Middletown shock Effin
TWO goals in a minute helped Armagh's Middletown secure their place in the All-Ireland final on February 11 as they surprised Munster champions Effin at Birr.
It was a deserved win for the Ulster champions, who were always in control. They swept into a 1-5 to 0-1 lead after just 11 minutes when Cathal Carville netted.
Tommy Quaid notched five points from frees for the Limerick side, who had to wait until just on half-time for their first point from play, which came from David Moloney.
Disaster struck for Effin just minutes into the second half when Martin Moran and Barney McCann goals put Middletown out in front.
Effin's Nicky Quaid moved from centre-back to grab two goals for his side, but it was too little, too late as Middletown finished seven points clear.
It was thanks mainly to the efforts of Nathan Currie, Padraig Hughes and Paul Gaffney in defence, Barney McCann at midfield and, in attack, Martin McGuire and Ryan Gaffney posed huge problems for the Effin defence.
SCORERS -- Middletown Na Fianna: B McCann 1-2 (1f), D Carville 0-5 (5f), M Moran 1-1, R Gaffney 0-4, C Carville 1-0, N Currie, M McGuire 0-1 each; Effin: T Quaid 0-7 (7f), N Quaid 2-0, D Moloney, H O'Neill, D Sheehy 0-1 each.
MIDDLETOWN NA FIANNA -- P Moran; B Mallon, P Hughes, F Woods; J McKeenan, N Currie, P Gaffney; B McCann, P McBride; M McGuire, C McCann, D Carville; R Gaffney, C Carville, M Moran. Subs: P McArdle for Woods (40), S Carville for D Carville (48).
EFFIN -- J O'Leary; John P O'Donnell, J Dillon, A Dillon; M O'Donnell, N Quaid, M Rea; James O'Donnell, P Carroll; C Kearney, D Moloney, P O'Kelly; H O'Neill, T Quaid, T Rea. Subs: D Sheehy for O'Kelly (29), JM Manning for Rea (36).
REF -- S Cleere (Kilkenny).