Carnew in control
INTERMEDIATE FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SEMI-FINAL
Carnew 0-10, Ballymanus 0-4: Ballymanus were beaten in last year’s Intermediate football final but this year they did not make it that far, losing out to Carnew – one of the championship favourites – in the semi-final by six points at Aughrim on Sunday.
In their previous match The Billies turned in one of the best displays of attacking football seen in this championship, particular in the opening half, but last Sunday they were misfiring on too many cylinders up front all the way through.
Carnew have been going great guns all season, both in the league and the championship, and they led their opponents from pillar to post, start to finish, in a game that failed to sparkle or catch fire at any stage.
Seánie Kinsella is back in the team after injury and he showed no ill effects as he turned in a performances that was impressive and profitable for Carnew, scoring three of their ten points from the full-forward position.
However his flanker Joe Murphy, who adopted a roving corner-forward role, was as often to be seen helping out his defence as pressing home attacks, was their chief marksman scoring six of their points from frees and play.
Ballymanus trailed their opponents by 0-5 to 0-1 at half-time but the scoreline gave a distorted picture of the pattern of the exchanges with The Billies having enjoyed a greater share of the play than the scoreline would seem to suggest.
Unfortunately they did not always make best use of their chances, shooting six wides to Carnew’s one or two in the opening 30 minutes, including midfielder Michael Stapleton and full-forward Seán O’Neill misdirecting two frees.
The same criticism could not be directed at Carnew’s Joe Murphy as he popped over three points in the opening half, two of them from frees to give his team a somewhat flattering 0-5 to 0-1 lead even though the scoring return from both teams was on the low side.
Ballymanus started the second-half promising more than they eventually delivered, though wing-forward Donal Murphy provided them with the encouragement of a splendid point in the first minute, kicked over from a difficult position on the right sideline.
Moments later Michael Stapleton cracked a free off the goalpost and the ball was thumped to safety by Carnew’s centre-back Gary Doran. Eoin Coleman was winning quite a few frees in scoreable positions for Carnew but he failed to get on the scoresheet himself.
On 26 minutes Seánie Kinsella teamed up with his centre-forward Don Hyland to win a free and another point for Joe Murphy from a placed ball.
However it was Ballymanus who dominated play in the third quarter but again they did not have much to show for it on the scoreboard - another point by midfielder Michael Stapleton from a free leaving his team trailing by double scores 0-3 to 0-6 entering the final quarter.
Overall the quality of the game provided spectators with little to enthuse about. Indeed one of the highlights of the match was a magnificent point by Joe Murphy from way out on the sideline on 46 minutes.
It sparked a better finish from the Carnew men in the final quarter and further points from Seánie Kinsella (2) and Joe Murphy copper-fastened their clear-cut six points win, but one would imagine that they will need to improve on this display when they take on Annacurra in the final.
for Carnew were: Joe Murphy (0-6), Seánie Kinsella ( 0- 3), Liam Kennedy (0-1).
Ballymanus scorers: Michael Stapleton (0-2), Mark Kenny (0-1), Donal Murphy (0-1).
Carnew: Ted Kennedy, Willy Collins, Vinny Flaherty, Shane Doyle, Nick Skelton, Gary Doran, Mark Collins, Brian Osborne, Thomas Kennedy, Liam Kennedy, Don Hyland, Timmy Collins, Joe Murphy, Seanie Kinsella, Eoin Coleman. Subs: John Kavanagh for L. Kennedy, Barry Bolger for M. Collins.
Ballymanus: Brendan Doyle, Niall Harmon, Lorcan Byrne, Colm Coogan, Shane Whelan, Noel O’Neill, Jim Byrne, Michael Stapleton, Brendan Whelan, Ray Stapleton, Mark Kenny, Donal Murphy, David Langrell, Sean O’Neill, Kevin Byrne. Subs: Ciaran Whelan for D. Langrell.
Thomas Kennedy gets a firm grip on Mark Kenny of Ballymanus.
Vinny Flaherty of Carnew is tracked by Seán O’Neill of Ballymanus.