McGuigan Builders Intermediate Football Championship Semi-Final
Carrickmacross 2-13 Tyholland 1-6 10/9/11
Carrickmacross held off a first-half siege before dominating the second half to qualify for the IFC Final at the expense of Tyholland at Aughnamullen on Saturday. Playing with a strong wind at their backs in the first half, Tyholland won two-thirds of the kick-outs and they dominated possession, but they kicked 12 wides and Carrick hung on in, before a perfectly-timed goal by Stephen Gollogly gave them an unlikely half-time lead. A Cyril Ronaghan major brought Tyholland back to within a point, but they failed to score in the last 20 minutes (while taking thwir wides tally to 16) and a much more clinical Carrick team hit 1-6 without reply to pull away for what proved to be a comfortable win.
Mark Downey and Stephen Gollogly were in superb form for Carrick, while Seán Downey and Andrew Callan also showed well up front, Peter O’Hanlon got through a lot of work at midfield and the full-back line was capably led by Mark McNally and the recently-returned Gary McEnaney. Ronan McNally, Cyril Ronaghan and Dermot Coyle worked hard throughout for Tyholland, but it was ultimately a very disappointing day for last year’s runners-up.
Andrew Callan won and scored a 25-metre free to give Carrick an early lead, before Dermot Coyle lofted over a good point with his left foot to bring Tyholland level. Stephen Connolly profited from good work by Ronan McNally and Raymond Ronaghan to edge Tyholland ahead, but Mark Downey curled over a fine score off the outside of his right boot to bring Carrick back on level terms. Tyholland finally began to take advantage of their possession when Ronan McNally linked up with Coyle for a point, before Paul Askin and Raymond Ronaghan combined to create a point for Brian McArdle. A well-taken left-footed point by Mark Downey kept Carrick in touch, but Dermot Coyle replied from a 40-metre free after a foul on Paul Askin.
Good work by Seán and Mark Downey and Peter O’Hanlon released Stephen Gollogly for a goal chance, but he was blocked down by Karl O’Connell. Carrick dominated the last ten minutes of the half, scoring 1-2 without reply, started by a 20-metre free from Callan, following a foul on Seán Downey. Mark Downey linked up with his brother Seán to kick another stylish outside-of-the-boot effort and both Downeys were involved, along with O’Hanlon in setting up Gollogly to find the net and give Carrick a 1-5 to 0-5 lead at half-time.
Dermot Coyle tapped over a 13-metre free for a foul on McArdle to get Tyholland off to a positive start in the second half, but Callan hit back from a 50-metre free after a foul on James Conlon. Gollogly added a good point from play to move Carrick four clear, but Tyholland got right back into the game on 11 minutes when Cyril Ronaghan took a pass from McNally and cracked a shot into the top corner of the net. Mark Downey turned provider for Seán Downey to open his account with a point and he could have added a goal a minute later when Gollogly put him through, but he was denied by a good save from Ciarán Boyce. Callan converted a 40-metre for a foul on Gollogly, who then won and scored a 30-metre free to restore Carrick’s four-point cushion.
Any doubt was ended seven minutes from time when Tyholland coughed up possession cheaply, allowing Gollogly to lay it off for Seán Downey to place a clinical finish into the net, via a post. Cyril Ronaghan had another goal-attempt blocked by Mark McNally at the other end, before Tyholland had Paul Askin sent off after an off-the-ball incident. The floodgates were well and truly open at this stage for Carrick, who added three points in as many minutes at the end. James Conlon fisted over after good approach play by O’Hanlon and Gollogly, before substitute Séamus Mulholland got on the end of a high ball from Gollogly to score with his first touch.
Mulholland and Gollogly were involved again in setting up Mark Downey for the final point of the game a minute into injury-time, as Carrick moved a step closer to an immediate return to senior football. The south-Monaghan men will find out their final opponents tomorrow, when Corduff and Rockcorry clash in the second semi-final.
Carrickmacross: J O’Connor; M McNally, G McEnaney, O McNally; D Finnegan, E Sherry, N McEnaney; P O’Hanlon, J McGeown, J Conlon (0-1); S Gollogly (1-2, 0-1f), C McEnaney; A Callan (0-4f), M Downey (0-4), S Downey (1-1).
Subs: S Mulholland (0-1) for Callan (58 mins), R McMahon for C McEnaney (60).
Tyholland: C Boyce; R McKenna, G Ronaghan, P Coyle (Capt.); P Farrelly, K O’Connell; B McArdle (0-1), R McNally (0-1), C Ronaghan (1-0); D Connolly, P Askin, M Boyce; S Connolly (0-1), R Ronaghan, D Coyle (0-3, 2f).
Subs: M McQuaid for McKenna (inj., 35 mins), S Treanor for S Connolly (41), A Askin for D Connolly (52).
Referee: B Walshe (Ballybay).