In low scoring games, a goal usually proves crucial and so it was at Cusack Park this Saturday afternoon when Mark McInerney’s penalty goal in the twenty first minute gave his side a lead they held to the finish in this senior football championship quarter final.
Éire Óg 1-06
Venue: Cusack Park, Ennis
Whether or not it was a correct call from referee Feargal Gray will be a source of debate among football followers for some time but the Feakle clubman made the call and McInerney’s powerful left footed strike gave Noel Sexton in the Ennistymon goal no chance.
The free was awarded after McInerney had slipped past the last defender before putting the ball wide of the target but the match official ruled that the Éire Óg forward was fouled.
The town side deservingly booked their place in the last four in the race for the Jack Daly cup. Their defence ruled for the most part although Ennistymon will be disappointed with some of their finishing, especially in the second half.
This was a game dominated by defences and a tie in which both sides placed huge emphasis on their respective backlines. There were long periods when both sides had thirteen players in their own half.
The winners were first to score with their captain Gavin Cooney converting a 20m free in the second minute. They were level a minute later when Brendan Rouine finished off a lovely move with what would prove to be his side’s only score from play.
Ennistymon were dealt a big blow in the fifth minute when they lost defender Cathal Reilly with a leg injury. At the first waterbreak the teams were locked together a 0-1 each and five minutes would elapse in the second quarter before the next score which was the aforementioned penalty goal from Mark McInerney.
Philip Talty and McInerney followed with points from play before Brendan Rouine closed out the first half scoring with a point from a 30m free to leave the half time score at 1-3 to 0-2 in the winner’s favour.
Éire Óg landed the first two scores of the new half through McInerney and a superb effort from team captain Cooney who drilled a 30m sideline kick between the uprights to push his side 1-5 to 0-2 ahead with just three minutes of the new half played.
Ennistymon came more into the game after this and pointed frees from Diarmuid Fahy and Brendan Rouine had the margin back to four when the second waterbreak came.
The final quarter, like the first, produced just one point for each side and while Ennistymon did put some good moves together, the winner’s defence held firm with Aaron Fitzgerald, Ciaran Russell and Conall Ó hÁiniféin to the fore
Scorers Éire Óg: Mark McInerney (1-2, 1-0 penalty) Gavin Cooney (0-3, 1f, 1 sideline) Philip Talty (0-1)
Scorers Ennistymon; Brendan Rouine (0-3, 2f) Diarmuid Fahy (0-2, 2f)
1: Nathan Murray
4: Ronan Lanigan
3: Aaron Fitzgerald
2: Manus Doherty
7: Ciaran Russell
6: Conal Ó hÁiniféin
10: Aidan McGrath
8: Darren O’Neill
9: David McNamara
12: Niall McMahon
20: David Reidy
5: Éinne O’Connor
13: Philip Talty
14: Gavin Cooney
15: Mark McInerney
19: Tadhg Connellan for N. McMahon (46)
11: Ikem Ugwuero for Talty (46)
18: Eimhin Courtney for McGrath (57)
21: Jarlath Collins for McInerney (64)
1: Noel Sexton;
2: Cathal Reilly
3: Darragh Conneely
4: Adam Ralph
5: Sean Rouine
6: Sean Driscoll
7: Ciaran McMahon
8: Mattie Kinch
14: Eoin Rouine
10: Brendan Rouine
11: David Fitzgerald
24: David McNamara
20: Diarmuid Fahy
9: Cillian Rouine
15: Tiernan Hogan
23: Liam Devitt for Reilly (inj. 5)
17: Michael McDonagh for McNamara (HT)
29: Ross O’Doherty for E. Rouine (42)
12: John Murphy for Hogan (47)
18: Sean McConigley for Driscoll (57)
Referee: Feargal Gray (Feakle)