Saturday 7 December 2019

McNamara goal secures semi-final berth for Grange

Munster Junior BFC Quarter-final: Grange 1-7 Rathgormack 0-9

Trevor Costigan, Ballinacurra and Alan McNamara, Grange, in action at the match. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Trevor Costigan, Ballinacurra and Alan McNamara, Grange, in action at the match. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Michael Ryan, Knockaderry, County Limerick

Grange were forced to withstand a great second half revival by Waterford's Rathgormack before emerging victors by the narrowest of margins in the Munster Junior BFC quarter-final at Knockaderry (Co Limerick) on Sunday last.

The inclement weather prior to and during the contest made playing conditions rather difficult. The opening stages saw Rathgormack first into the action. They were denied a goal scoring opportunity in the first minute when Ciaran Power's effort hit the side-netting.

Nevertheless a point apiece by Liam Walsh and Seánie Lacey moved them 0-2 to no score in front by the fifth minute. As the half went on Grange quickly got to grips. Their back line tightened up greatly while at the other end their entire forward line worked very well as a unit with Johnny Magnier, Kevin Murphy, Mark Timlin, Devon Roche, Noel Barry, John Carmody, Kurt Wheeler, Colin Scott and Alan McNamara (above) making their presence felt.

They were back on level terms when Noel Barry pointed two frees by the 10th minute. A minute later John Carmody with a well taken point moved them in front before they struck for the only goal of the game at the end of the first quarter when a good clearance by Kevin Murphy found Noel Barry.

His delivery into the square was saved on the line by the Rathgormack keeper Kieran Guiry with the rebound falling kindly into the path of Alan McNamara who finished to the net. The Cork champions dominated proceedings for the rest of the half and some well taken scores by Colin Scott, Noel Barry, Alan McNamara and Kurt Wheeler helped them hold a fully deserved 1-7 to 0-3 lead at the interval.

On the changeover Rathgormack came out a much improved side and held the Avondhu side scoreless for the entire second half. The Waterford side had some very good displays by Brendan Behan, Seán Clancy, Seánie Lacey,.Mairtin Power, Conor Dalton and Ciaran Power as they battled hard to get back into the contest.

Seán Clancy was their chief marksman in this half account for all six points. As the game heading into the last ten minutes Grange who were defending very well as a unit looked in a comfortable position when leading by double scores 1-7 to 0-5.

From here on Rathgormack threw caution to the wind. They created at least two goal scoring chances, but some timely interceptions by the Grange full-back line kept them at bay. Seán Clancy added more four more points before the end but try as they might they were unable to get the equalising score to force extra time as

Grange held on for a close win.

GRANGE: G Dawson, J Magnier, K Murphy, B Cashman, C Carmody, M Timlin, J Roche, Devon Roche, J Carmody 0-1, N McCarthy, N Barry 0-3f, K Wheeler 0-1f, C Scott 0-1, A McNamara 1-1, D Keating Subs: A Deegan for C Carmody, K Kelleher for D Keating, J Kelleher for C Scott, R Fraher for J Roche, B Kennedy for N McCarthy

RATHGORMACK: K Guiry, A Broxson, T Power, P Larkin, L Walsh 0-1, B Behan, R Elliffe, S Clancy 0-6 (0-5f, 0-1 '45'), M Power, P Behan, S Lacey 0-1, C Dalton, S Kirwan, E Hogan 0-1, Ciaran Power Subs: M Elliffe for L Walsh, Conor Power for P Behan

Referee: Jonathan Hayes (Limerick).