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Sea Blues reach semi-finals

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Rory McHugh, Easkey, Niall Colsh, Ballymote. Pic: Carl Brennan.

Rory McHugh, Easkey, Niall Colsh, Ballymote. Pic: Carl Brennan.

Rory McHugh, Easkey, Niall Colsh, Ballymote. Pic: Carl Brennan.

sligochampion

EASKEY 1-12

Ballymote 1-07

Easkey maintained their 100% record in the group stages of the Intermediate Championship in a very wet and windy Scarden on Sunday. Five minutes before throw in, the heavens opened and the torrential rain meant that conditions were less than ideal for this final round group fixture.

Ballymote aided by the wind in the first half seemed to climatize to the conditions quicker and a point from Michael Rafferty after only 2 minutes put Ballymote ahead.

A lovely Conor Meehan point from an acute angle followed by a point from Zak O’Dowd after Baallymote turned over the Easkey’s defence increased Ballymote’s lead to 3 points with 10 minutes played.

A free from Joe McHugh just before the water break got Easkey off the mark but Ballymote were quick to reply just after the water break as Jack Lavin won the resulting Ballymote kickout and got on the end of the move again to kick a fine point.

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A Joe McHugh point from play for Easkey after good work from Daniel Rolston reduced the lead and a point from Kevin Duffy after a mark by Daniel Rolston was played short to Duffy and he tapped it over to leave the bare minimum between the sides at half time.

Ballymote 0-04 to Easkey 0-03.

Easkey didn’t take long to get back to level terms in the 2nd half as half time substitute Andrew Kilcullen kicked a nice score which was shortly followed by a point from Rory McHugh to put the Sea Blues into the lead.

Ballymote responded through 2 frees in 2 minutes from Niall Colsh to put Ballymote back in the lead.

They had the chance to increase the lead further only for Easkey goalkeeper Shane Kilgannon pulled off a great save. Mikey Gordon levelled matters for a 3rd time from a free. Another Andrew Kilcullen point just before the water break put Easkey into the lead going into the final quarter. Easkey took control of the game early in the final quarter and points from Eoighan Rua McGowan, Daniel Rolston and another from Andrew Kilcullen put Easkey 4 points clear.

A free from Ronan Keenan reduced the margin but Easkey replied through Andrew Kilcullen to lead by 4 again. A great flowing move from Easkey saw Mikey Gordon hit a powerful effort goal bound but a great save from Ballymote goalkeeper Cian Kilcoyne to keep his side in the game and they were really back in the game shortly after as Zak O’Dowd hit the back of the net for Ballymote as the game entered injury time.

Easkey’s reply was immediate as a great run from Rory McHugh and he finished to the bottom corner to increase the Sea Blues lead again to 4 points.

Ballymote continued to press and went in search of another goal, an effort from was Danny Clarke was deflected out for a 45’ by the Easkey defence and then another shot went narrowly wide in the dying stages.

Easkey also had their own goal chances with Eoghan Rua McGowan bearing down on goal but his effort went over the bar. This proved to be the final action with Easkey winning out 1-12 to 1-07.

Easkey now progress to the Semi Finals where they will meet their West Sligo neighbours St Farnans meanwhile Ballymote enter the relegation playoff semi final against Tourlestrane

Teams:

Easkey: Shane Kilgannon, Ciaran Montague, Noel McGuire, Bernard Feeney, James Lindsay, Eanna Moylan, Mikey Gordon (0-01, 1f), Eugene Mullen, Rory McHugh (1-01), Jonathon Conway, Joe McHugh (0-02, 1f), Jack Scott, Eoghan Rua McGowan (0-02), Daniel Rolston (0-01), Kevin Duffy (0-01), Subs used: Andrew Kilcullen (0-04), Ian Barrett, Dylan Sloyan, Jose Dunphy,

Ballymote: Cian Kilcoyne, Ronan Keenan, Michael Doddy, Oisin Conlon, Tristan Regan, Jack Lavin, Stephen Ross, Michael Rafferty, Shane Langton, Niall Colsh, Jack Hever, Kenny Meehan, Peter Lyons, Zak O’Dowd, Conor Meehan, Subs used: Danny Clarke, Paul Mullin, Colin Byrne

Michael Rafferty (0-01), Jack Lavin (0-01), Ronan Keenan (0-1), Conor Meehan (0-01), Zak O’Dowd (1-01), Niall Colsh (0-2, 2f)


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