Wednesday 23 January 2019

Craanford on top in local derby

Craanford 2-6 Kilanerin 0-6

Brian Carty

Craanford enter the quarter-finals of the Joyces Expert Intermediate 'A' football championship in decent shape after they finished their Group B schedule with four wins from five outings thanks to a 2-6 to 0-6 victory over Gorey District rivals Kilanerin in Saturday's low-quality fifth round tie at Monamolin.

Even in defeat, Kilanerin still advance to the knockout stages themselves, as two prior wins in the campaign, and results elsewhere going in their favour, saw them take the last quarter-final berth where they will come up against Naomh Eanna.

Craanford got off to an explosive start when Niall Berney made inroads directly from the throw-in, and hared towards goal before his midfield colleague, Matthew Nolan, eventually punched to the net.

But Kilanerin responded to the early blow in positive fashion, as they accounted for five unanswered points on the trot to lead by 0-5 to 1-0 midway through the half.

Lee Owley floated over two points (one free) either side of Gearóid O Súilleabháin kicking a neat brace from similar ranges, while Seán Bardon completed the profitable spell.

However, Craanford found another gear in the second quarter as Mick Lyons registered their first score for some 21 minutes before Jamie Doyle stylishly sliced home their second goal off the outside of his boot just before half-time to create a 2-3 to 0-5 lead by that juncture.

Remarkably, Kilanerin didn't score again until Owley pegged back a point seven minutes from time.

In between, Craanford were in containment mode and were happy enough to play the ball laterally among the hands without doing much probing.

They did add three more points to their tally all the same, as James Smyth, Ger Lyons and a hanging effort from Matthew Nolan completed a straightforward victory for the blue and whites.

Their final points total of eight is only bettered by one more team across both groups (the aforementioned Gorey, who finished on nine), and they will relish the opportunity of continuing that form against a Cloughbawn side with a two wins/one loss/one draw record.

Craanford: Bob Flynn; Mick Sinnott, Pat Kenny (capt.), William Conroy; Joe Berney, Michael O'Loughlin, Jim Kenny; Matthew Nolan (1-1), Niall Berney; Ger Lyons (0-3, 1 free), Pat Murray, Mick Lyons (0-1); James Smyth (0-1), Jamie Doyle (1-0), Des Kavanagh. Subs. - Martin Doyle for Kavanagh (46), Jack Kenny for Murray (48), Kavanagh for Smyth (57).

Kilanerin: Eoin Lucey; Edward Hughes, Brian Hughes, Lorcan Clare; Colm Noctor, Stephen Hughes, Cathal O'Reilly; Niall Gethings, Patsy Fortune; Stephen Neville, Jim Hughes, Gearóid O Súilleabháin (0-2); Lee Owley (0-3, 1 free), Liam Carroll, Seán Bardon (0-1). Subs. - Colin Breen for Carroll (HT), Damien Tobin for Clare (48), Danny Howard for O Súilleabháin (54), Dylan Smith for J. Hughes (57).

Referee: Mick Lanigan (Shelmaliers).

Gorey Guardian