Minors Reach County Final

Post date: Sep 29, 2012 9:10:39 PM

Magh Cuilinn's Minors went one better than many of the same players had done at U21 level by qualifying for a County final. The game against Meelick Eyrecount was set to be a tough one as only two points had separated the sides in their group encounter. Mágh Cuilinn suffered a major blow before the off with Conor Kyne ruled out with a shoulder injury.

Mágh Cuilinn started well with an early goal and Jack Kelly again proved very accurate from placed balls. The team were playing with a strong breeze but nonetheless Enna Kelleghan had be brave and put his body on the line to deny Eyrecourt a clear goal chance. Kevin O'Donovan moved to full forward following a heavy blow to the knee but the move proved fortuitous as first his shot from 30 yards ws only parried into the goal by the Eyrecourt keeper, then when he was hauled down Jack Kelly was brave enough to go for goal from the 20m free and he was rewarded. Jack Kelly completed the point scoring with fine score from 60m on the left sideline, having been neatly found by Eanna Malone. Mágh Cuilinn went to the break with a commanding halftime lead of 3-07 to 0-05.

Things improved immediately on the restart when Jack Kelly was again on target from a free but scoring from there on in would prove difficult. Meelick Eyrecourt received the boost they needed when Magh Cuilinn lost possession at half back and the fullforward was able to burst through and leave Eanna Kelleghan with little chance. Magh Cuilinn did respond with another point from a free but Meelick Eyrecourt were piling on more and more pressure. However a combination of stout defending and poor shooting meant they were only able to add two points to their total. Then a long ball from outfield seemed to deceive Eanna Kelleghan and while he was able to prevent the ball crossing the line, the Meelick forwards were first on hand to bundle it home. The score was now 3-09 to 2-07 and there were still fifteen minutes to go. Meelick mounted siege of the Mágh Cuilinn goal forcing two great saves from Eanna Kelleghan. From a series of 65m frees they failed to achieve a single score until finally pointing a free from on the left. Even the penalty they were awaded was well saved. The switch of Eanna Malone and Annroai Whyte had proved effective for both defenders. With Magh Cuilinn finally restoring a six point lead with another Jack Kelly free and a fine point from Conor Noone, they could face the final five minutes with confidence. Eyrecourt did manage one point and there were a few nervous moments when they broke through for another oal well into added time. But there was to be no miracle comback and Magh Cuilinn have reached their first Minor final since 2003. The game against the winners of Sarsfields and Ballinasloe is likely to be played in Athenry next Sunday.

Magh Cuilinn: Eanna Kelleghan, James Donohue, Anraoi Whyte, Cillian Mullarkey, John Lalor, Eanna Malone, Aodhán Claffey, Kevin O'Donovan, James Wynn, Jack Kelly, Conor Noone, Lairgnean McDermott, Andrew Hurney, Michael Lalor, Ryan Fox.

Subs: Shane Richardson for Michael Lalor; Caleb McGuinness for Ryan Fox, Fintan Kelly, Carl McDonagh, Donal McDonagh