Lissycasey 1-12 Miltown St Joseph's 2-5
A powerful opening 20 minutes that saw them open a nine-point lead laid the foundations for Lissycasey’s merited win over Miltown St Joseph’s in the first of the county U-21A football semi-finals.
In ideal weather conditions at Kilmihil last Saturday, the winners were the better-balanced side and fully deserved their victory in a game, that, for the most part, was played in a sporting manner.
A bit of needle crept into the tie in the closing stages, resulting in referee Damian Fox sending off three players, two from Miltown, all on straight red cards.
The opening score of the game came in the sixth minute when Matt O’Shea struck for the winner’s goal, finishing off a good move involving Eoin Fitzgerald and Francis Hayes.
Points followed from Kevin Hanrahan, Enda Finnucane (free) and two each from Francis and Sean Hayes to put Lissycasey 1-6 to 0-0 ahead with 22 minutes played.
A further two minutes went by before Miltown opened their account when Joe Curtin converted a 13m free. When the half-time whistle sounded, it was 1-7 to 0-2 in Lissycasey’s favour.
When play resumed the winners took up where they had left off and added early points through Sean Hayes and Dermot Nagle before Miltown had a brace from Joe Curtin. Another Nagle effort put the winners nine clear and this was the position as the game reached the three-quarter stage.
A foul on Sean Malone led to a Miltown penalty and Curtin drilled the ball to the roof of the net.
A Sean Malone point followed to reduce the margin to five with 12 minutes still to play but the winners didn’t panic and while they were under greater pressure for a while, the defence held firm.
The next score didn’t come until the final minute of normal time when Dermot Nagle pointed for Lissycasey. Six minutes before that, referee Fox had red-carded Micheal Malone from Miltown and Lissycasey’s Sean Hayes following a melee involving about 10 players from each side.
Four minutes into added time, Miltown had a second goal when Joe Curtin and David Talty combined for the latter to strike.
Lissycasey had the final score when Michael O’Neill kicked an excellent point two minutes later. Miltown were down to 13 men when Sean Malone was shown red a minute later and the game was in the eighth minute of added time when Fox finally brought proceedings to a close.
This was a strong team performance from Lissycasey despite the absence of captain Niall Kelly due to suspension.
Matt O’Shea and Enda Finnucane gave the side the upperhand at midfield on a day when Danny Clohessy, Martin O’Connor, Noel Casey, Francis Hayes, Dermot Nagle and Sean Hayes stood out.
Shane Curtin, Colin McGuane, Tiernan O’Friel, Joe Curtin and David Talty did best for Miltown.
Lissycasey: Kevin Moran; Cyril Sheehan, Cathal Doohan, Martin O’Connor; Tom Collins, Noel Casey, Danny Clohessy; Matt O’Shea, Enda Finnucane; Eoin Fitzgerald, Francis Hayes, Kevin Hanrahan; Sean Hayes, Sean Kelly, Dermot Nagle.
Scorers: Sean Hayes, Dermot Nagle (0-3) each; Matt O’Shea (1-0); Enda Finnucane (2f), Francis Hayes (0-2) each; Kevin Hanrahan, Michael O’Neill (0-1) each.
Subs: John Cabey for Hanrahan (48 minutes); Michael O’Neill for Kelly (52 minutes).
Miltown: David Cleary; Brendan O’Brien, Shane Curtin, Colin McGuane; Tiernan O’Friel, Enda O’Gorman, Eoin O’Brien; Gerard Malone, Gearóid Curtin; David Talty, Micheal Malone, Tommy Flynn; Sean Malone, Joe Curtin, Enda Fox.
Scorers: Joe Curtin (1-4, 1-2f); David Talty (1-0); Sean Malone (0-1).
Subs: Peter Cleary for Fox (half-time); Damian Lafferty for Flynn (43 minutes).
Referee: Damian Fox, Wolfe Tones