keenan converted a brace of frees in quick succession, following fouls on Damien Hamilton and Sheridan, who had a goal disallowed for a square ball when he got a fist to a high centre from Pete Dooney. Aughnamullen, who had already kicked eight wides in the first half, took their wides tally into double figures in the second half and those missed chances proved costly.

The game became 14-a-side with seven minutes left when Askin got a second booking for a foul on Sheridan, but a left-footed point by Dermot Coyle got Tyholland on the scoreboard for the first time in the second half, levelling it up  going into the last five minutes. Tyholland lost another man when Conor McQuaid was shown a straight red after an off-the-ball incident involving Bannigan, but they regained the lead two minutes from with another fine finish from Dermot Coyle after Mel Boyce had won a long ball in from Farrelly. Aughnamullen threw everything forward at the end in a desperate attempt to at least force extra-time and their chance arrived in the final minute of normal time when Niall Keenan raced towards goal, but Ronan McNally made a great diving block and Tyholland closed the game out to book their place in the last four. Next up for Tyholland is the championship favourites Carrickmacross, where the north-Monaghan men, who will have Raymond Ronaghan back, will need to step up their performance to reach the final for the second year in a row.

Tyholland: C Boyce; Ryan McKenna, G Ronaghan, I Treanor; C McQuaid, P Farrelly (0-1), P Coyle (Capt.); R McNally, C Ronaghan; D Connolly, P Askin (1-2, 1-0 pen), Ryan ‘Gooch’ McKenna (0-2); D Coyle (0-6, 1f), K O’Connell, M Boyce.

Subs: T Connolly for I Treanor (inj., 37 mins), P McQuaid for Ryan ‘Gooch’ McKenna (43).

Temporary Sub: T Connolly for P Coyle (28-H-T).

Aughnamullen: G Mulligan; T Finnegan, S Dooney (0-1), N Keenan; E McArdle, S Ward, D Hamilton; P Mulligan, S Sheridan; P Dooney (0-1), P Bannigan, M Meegan; M Keenan (Capt., 0-1), C Flanagan (0-1), C Keenan (1-5, 0-4f).

Sub: M McArdle (0-1) for Meegan (27).

Referee: B McNally (Cremartin).

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