Injury time point sinks Upperchurch-Drombane’s hopes

Clean Ireland Recycling County Intermediate Football Semi-Final

Clean Ireland Recycling County

Intermediate Football Semi-Final

Borrisokane 0-10

Upperchurch-Drombane 1-6

A late injury time free from the boot of Philip Austin ended Upperchuch-Drombane’s hopes of progressing to this year’s county intermediate football final following a hard-fought battle in Dolla on Saturday afternoon last.

Upperchurch succumbed right at the death after a tight, physical encounter which saw the mid side lead by three points at the break, 1-4 to 0-4. Playing into the dressing room end the Church’ capitalised on a number of goalkeeping mistakes in the opening half to ensure a deserved three-point interval advantage. Despite being a physically smaller side, Borrisokane fought back hard in the second half and bossed the game for large periods, drawing level midway through the half before seizing the advantage deep in injury time.

Upperchurch were slow out of the blocks with Borrisokane opening up an early three-point advantage after just eight minutes.

Points from Philip Austin and Brian Donnelly handed the men in a green and white an early advantage before Austin converted an eighth minute free to put Borris’ three clear. After a decidedly slow start, Upperchurch finally got off the mark in the ninth minute with Pat Shortt clipping over a nice right-footed effort.

Once they acclimatised to the pace of the game Upperchurch began to dominate with Pat Shortt capitalising upon a poor Enda Brennan kickout to bag their second point.

Paul Shanahan’s 12th minute free afforded the men in black and amber the chance to level but his effort tailed to the right and wide. Five minutes later Upperchurch did draw level though with Shanahan atoning for his earlier miss with a sweetly struck 17th minute free.

Borrisokane responded with a 19th minute Philip Austin free before Upperchurch’s Paudie Greene raided down the stand sideline and arced over a beautifully struck effort to bring the sides back on terms once more.

Upperchurch continued to press in the closing stages of the half and once more it was a poor kickout from Enda Brennan which led to the only goal of the game. Eoin Shortt seized on the low kickout and broke through on goal before slipping a low shot under the advancing Brennan to ensure his side took a 1-4 to 0-4 lead to the dressing room.

Borrisokane emerged determined to peg back the deficit and peg it back they did. With Shane Nevin, Peter McSherry, Colm Larkin and Philip Austin really coming into their own Borrisokane quickly seized the initiative.

Following the re-start, Pat Shortt (free) opened the gap to four before Philip Austin was afforded the opportunity to cut the gap with a close-range free but uncharacteristically blazed his effort wide.

Colm Larkin took over the freetaking duties and three successive efforts from placed balls quickly whittled down Upperchurch’s advantage to just a solitary point.With Borrisokane very much in control they finally drew level in the 45th minute after full-back, Matt Ryan was pinged for an over robust tackle on Gordon Harding.

Upperchurch responded with a sweetly struck Eoin Shortt effort. Just as the game appeared to be heading for extra-time Brian Davis was fouled within scoring range. Up stepped Philip Austin and knifed over a beautifully struck free to edge Borris’ ahead. Borrisokane’s resolute defence held out to ensure a narrow one-point victory.

Upperchurch-Drombane: Gavin Ryan, Sean Hartnett, Matt Ryan, Padraig Stapleton; James Greene, Colm Ryan, Dermot Grant; John Quinn, Paul Shanhan (0-1, 0-1f); Paudie Greene (0-1), Michael Ryan D, John Ryan J; Eoin Shortt (1-1), Pat Shortt (0-3, 0-2f), Paul Ryan. Subs: Ger Grant for P. Ryan (42).

Borrisokane: Enda Brannan, Cathal Dooley, Conor Forde, Shane Nevin; Briuan Davis, Peter McSherry, Sean Hartnett; Andy Austoin, Seosamh Cleary, Gordon Harding, Philip Austin (0-6, 0-4f), Brian Donnelly (0-1); Gary Power, Colm Larkin (0-3, 0-3f), Shane Dooley. Subs: Shane Staplton for Hartnett (26); Eanna Dooley for Power (54).

Referee: Brian Tyrell (Clonmel Commercials).