Carnew in con­trol

IN­TER­ME­DI­ATE FOOT­BALL CHAM­PI­ONSHIP SEMI-FI­NAL

Bray People - - Sport - Mark KENNEDY

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.

Scor­ers

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.

Ref­eree: (Kil­coole).

De­clan Greene

Thomas Kennedy gets a firm grip on Mark Kenny of Ballymanus.

Vinny Fla­herty of Carnew is tracked by Seán O’Neill of Ballymanus.

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