Annacurra in no mood for messing in play-off
ANNACURRA started much the better of the two teams in the opening half in this Darcy Sand Intermediate Football Championship relegation play-off match in Pearse’s Park, Arklow.
Martin Ging’s men raced into a three-point lead thanks to a fisted goal by Clive Horan after five minutes.
The pick of their scores came from Gearóid Murphy with an outside of the boot strike from 45 yards and a fine effort from the hardworking Alan Byrne.
Stratford-Grangecon midfielder Matthew Manley had registered his second point by the 24th minute but it wasn’t enough as Annacurra were in complete control of the opening half.
A Frank Clune goal on the 18th minute followed by an impressive strike from Mick O’Brien from 45 yards guided Annacurra to nine-point lead at the break (2-5 to 2 points).
It was Stratford-Grangecon who started the second half much the better with Matthew Manley registering his third point of the day followed by a Jason Bolger point shortly after.
Stratford-Grangecon wing forward Kieran Byrne, who was impressive in the abandoned game, battled hard throughout and his efforts were rewarded with a fine goal in the 39th minute after linking up with Matthew Manley.
Annacurra tagged on further points from O’Brien, Clune and Murphy again who cropped up with other sweet strike after 46.
O’Brien and Murphy were very impressive for the Derrysiders. Kieran Byrne registered two more points for Stratford-Grangecon and on the 26th minute, he was fouled in the Annacurra square with referee Chris Canavan awarding a penalty which was sent wide.
Annacurra pushed on and wing back Michael Healy popped up with the final score of the game.
Annacurra safe for another year at Intermediate football level. Stratford-Grangecon meet Rathnew in the relegation final.
Scorers – Annacurra: Gearóid Murphy 0-4 (1f), Mick O’Brien 0-2, Michael Healy 0-1, Alan Byrne 0-2, Frank Clune 1-1, Clive Horan 1-2 (1f).
Stratford-Grangecon: Matthew Manley 0-3, Kieran Byrne 1-3 (1f), Jason Bolger 0-1, Ross Coogan 0-1.
ANNACURRA: Robert Fitzgerald; Shane McAllister, Ciaran Byrne, Liam Moules; Michael Healy, Alan Byrne, Elliot Robinson; Martin O’Brien, Mick O’Brien; Clive Horan, Gearóid Murphy, Nevan O’Sullivan; Frank Clune, Jon Hynes, Max Molloy. Subs: John O’Neill, Michael Doyle, Ian McDonald for Molloy (45), Dean Barnes for Hynes (48).
STRATFORD-GRANGECON: Patrick Cronin; Eric Fenlon, Marcus Hanbidge, Joseph O’Neill; Shane Byrne, Michael Mangan, Adam Doyle; Mark Landon, Matthew Manley; Ross Coogan, Mark Murphy, Kieran Byrne; Cormac Byrne, Jason Bolger, Declan Bollard.
REFEREE: Chris Canavan (Avoca)