Junior Semi - Birr 2-11 Edenderry 0-10

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Lone Shark
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Junior Semi - Birr 2-11 Edenderry 0-10

Post by Lone Shark » Mon Sep 05, 2005 12:21 am

Edenderry undone by Golden Brown

Football might just be a means of keeping fit for some of the small ball purists of South Offaly, but even if it’s not the first love of a lot of the players that lined out in green and red on Sunday morning in Capincur, there was still no shortage of high quality displays from several Birr players, and ultimately that superior individual quality was the difference between these two teams. While there were several moments throughout the game that reminded the small crowd in attendance that this was a junior match and not the best that Offaly football has to offer, equally there were several glimpses of pure class that would have graced any game at any level, and more than a fair share came from Stephen Brown, whose four points from play were each fantastic scores that were a joy to behold. Whether he would be entitled to the man of the match award after some equally stellar displays from Michael Verney, Willie Coffey and Keith Hehir in the back line is a matter for debate, but certainly an array of scores the likes of that which Brown produced in this game would be hard surpassed at any level.

Edenderry had been consistently strong throughout the year, and looked very accomplished all over the field when bursting into an 0-4 to 0-1 lead after ten minutes. Twenty minutes in and the score was 0-7 to 0-3, with five of the Edenderry forwards having scored, and the Reds looked very impressive. Although they had the advantage of a fresh breeze, they were building up a good head of steam. However Birr were still chipping away at their advantage with scores, and a half time score of 0-8 to 0-5 was a slender lead, much less than Edenderry would have felt their efforts over the first thirty minutes deserved.

Those five points against the breeze proved to be crucial, as Edenderry found that without the option of shooting from range, the Birr back line was proving very difficult to break down. They got the first score of the second half after thirty seconds, and by the time they converted their second score of the half in injury time, the game was lost. Birr’s speed and movement created several chances, and with the wind in their favour, the long ball into the full forward line proved very fruitful. This was seen in only the second minute of the half, when Martin Skeffington leveraged his direct opponent out of the way under a dropping ball, and turned to face the keeper and shoot past him. A Brown point merely a minute later, scored from out on the sideline off the outside of his left foot while on the move levelled matters, and from there on Birr were in complete control.

With eight minutes remaining Edenderry were still in with an outside chance at only three points adrift, but when Sean Ryan converted a penalty after Stephen Lonergan was fouled, the matter was all but settled. Birr now advance to meet Shannonbridge in the final in a bid to secure the Tom Quinn Cup, and look well set to be performing at intermediate level in 2006.

Birr: Declan Ryan; Keith Hehir, Willie Coffey, Conor Egan; Michael Verney, Joe O’Loughlin (0-1), Simon Whelahan (0-1); Clifford McDonnell, Barry Whelahan; Seán Ryan (1-0, pen), Liam Power (0-1), Stephen Lonergan (0-3, frees); Donal Franks, Stephen Brown (0-4), Martin Skeffington (1-0).

Subs: Alan Corboy for Franks, Kevin O’Meara (0-1) for Barry Whelahan, Gareth Doorley for Power, Aidan Mooney for Skeffington, David Guinan for McDonnell.

Edenderry: Donal Seery; John Fayne, Naomhan Farrell, Padraig Foy; Keith Duffy, Enda McNamara, Ray Lynch; Colm Cummins, Eddie Naughton; Kevin Guing (0-2), Peter Manley, Wayne Malone (0-1, free); Glen Dolan (0-3, 0-1 free), Seamus Merrick (0-2), Niall Comerford (0-1).

Subs: Padraig Ennis for Fayne, Brian Reilly for Comerford, Tony Kenny (0-1) for Manley.

Referee: Damien Brazil

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