VGC Group IFC Semi-Final
St Josephs 2-06
By Damian Dolan
At McGovern Park, Ruislip
Cuchullains needed a strong finish to see off St Josephs at Ruislip on Saturday, and secure their place in this year’s Intermediate Championship final.
They’ll await the winners of Harlesden Harps and St Brendans, who need a replay to separate them, but it was far from smooth sailing for Cuchullains who trailed by four points early in the second half when Mark Porter netted the Joes’ second goal.
But Joes wouldn’t trouble the scorers again until deep into injury-time, and by that time Cuchullains had racked up seven points, and it was just about enough to see them over the line and into the final.
The pundits’ favourites going into this semi-final, Cuchullains seemed to be easing into their stride when Kyle Feehily’s strike edged them into a 0-3 to 0- 2 lead after eight minutes.
Conan O’Brien and Gerard Byrne were dominating midfield, with the movement of Cuchullains’ forward line causing Joes problems, coupled with some slick handling.
A minute later, though, Gary Walsh flattened Shane Ruane and referee Conor Conneely had no hesitation in awarding a penalty, which Eamonn McGovern despatched expertly into the roof of the net.
Although Fiachra McArdle replied with a free, Ruane landed two frees of his own.
Joes were working tirelessly in defence and Cuchullains’ early vigour and effectiveness had been nullified.
Joes got lucky when Declan O’Loughlin’s high ball ricocheted off a Cuchullains player and over Sean Maloney’s bar, and the lead was up to four.
Pick up your copy of this week’s Irish World to read the full match report
CUCHULLAINS: Sean Maloney; Conor Harrington (0- 1), Camillus Donnelly, Christopher Teague; Sean Dirrane, Gary Walsh, Conan O’Brien; Gerard Byrne (0-2), Cianan Byrne (0-1); Anthony Tighe, Darren McManus, Conor Donnellan; Kyle Feehily (0-1), Brendan Breen (0-1), Fiachra McArdle (0-8, 5f). SUBS: Brian McVeigh for Feehily, Paddy Glennon for Donnellan.
ST JOSEPHS: Conor Hallasey; Liam Clifford, Tomas Stenson, Damien Hanahoe; Declan O’Mahoney, Gearoid Holland, Mark Porter (1-0); James Gartlan, Declan O’Loughlin (0-1); Shane King, Eamon McGovern (1-1, 1xPen), James Cooper; Gary Gillespie, Shane Ruane (0-3f), Neil McAlynn. SUBS: Pierce McGirr for King, Donald Coppingham for Cooper, Paddy Gregory (0-1) for Gartlan.