IFC 1st round Grange 2-9 Clonmore 2-8

November 8, 2018

In a very competitive game which saw the lead change hands seven times, two late pointed frees by Grange gave them victory in this tense First Round of the Intermediate Championship in Tullow on Saturday.

Clonmore started very nervously but a great goal by Shane McGrath, after good work by Ronan Doyle, put us 4 points ahead and looking good on 20 minutes – 1-3 to 0-2. But almost immediately, Grange responded with a goal of their own from Kieran Pender and followed up with two points to go one ahead before Owen Coleman levelled the score at half-time 1-4 apiece.

it was nip and tuck in the second half with Grange first taking the lead but points from David Mulvany (2) and one from the lively Conor McCarney put us back in front on 41mins – 1-7 to 1-6. No sooner had we regained the lead than Grange snatched it back again with another goal from No2 who was put through by Pender. A huge John Murphy free on 48mins put them 2-7 to 1-7 up. Murphy was held scoreless from play by the excellent Ronan Doyle.

Clonmore kept battling and a Gavin Byrne free was followed by another great Shane McGrath goal to put us back in front 2-8 to 2-7 on 51 minutes. We then had a couple of opportunities to extend the lead – two long range frees at awkward angles and a shot for a point which went wide but we failed to put daylight between us and Grange. From the second of these frees the ball dropped into the square and broke into the arms of Shane McGrath whose snap-shot at goal could have gone anywhere but unfortunately hit a Grange defender on the line.

Our backs were struggling to cope with Grange’s swift counter attacks and two of these breakaways led to converted frees in the 54th and 59th minutes. At that stage Grange shut up shop and used their greater physical presence to stop the lighter Clonmore lads from getting through for a score. Our final attack yielded a free almost 50 yards out and a shot at the posts might have been the wiser option but in the heat of the moment it was taken short and the chance came to nothing.

The team played with great heart and determination but seemed to be effected by nerves on the night and didn’t do themselves justice. They must now re-group and get ready to play Ballon in Tullow next Friday evening in a ‘must win’ game which they are well capable of winning.

Team: Colin McGrath, Paul Byrne, Bobby Rooney, John Kelly, Enda McGrath, Ronan Doyle, Willie Rooney, Gavin Byrne (0-2,1f), David Mulvany (0-3), Con Murphy, Shane McGrath (2-0), Jamie Walsh (0-1), Conor McCarney (0-1), Owen Coleman (0-1), PJ Byrne. Subs: Kevin McCarney for PJ Byrne, 45mins, Anthony Byrne for Paul Byrne, 52mins, David McCarney for Enda McGrath, 55mins

Photo: Two great goals by Shane McGrath were not enough to prevent the Intermediates from going down by the minimum margin to Grange in the Ist Round of the Intermediate Championship.