All square in intermediate semisSeptember 20, 2012 - 7:00am
Cian O'Connell at Pearse Stadium
From an early stage at Pearse Stadium on Saturday evening it was apparent that little would divide these two evenly-matched teams and a thrilling County Intermediate semi-final ended with the most appropriate outcome. The replay should be similarly exciting because this was a good, lively football match short on controversy, but high on honesty and endeavour.
It ebbed and flowed throughout with Carna-Caiseal and Clonbur both enjoying pockets of supremacy. Clonbur looked to be in the box seat when they edged three points ahead with eight minutes remaining following a crisp Pat Lambe penalty, but Carna-Caiseal are rugged competitors.
Due to this Carna-Caiseal can never be discounted in any contest and they hit four points on the spin, including a couple of beauties from captain Seosamh Seoige. That meant it was Clonbur who were scrambling for a last-gasp leveller, but Alan Kyne sensibly fisted a point when a goal chance was crafted by Stephen Joyce's constantly improving side.
Carna-Caiseal did manufacture one further opportunity, but Donal Ó Conaire dragged a hopeful shot wide and parity prevailed. Dealing with draws at this advanced stage of the competition can be exacting, but it is a challenge the two camps will relish having contributed so handsomely to a splendid clash.
The opening period provided an interesting
battle on the pitch and on the line too. Clonbur's resurgence in claiming a stirring All-Ireland Junior success owed a lot to the placing of Ger Kyne in a withdrawn sweeping role, but Carna-Caiseal had a plan of their own.
Seán Seosamh Ó Curraoin followed Kyne into the Clonbur half of the field, meaning that Carna-Caiseal essentially had seven forwards in the first half. Inevitably that led to some problems for Clonbur, who still adopted a smooth running style.
Clonbur's plan allows Kyne to ‘mind the house’ and they pounced for a delightful 17th minute goal moving the ball briskly with Éamon Ó Cuív locating Trevor Lydon with a sharp delivery. Lydon's deflected shot crossed the line and suddenly Clonbur led 1-2 to 0-2.
For more, read this week's Connacht Tribune.