The Meade Farm Intermediate Football Championship quarter finals proper await Walterstown after they got the better of an ultra defensive Clann na nGael outfit in Páirc Tailteann on Saturday last.
Meade Farm Intermediate Football Championship Preliminary Quarter Final
Clann na nGael: 1-11
A rasping shot, soccer style, from Sam McCabe rattled the back of the net a minute after the turnaround and it was that score that proved the crucial one for the Blacks. Indeed McCabe was Walterstown’s main threat throughout, finished up with 1-4 , and picked up the slack for Brian O’Connell, who was a marked man after his recent scoring exploits.
The Blacks went in to this encounter without the services of the suspended Barry O’Connell, while Robbie Cunningham and Eoghan O’Mahony were also unavailable. In to the attack came Ruairí O’Dowd and Davy Donnellan, who contributed four points between them.
The victory mean Walterstown march on to the last eight, where Blackhall Gaels await on the weekend of October 9 and 10 and they will need a full panel to pick from if they are to make it through to the semis.
Back to last Saturday however, and the Blacks were forced to be uber patient with their forays forward such was the manner in which their opponents defended with men behind the ball. And when they exercised that patience, the reaped the rewards on so many occasions but on other occasions they were wasteful and too many chances were let go abegging. At one point O’Connell’s men were six point to the good but were forced to hang on in the end despite being the better side for the duration.
Early on in this encounter it was a case of nip and tuck when it came to the scoreboard. It wasn’t until the second quarter of the opening half that Walterstown began to show their prowess. With 18 minutes on the clock the Blacks had opened up a 0-9 to 0-4 advantage. They worked hard to that advantage too. At the midway point of the half Aron McLoughlin split the posts after a seriously patient build up from the Blacks. Thereafter Brian O’Connell and Sam McCabe added to their tally before McCabe tagged on another after Clann na nGael were turned over in defence.
As the first half drew to a close Walterstown led 0-10 to 0-6 but they were dealt a hammer blow just before the break when Luke Swaine put just a single point between the side when he hit the back of John Davis’ net. It left the scoreboard reading 0-10 to 1-6 at half time and with it all to play for in the second.
Walterstown began the final half extremely well. First up Brian O’Connell nabbed a point from a mark and then came their goal. When midfield man Conor O’Sullivan failed to gather possession, he managed to get a touch to the ball to send it on to McCabe. The latter knew he had a split second to make his decision and what a decision it was. McCabe let fly with his right boot and left Clann na nGael ‘keeper Eoin Griffen with no chance and gave Walterstown leading 1-11 to 1-6. But the Athboy side weren’t going away too easily.
The deficit was down to three by the 50th minute and cut to two four minutes later. Ruairí O’Dowd stemmed the tide when he raised a white flag in the 56th minute. However Darragh Swaine cut it back to two in the 61st minute but that was as close as they came.
When Stephen Dawson sounded the long whistle, the sigh of relief from the Walterstown supporters was palpable.
It’s onward to the quarter finals proper now for the Blacks and Blackhall Gaels will provide the opposition on Saturday or Sunday week.
See below for images from Saturday game.
SCORERS: Walterstown – Sam McCabe 1-4, Brian O’Connell 0-3 (1f), Davy Donnellan 0-2, Ruairi O’Dowd 0-2, Alban Crosbie 0-1, Aron McLoughlin 0-1.
Clann na nGael – Luke Swaine 1-1, Darragh Swaine 0-4 (3f), Cian Swaine 0-3, Diarmuid O Donnchadha 0-2, Tomas Doyle 0-1.
WALTERSTOWN: John Davis; Peter Reynolds, Brian McGrane, Conor Farrelly; Alan Wall, Cathal Hennelly, Aron McLoughlin; Conor O’Sullivan, Alban Crosbie; Davy Donnellan, Ruairi O’Dowd, Mark McCormack; Adam Treanor, Brian O’Connell, Sam McCabe. SUBS: Paul Donnellan replaced A Treanor 45 mins, Adam Barrett replaced C O’Sullivan 45 mins, Davy Reynolds for D Donnellan 53 mins, Johnny Geoghegan replaced A McLoughlin 57 mins.
CLANN NA nGAEL: Eoin Griffin; Rory Tuite, Darren Kelly, KIllian Swaine; Ryan McNamee, Jack Doherty, Micheal O Coffaigh; Cian Swaine, Diarmuid O Donnchadha; Luke Swaine, Darragh Griffin, Eamon O Donnchadha; Sam Black, Darragh Swaine, John Farrell. SUBS: Philip Garry replaced R McNamee 33 mins, Carl Kelly replaced D Kelly 50 mins, Tomas Doyle replaced D Swaine 50 mins, Gerry O’Sullivan replaced L Swaine 50 mins.
REFEREE: Stephen Dawson (Carnaross).