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Monday 22 April 2019

Furlong in fine form

GAA, Joyces Expert IAFC Group A: Adamstown 0-10 Craanford 0-3

A late flurry of scores saw Adamstown overcome Craanford in this abysmal Joyces Expert Intermediate 'A' football championship Group A tie in a wet and windy St. Patrick's Park on Friday.

This was a torrid affair for both players and supporters alike, as the deplorable conditions made it next to impossible for either side to play the football they intended.

If the bitter cold wasn't enough to have to contend with, the relentless rain and stiff breeze created a situation where one could only feel sorry for those lining out and trying their utmost to put in a performance.

Neither side could find their rhythm in an opening half that produced only four scores, and after much of the second-half continued in a similar style, Adamstown suddenly sprang to life in the closing ten minutes.

They kicked five without reply in that spell in quite impressive fashion to settle a night that Craanford will want to forget about.

To give them their dues, Adamstown always looked the stronger side but with the conditions as they were, this wasn't seen until near the end, with inter-county player Michael Furlong in particular stepping up to the mark with a workmanlike performance and some tidy score-taking.

The eventual winners were off the mark with a point from Seán Barden, before Craanford were dealt a cruel blow when Matthew Nolan and William Conroy went for the same ball and a clash of heads saw both players forced to retire after just ten minutes.

Conroy later tried to resume play after receiving attention but, after shipping another heavy challenge, he left the field once more.

Patrick Murray put Craanford in front midway through the half with two frees, but there wouldn't be another score for 13 torturous minutes before Michael Furlong levelled matters just before half-time.

Furlong was indeed the stand-out player and he gave his side the edge with two well-taken points minutes after the re-start.

Craanford were really struggling now, as Adamstown were slowly but surely beginning to gain a hold of proceedings, and a pointed free from Patrick Murray midway through the half was the Gorey District side's final say in matters as they were completely outmatched in the final quarter.

Seán Barden kicked his second before Shane O'Gorman and Tony French both struck beauties to give Adamstown what was, at that stage, a massive four-point lead.

Two more from Furlong and one from Peter Finn resulted in their side kicking as many scores in the final ten minutes as they had done in the 50 minutes beforehand, claiming their first win of the campaign to leave them now sitting level with Craanford who also have one win from two.

Adamstown: Jason Whitty; Ciarán Finn, Shane O'Gorman (0-1), Tomás Harrington; Brendan Furlong, Lorcan French, Johnny Connors; Tony French (0-1), Michael Furlong (0-5); Seánie O'Neill, Seán Barden (0-2), Tomás French; Peter Finn (0-1), Colm Boland, Shane Bradley. Sub. - Harry Cosgrave for P. Finn (54).

Craanford: Robert Flynn; Patrick Kenny, William Conroy, Páuric Redmond; Joseph Berney, Michael O'Loughlin, Eoin Doyle; Niall Berney, Matthew Nolan; Oliver Doran, Patrick Murray (0-3 frees), Michael Lyons; Ger Lyons, Martin Doyle, John Lancaster. Subs. - Eamonn Doran for Conroy (9), Michael Sinnott for Nolan (9), Conroy for Kenny (24), Kenny for Conroy (26).

Referee: John O'Loughlin (Monageer-Boolavogue).

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