Doran hits fine hat-trick
Craanford 4-8 St. Mary's (Rosslare) 0-6
A powerhouse display from midfielder Ollie Doran drove Craanford to an impressive victory in their Enniscorthy Farms Systems Junior 'B' football championship semi-final in Hollymount.
Doran may be more recognised for his exploits on the hurling field, but he showed on Saturday that he's certainly no mug at the big ball game either as he hit St. Mary's for 3-3 in an all-action performance.
The timing of his goals was also crucial as he got his side off the mark in perfect fashion with an early three-pointer before hitting the back of the net twice in quick succession after the turnaround to put his side in control.
The north county men held a one-point point advantage at the interval, but those two majors in less than three minutes after the break had them very much in the driving seat.
You could sense that Doran was going to have one of those days where everything clicked into place, when he burst forward with menace with just three minutes on the clock and sluiced through the heart of the defence before planting the ball past goalkeeper Darragh Hayes.
He popped over a point to extend the Craanford advantage but St. Mary's clawed their way back to parity, with two Philip Lambert points sandwiching a superb line ball from Andy Cummins, before Conor Cafferkey stroked over the leveller.
Points from Doran and Shane Greene nosed the Gorey District side two ahead but Cafferkey split the posts late in the half to leave the minimum between the sides at the interval (1-3 to 0-5).
However, the match was settled in three devastating minutes after the change of ends, with Doran again doing the damage.
Just 18 seconds into the half Doran robbed back possession and blasted in from close range, and less than three minutes later he had the green flag waving again, when he collected a pass from Luke Byrne and arrowed an unerring shot to the corner of the net.
To rub salt into the gaping Rosslare wounds, Andy Cummins was red-carded moments later and Craanford weren't in the mood to show any mercy, with Doran and substitute Cian O'Toole splitting the posts to give them a 3-5 to 0-5 advantage.
O'Toole ensured Doran didn't have the monopoly in the goal-scoring stakes in the 57th minute when he gathered possession on the right wing and made a beeline for the posts, before finishing with aplomb as Craanford marched on to the county final against Rathgarogue-Cushinstown in style.
Craanford: Derek Finn; Jack Keogh, Gary Keating, Patrick Lancaster; Stuart Byrne, James Byrne, Eoin Doyle; Michael Shortall, Ollie Doran (3-3); John Lancaster, Shane Kavanagh, Jim Redmond (capt.); Martin Wadding (0-2 frees), Shane Greene (0-1), Luke Byrne. Subs. - Cian O'Toole (1-2) for Keating (20), Andrew Tighe for Doyle (31), Martin Kenny for Shortall (39), Seán Byrne for Keogh (59).
St. Mary's (Rosslare): Darragh Hayes; Ben Hayes, Ned Power (capt.), Paul Fortune; Jake O'Connor, Seán Stewart, Conal Grant; Christy Walsh, Conor Cafferkey (0-2); Fintan Wickham, Mick McInerney (0-1), Kevin Power; Andy Cummins (0-1 line ball), Philip Lambert (0-2), Aaron Kehoe. Subs. - Derek Brohan for Wickham, temp. (1), Andrew O'Connor for B. Hayes (42), Alan Hyland for Fortune (47), Derek Brohan for McInerney (47), McInerney for Stewart (55).
Referee: Aidan Foley (Shelmaliers).