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Shrule/Glencorrib limp into the last eight

Border boys limp into the last eight

SFC Section 4
Tourmakeady 1-7
Shrule/G’corrib 0-7

Rob Murphy

IT is difficult to know where to start with this mini soap opera. The plot may have lacked good football, but it more than made up for it in terms of pure drama.
Incredibly, very little has changed as a result of Tourmakeady’s heroic fight-back and upset victory on Sunday. The home side, bottom going into the last day, are in a relegation play-off, while Shrule/Glencorrib have limped through to the last eight despite the defeat, thanks to a better scoring difference than Claremorris.
While that fact will be a lot more than merely scant consolation to Ger Butler and his management team, the final 20 minutes of this contest, where his team was outscored by 1-5 to 0-1, will be the source of major concern.
James Horan was on hand to watch the full return of Conor Mortimer, who got through his first hour of championship football and delivered a fine return of five points, including two from play.
Horan’s other panel members fared a little less well, Trevor Mortimer was solid at centre back, Dermot Geraghty was substituted late on with a knock to the shin, and Mark Ronaldson was forced off on 24 minutes having been the game’s brightest spark up until that point with two fine points from play. The high challenge that left the Shrule man very dazed was deemed dangerous by referee Vincent Neary, who booked Joe Heneghan after the incident.
The Tourmakeady story deserves to be told in its own right. Manager Jack Grimes admitted that he had come into the contest with plenty of concerns – absent personnel and a disrupted build-up. Yet he was proud of his side’s grit and determination late on.
Last year’s intermediate champions are always capable of clicking if a team fails to keep them at arm’s length. In the first ten minutes they created five scoring chances but scored just one through Kevin Dolan. By half time, they trailed 0-4 to 0-2 in a slow, ponderous game, but that could have been worse had David Geraghty’s goal attempt not crashed back off the post just before the break.
The gap was up to four by the 40th minute thanks to a couple of well-taken Conor Mortimer scores and the game was slipping away. But Dolan’s free-taking and a massive point from Michael Kelly lifted their confidence, and in the closing quarter of the contest, the home side took every chance that came their way.
The sides were level on 60 minutes when substitute John Heneghan got inside the defence and scored a point on the turn from 15 metres out. Within a minute, Michael Kelly had let fly. The ball crashed off the post and into the hands of Micheál Ronan who buried it to the net from close range.
The goal out of nowhere was in keeping with the momentum shift. Shrule/Glencorrib had pressed the panic button and there was no way of jump-starting their effort at that point. They had sparks of good football from individuals, but a return of just seven points in near ideal conditions tells a tale.
Tourmakeady had a 20-minute spell where they found their shooting boots and linked superbly. Dolan and Kelly were the driving force in attack, Heneghan and Micheál Ronan played key roles, while Brendan Prendergst and Brian Heneghan were pivotal in defence.

M Gibbons; MJ Walsh, B Prendergast, T Staunton; A O’Neill, B Heneghan, Joe Heneghan; D O’Toole, D Prendergast; K Dolan (0-4, 3f), T Naughton (0-1), B Naughton; D Heneghan, M Kelly (0-1), N Donoghue.
Substitutes: John Heneghan (0-1) for O’Toole; M O’Neill for B Naughton; S Burke for Joe Heneghan; M Ronan (1-0) for Donoghhue; S O’Neill for D Heneghan.

P Conroy; D Geraghty, C O’Dowd, R Walsh; D McTigue, T Mortimer, J Naughton; K Conroy, J Lohan; E Ronaldson, B Murphy, M Ronaldson (0-2); K Walsh, D Geraghty, C Mortimer (0-5, 3f).
Subs: S Hennelly for M Ronaldson; N Sullivan for Geraghty; K Ryan for K Walsh.

Referee: V Neary (Bonniconlon)

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