Friday 23 March 2018

McEneaney double impact earns Geraldines second bite

Geraldines 2-9 Naomh Olaf 1-12

(After extra-time)

Leinster Club IFC

Jim McEneaney's return proved timely as the Louth star saved Geraldines' bacon at the end of normal time and extra-time in Drogheda.

The son of former Louth and Monaghan manager Eamonn made his first appearance of the provincial campaign as a second-half sub and forced extra-time with a last-gasp '45'.

And he came to the rescue again in the final moments of extra-time, wiping out Naomh Olaf's two-point lead to ensure the sides must do it all again at Parnell Park on Sunday.

In a whirlwind start, Naomh Olaf hit the net after just four minutes as 2011 All-Ireland minor winning captain David Byrne slapped an Eoin Kinsella centre to the net.

The wing-back was involved again when that strike was cancelled out three minutes later, as his fumble under pressure allowed Glen Trainor to nip in for another straightforward finish.

Naomh Olaf led 1-4 to 1-3 at the break and soon extended their advantage through Fergal McCann, but Trainor wrested the lead back seconds later, finishing low to the 'keeper's right to make it 2-3 to 1-5.

McEneaney's first score extended Geraldines' lead to two, but Naomh Olaf rallied as points from Brian Begley (2), Eoin Christian and McCann opened a two-point cushion with six minutes left.

But Trainor pulled one back, before McEneaney equalised in injury-time.

Reduced to 14 men following Conor Haskins' straight red card two minutes from the end, Naomh Olaf were returned to the full complement in extra-time and they again forged two clear.

However, McEneaney kept his cool to fire over a couple of late frees to earn Geraldines a replay.

SCORERS – Geraldines: G Trainor 2-1, J McEneaney 0-4 (2fs, 2 '45s'), S O'Hanlon 0-3 (1f, 1 '45'), J Breen 0-1. Naomh Olaf: B Begley 0-4 (3fs), David Byrne 1-0, F Purcell 0-3 (2fs), E Kinsella 0-2 (1f), F McCann, S Hickey, E Christian 0-1 each.

GERALDINES – N Cooney; S Watters, N Mackin, T Hand; J Craven, G Hoey, K Pepper; M Rogers, S Reidy; S Thornton, J Breen, P Hoey; B Hamilton, S O'Hanlon, G Trainor. Subs: S Callan for P Hoey (21), J McEneaney for Watters (h-t), J Arrowsmith for Thornton (52), D Hamill for Hamilton (70).

NAOMH OLAF – N Gibbons; A Murphy, K Birrane, R Miley; B Gaughran, C Doyle, David Byrne; Darragh Byrne, C Haskins; F McCann, F Purcell, B Begley; J McGrath, E Kinsella, E Christian. Subs: T O'Donoghue for McGrath (40), G Wilkins for Begley (52), D Meskell for F McCann (60), S Hickey (70), S Whyte for David Byrne (70), F McCann for Purcell (h-t in e-t), B Begley for E Chrsitian (74).

REF – A Nolan (Wicklow).

Irish Independent

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