Shamrocks 2-15, Brian Dillons 1-10
Shamrocks are into the semi final of the Co JAFC after a controlled and deserved win over Brian Dillons on Sunday evening in Ballygarvan. Shamrocvks were the better team all through and apart from a spell midway through the second half when Dillons threathened a comeback, they always looked the likely winners.
Both teams played with packed defences in the first half isolating players inside when the other team had possession. Shamrocks were better at penetrating this wall of Dillons defenders with precise passing both from the hand and foot. Brian Dillons led for the only time inside 5 minutes when their big midfielder caught a high ball into the 21 yard line and he pointed. The same midfielder was to move to full forward in the second half as Dillons went in search of goals. Shamrocks captain Barry Mulqueen responded to this point and Shamrocks were up and running. They kicked on and their inside line were winning plenty of possession and winning frees which Darragh O’Sullivan was popping over. Midway through the first half, Shamrocks led 0-5 to 0-3 playing down the Ballygarvan hill but against the breeze. Brian Dillons will rue some costly misses in that half as well as their shooting let them down at times. They also picked up 4 yellow cards which was to prove costly in the second half. Shamrocks continued to probe the Dillons defence and Mulqueen scored a magnificent point on 21 minutes from way out. Shamrocks took inspiration from this and into the game came David Andrews who scored a quickfire 1-1 to drive home the Shamrocks advantage, adding to Philip Bradys point from play. They led 1-8 to 0-4 at halftime and the belief was there that this game was winnable.
Shamrocks expected a fierce Dillons onslaught in the second period but in reality they were always in control. They opened up an 8 point advantage after points from Joe Shanahan and Cannice Caffrey, 1-11 to 0-6. Brian Dillons, a big physical team, needed to score goals from 25 minutes out and managed to score a quickfire 1-1 of their own after 8 minutes of the second half to give themselves real hope, 1-11 to 1-7. However, the Shamrocks responce was magnificent as they scored 4 points from play through Brady, Shanahan and Caffrey. The forwards were playing well in the extra space afforded them and once again Shamrocks went 6 points up with 12 minutes to go, 1-13 to 1-7. Brian Dillons kept at it at the other end and gave the Shamrocks defenders some work to do but the work ethic and desire to win was superb. They did win a penalty but they blasted it over the bar. Soon afterwards onrushing sub Stephen O’Neill finished a soccer style sweeping move to the Dillons net after it was crossed in low by Caffrey and that was it. Joseph Shanahan scored a vital point after a great run and point another sub (all subs made contributions) Jonathan Tuohy put the icing on the cake with a great run and point of his own just before the end. Dillons got 2 late red cards.
This was a great team effort in fairness from everyone. The divisional win seems to have lifted the monkey off their back and they played without fear on Sunday – some of their play and movement was superb. They go on to play Cloyne in the County Semi Final, possibly next week, further details to follow.
Panel: F O’Neill, M. Prout, S. Hurley, Cathal Kidney, Jason Browne, D. Hayes, M. Hitchmough, B. Mulqueen, M. Jordan, J. Shanahan, A. McCarthy, D. Andrews, D. O’Sullivan, P. Brady, C. Caffrey. Subs used – J. Tuohy, S. Kidney, S. O’Neill, B. Sweeney, R. Harrington. Not used – J. Wilson, C. Corkery, D. Scriven, D. O’Neill.