Wednesday 20 March 2019

Gers clear first hurdle

Division 1/2 play-off: Geradlines 2-11 Naomh Fionnbarra 0-9

Geraldines produced a superb second-half display at Haggardstown to keep their Division 1 survival hopes alive.

Wayne Callan's men are facing into a crunch period in their season with their Division 1 and Senior status under threat, but they recovered from a Championship play-off defeat to St Mary's with a gutsy display on home soil on Thursday night.

They trailed by a point at half-time, but completely bossed the second-half to see off a Naomh Fionnbarra side still on a high from their impressive Intermediate Championship quarter-final win over Cooley Kickhams.

As you'd expect from a high-stakes play-off, the opening half-hour was tight and cagey.

Stephen Reidy opened the scoring for the Gers, but both sides enjoyed periods of ascendency as the first-half progressed.

The Gers were largely on top in the opening quarter as four Jim McEneaney points on the bounce saw them open a 0-6 to 0-2 lead, but they didn't score again in the first-half.

The Barrs took over and with William Woods inch-perfect over frees again they hauled themselves back into the lead by the interval, 0-7 to 0-6.

They doubled that advantage with the first score of the second period, but the Geraldines soon took control again and this time they didn't look back.

Points from McEneaney, Conor Rafferty, Josh Arrowsmith and McEneaney again opened a 0-10 to 0-8 lead.

With the game delicately poised it was the Gers who kicked on with a superb goal. Dan Corcoran started a sweeping move in his own fullback line combining with James Corrigan and then offloading to brother Matt, who drove straight through the heart of the Barrs' defence and fired past Andy McCann to make it 1-10 to 0-8.

The Barrs replied with a point, but a Paddy Hoey score put five in it again and Kevin Pepper netted a second Gers goal in the closing stages to put the result beyond all doubt.

The Gers now have to negotiate two winner-takes-all tussles with Kilkerley Emmets to determine who will ply their trade in Division 1 and the Senior Championship next season.

It's back to Championship matters for the Finbarrs, however, as they prepare for a semi-final date with St Fechin's.

Geraldines: Sean McEneaney; Tiarnan Hand, Dan Corcoran, James Craven; Kevin Pepper 1-0, Jack Traynor, Gareth Neacy; Paddy Hoey 0-1, Matt Corcoran 1-0; James Corrigan, Jim McEneaney 0-6, Sean Thornton; Conor Rafferty 0-1, Conall Hoey, Glen Trainor 0-1. Subs: Josh Arrowsmith 0-1 for C Hoey, Paul Clarke for S Thormton (BC).

Naomh Fionnbarra: Andy McCann; Hugh McGrane, Kieran Lenehan, James Butterly; Bryan Sharkey, Hugh Osborne, Niall Woods; John Doyle, Darren McConnon; Mairtin Murphy, Conor Osborne 0-1, Bernard Osborne 0-2 (1f); Nicholas Butterly, William Woods 0-6 (5f), Jack Butterly. Subs: Oisin McGee for N Butterly, Adam Hanratty for W Woods, Padraig Butterly for M Murphy, M McArdle for H Osborne.

The Argus