IFC Semi-final: Clonmore 1-5 Ballinabranna 0-12

November 8, 2018

The dream is over for another year as the Intermediates did not do themselves justice in the semi-final at DCP.

Ballinabranna reversed the result of three weeks ago to put themselves into the IFC final at the expense of a strangely subdued Clonmore team which could not match the intensity of their opponents and played nowhere near their best form.

B’branna came flying out of the blocks and were 4 points up within 10 minutes. Already under pressure, Clonmore were dealt two early injury blows when Willie Rooney (5mins) and Owen Coleman (22min) had to leave the field to be replaced by Anthony Byrne and David McCarney. Con Murphy got Clonmore’s only point of the first half with a long range effort but after B’branna hit the crossbar with a goal chance and kicked several wides, we were lucky to be only 5 pts down at half-time: 0-6 to 0-1.

We had another injury setback at the start of the second half with Pauric Lawlor going off and being replaced by Paul Byrne. Nevertheless, the lads started the half with a sense of purpose and scored 1-1 within 4 minutes – a pointed free from Con Murphy after Shane McGrath was fouled and Kevin McCarney forced the B’branna keeper to carry the ball over his own line for a rather fortunate goal – 0-6 to 1-2 on 34mins and game on.

We then had a short period of dominance but didn’t score and B’branna hit back with two more pointed frees to extend their lead to 3 pts again on 42 mins. It has to be said that B’branna seemed to get some very soft frees while Clonmore players were clearly fouled on occasions with no free given. Also, two obvious Clonmore sideline balls were given to B’branna so there was a growing sense of frustration at the officials among both players and supporters. This frustration was probably the cause of Jamie Walsh receiving a red card for dissent on 47 minutes after he had been clearly fouled but got no free.

A free by Con Murphy on 50mins made it 0-8 to 1-3 but then disaster struck again when Collie McGrath was sent off for another red card on 55mins. Playing with just 13 men, Clonmore heads never dropped and the lads kept battling away but it just wasn’t going to be our day. We did manage another two points from Con Murphy and Conor McCarney but B’branna scored a couple of their own to leave the final score 0-12 to 1-5.

Well done to the players and mentors for all the time and effort you put into the team throughout the year  – it was a pity to go out in this manner but unfortunately, in football, there are days like this.

The club would like to send best wishes to Conor McCarney who felt unwell after the game. Also to the lads who were injured during the game – Willie, Owen & Pauric, and Gavin & Hogie who couldn’t start, – we wish you a speedy return to full fitness.

TEAM: Colin McGrath, Pauric Lawlor, Bobby Rooney, John Kelly, Shane Murphy, Enda McGrath, Willie Rooney, Ronan Doyle, David Mulvany, Kevin McCarney, Shane McGrath,Jamie Walsh, PJ Byrne, Owen Coleman, Con Murphy (0-4,3f). Subs: Anthony Byrne for Willie Rooney (inj,5mins), David McCarney for Owen (inj, 22mins), Paul Byrne for Pauric Lawlor (inj, 33mins), Conor McCarney for PJ (50mins).

Referee: David Hughes (Bagenalstown).

Photo: Anthony Byrne (left) who replaced Willie Rooney (right) in the Ballinabranna game after Willie was injured on 5 minutes. Anthony also played a vital part in the Minors great semi-final win over Palatine on Sunday.