AIB Munster Junior Club
Drom & Inch 3-6
An agonising one point defeat was Drom-Inch’s lot in a thrilling AIB Munster Club junior football quarter-final at The Ragg on Saturday bringing their quest for a first ever Munster club football title to an abrupt end.
When they look back on this encounter, Drom-Inch will regret the number of frees they conceded and their failure to turn promising chances into scores, as it was these lapses which cost them a place in the semi-final against Clare title-holders, Coolmeen.
This was a game that could have gone either way and as the seconds ticked away at the finish, Drom looked likely winners but in a hectic finish, they conceded two points, the second, two minutes from time, which decided the tie in Feohanagh’s favour.
The Limerick champions started in more purposeful fashion doing much of the pressing but Drom always looked dangerous on the counter-attack. The sides were level at 0-2 each, David Butler and Johnny Ryan pointing for Drom, when Feohanagh got a lucky break. Michael Fitzgibbon’s effort for a point in the 12th minute dipped under Shane Hassett’s crossbar for a goal, and they followed it up with further points from Paddy Carroll and Alan Roche for a five points lead after 20 minutes.
Jamie Maloney and James Woodlock points kept Drom-Inch on their tails and though James Guina had a Limerick point from a free in the 30th minute, Drom got a great lift when Michael Purcell, up supporting his attack, was in the right place to smash home a great goal.
Trailing by 1-4 to 1-5 at the break, Drom-Inch got a further boost two minutes after resuming when Keith Nolan finished off a neat three man move with a well-taken goal to put them ahead. The tempo of the game had increased as Mattie O Sullivan for Feohanagh and David Butler swapped points. Shane Hassett made a fine save from Feohanagh’s JF Reidy but still the Limerick side pushed forward and drew level by the 41st minute, 2-5 to 1-8.
An opportunist goal by Keith Nolan in the 42nd minute restored the initiative to Drom-Inch but a minute later, it was lost, as Feohanagh were awarded a penalty which midfielder Tossie Butler converted with aplomb, 3-5 to 2-8.
David Butler pointed a free in the 47th minute to nudge Drom-Inch ahead once more but they were let off the hook when Tossie Butler’s chip for goal was turned out for a forty five in the 54th minute. Two minutes later Michael Fitzgibbon kicked the best point of the game to level the scores for Feohanagh, and then, two minutes from the end, Reidy clipped over what was to be the winning point for the visitors.
Drom had two chances subsequently but they came to nothing leaving them dejected losers by the minimum amount at the end.
Though disappointed at losing a game many predicted they would win, Drom-Inch can look back on a great campaign which yielded Mid and county titles. They did not reach the heights of previous games in this encounter but they were never let do so by a very competitive Feohanagh side who played with huge energy and commitment.
And still, with so little in it at the finish, it would not have taken much to give Drom victory. However, apart from conceding frees too readily, they also turned over possession rather cheaply at times, but for all that, they deserve full credit for a gutsy performance which just came up short on the day.
Despite being under considerable pressure, the Drom-Inch defence acquitted itself well with Seamus Callanan a towering figure at centre halfback.
Miceal Butler was solid at fullback, while Johnny Ryan’s sorties into attack always threatened danger. Jamie Maloney got through a lot of work at midfield while Liam Ryan was most productive of the attack. Keith Nolan took his goals well and James Woodlock also put in a solid shift. Kevin Butler contributed well when introduced.
Feohanagh-Castlemahon - B Noonan; N Corbett, S Downey, M O Mahoney; N Kennedy, P Lomasney, D Mullane; W Lomasney, T Butler(1-0); P Carroll(0-1), M O Sullivan(0-1), A Roche(0-1); J Guina(0-3, 3fs), M Fitzgibbon(1-2, 0-1f), J F Reidy(0-2); Subs- S Flanagan for Mullane; C Noonan for Guina; T Dore for Carroll;
Drom-Inch - S Hassett; M Purcell(1-0), M Butler, E Costello; D Ryan, S Callanan, Johnny Ryan(0-1); J Lupton, J Maloney(0-1); E Buckley, D Collins, J Woodlock(0-1); K Nolan(2-0), D Butler(0-3, 2fs), L Ryan; Subs- M Everard for Lupton; Jerome Ryan for D Ryan; K Butler for Johnny Ryan; R Long for Buckley; E Walsh for Collins;
Ref- K Murphy, Cork.