Eire Og run out of pace in closing stages as holders pull through

Co SFC Quarter-Final Replay

Co SFC Quarter-Final Replay

Thomas MacDonaghs 0-10 Eire Óg Annacarty 0-7

Holders Thomas MacDonaghs produced a second half recovery to eventually get the better of a gallant Eire Óg Annacarty in an enthralling County Senior Football Quarter final replay staged on a bitterly cold night on Friday under the lights in Templetuohy.

This replay failed to live up to the drawn game with both sides cancelling each other out and scores hard to come by. Despite this it saw Thomas MacDonaghs get off to a flying start in the opening minute. Andrew Austin was fouled and from the set-piece his Borrisokane teammate Philip Austin scored the opening point. Eire Og midfielder Richie Ryan, whose probing runs were causing endless problems for the MacDonaghs’ defence, was illegally stopped, and Damien O’Brien brought the sides level after 3 minutes.

O’Brien had another free from his hands come off the post, but he did put Annacarty ahead with a well-taken point from 20 yards from play after 16 minutes. The West Champions went two points clear on 18 minutes when a well-worked move saw a Paul Downey goal-bound shot deflected by Thomas MacDonaghs goalie Jim McDonnell over his crossbar.

MacDonaghs, who were struggling to gain the upper hand around the middle of the park, saw a great solo run from Padraic O’Meara end with his shot off target. However, the holders did get only their second point of the opening half on 21 minutes when another Philip Austin free-kick was on target after Toomevara’s David Young was fouled. But it was Annacarty that finished the half on top when a solo-run from Kevin Fox and quick exchanges of passes with Donal O’Dwyer, saw Fox split the posts to give the West Champions a two point lead at the halfway stage on a score-line of 0-4 to 0-2.

Thomas MacDonaghs brought on Kildangan’s Tommy Connors for Shane Dooley at half-time and he was involved straight away setting up Philip Austin to reduce the leeway a minute after the restart. However, while the holders were failing to find the target with two successive shots, Annacarty restored their two-point lead when Richie Ryan was fouled and another free-kick from Damien O’Brien was on target on 37 minutes.

Thomas MacDonaghs were gaining the upper hand and slotted over two unanswered points to bring the sides level for only the second time. The first was fisted over the crossbar after a penetrating run by his own half by Joe Carroll of Inane Rovers and the second came another good inter-passing move that ended with the impressive Joe Gallagher of Kildangan splitting the posts. MacDonaghs should have raised the green flag in the 42th minute when a Annacarty’s goalie Donnacha Horan did well to push a Joe Gallagher effort that came straight across the face of the goal away to safety.

Annacarty regained the lead in the 43th minute at 0-6 to 0-5 when full-back Conor O’Brien joined the attack and from a Dan Hogan pass scored from 30 yards. Unfortunately, for the West Champions it was downhill from that stage. Thomas MacDonaghs’ with Liam England introduced, began getting the upper hand with substitute Tommy Connors bringing the sides level in the 45th minute at 0-6 apiece.

Annacarty were running into cul-de-sacs, being closed down by a Thomas MacDonaghs side that found a new lease. Seamus Hennessy from Kilruane McDonaghs put the holders in front; then half-back Fergal Hayes of Kildangan supporting his forwards scored from an acute angle before free-kick from Philip Austin put three points between the sides going into an additional-time.

With eight minutes of stoppage time being added-on many of the Annacarty players struggled to make headway against a Thomas MacDonaghs defence. In the 67th minute the holders got the insurance score when another Fergal Hayes run from deep assisted by fellow defender David Buckley from Inane Rovers saw Hayes score from a very acute angle. Although Damien O’Brien added another point from a free kick it came too little too late to prevent holders Thomas MacDonaghs from progressing to a semi-final showdown with Killenaule.

Thomas MacDonaghs: Jim McDonnell (Inane Rovers); Martin Minehan (Kildangan), David Buckley (Inane Rovers), Ruairi Gleeson (Kildangan); Joe Carroll (Inane Rovers) (0-1), Niall O’Meara (Kilruane MacDonaghs), Fergal Hayes (Kildangan)(0-2); David Young (Toomevara), George Hannigan (Shannon Rovers); Joe Gallagher (Kildangan)(0-1), Padraic O’Meara (Shannon Rovers); Philip Austin (Borrisokane) (0-4), Andrew Austin (Borrisokane), Seamus Hennessy (Kilruane MacDonaghs) (0-1), Shane Dooley (Borrisokane). Subs used: Tommy Connors (Kildangan) (0-1), Liam England (Inane Rovers), Alan Harrigan (Shannon Rovers)

Eire Óg Annacarty: Donnacha Horan; Michael O’Dwyer, Conor O’Brien (0-1), Oisin O’Dwyer; Ronan O’Brien , Brian Fox, Padraic O’Dwyer ; Richard Ryan, Eoin Kennedy; Dan Hogan, Kevin Fox (0-1), Jeremy Furlong; Paul Downey (0-1), Damien O’Brien (0-4), Donal O’Dwyer. Sub used: Darragh Mooney

Referee: Tom McGrath (Loughmore/C).