Sweet victory for Carnaross against their local rivals

Story by Meath Chronicle Sports

Wednesday, 25th August, 2010 4:49pm

Sweet victory for Carnaross against their local rivals

Philip Ward of Gaeil Colmcille claims possession ahead of Brian Comaskey of Carnaross during Saturday's IFC semi-final at Pairc Tailteann.

The country cousins enjoyed their day out at Pairc Tailteann on Saturday in the IFC quarter-final as Carnaross earned their spurs with a hard-working performance against Gaeil Colmcille.

This was a tough and sometimes dour contest, but with players of the calibre of Ollie Murphy and John L McGee in the Carnaross attack, the underdogs were always going to pose problems for their town rivals.

Gaeil Colmcille had sufficient chances to win the game comfortably, but Carnaross refused to buckle under enormous pressure in the final quarter and were rewarded with a hard-earned victory.

Carnaross opted for the direct approach with Ollie Murphy, who was hugely influential, launching a ball high in around the 13-metre line for John L McGee to tussle for possession.

The ploy produced an early reward when Niall McDonnell got on the end of the move and pointed in the second minute, but Gaeil Colmcille were on terms soon after from a Gary Arkins free.

The Kells defence was ripped apart in the seventh minute, again from a high ball, which produced a penalty after McDonnell was fouled. John L McGee rolled the ball confidently by David Drew for a 1-1 to 0-1 advantage.

The Gaeil Colmcille players settled into the game with Martin Barrett winning a lot of possession on the left wing.

That helped the Kells side back to parity by the end of the first-quarter with points from Brian Hanlon, Danny McGovern and Barrett.

Carnaross got the perfect boost in the 20th minute when another high ball, this time from McDonnell, was finished to the net by John L McGee.

That was a hugely important score for Carnaross because they were struggling to stay in the game at that stage. The boost was sufficient for three more points before the break from John L McGee, Damien Smith and Murphy.

Gaeil Colmcille had to dig deep to survive that onslaught and they showed commendable character to get back into contention.

Cormac Keegan's pointed free in the 25 minute gave them a lift and the deficit was down to two points at the break (1-5 to 2-4) with the goal arriving in the final minute.

The move started with a quickly-taken free and some determined play from Arkins, Hanlon and McGovern created the opening. Arkins finished to the net.

The second-half turned into a dour struggle and by the end of the third-quarter Carnaross were still ahead. They managed points from Smith and Murphy while all Gaeil Colmcille could muster was a lone Hanlon effort from play.

Gaeil Colmcille wing-back Mickey Foley got the scoreboard moving again when he surged forward and split the posts in the 17th minute. Substitute Alan Hickey reduced the deficit to the minimum soon after and then a Carnaross defender was penalised for an illegal handpass.

Hanlon drew the sides level (2-6 to 1-9) from the resultant free.

The game was there for the taking, but that turned out to be the last score for the Kells side.

Gaeil Colmcille huffed and puffed for the remainder, they squandered several decent chances and Carnaross kept battling. Brian Comaskey, Dermot McGee, Thomas Nugent, Stein Carpenter and Murphy, who frequently popped up inside his own 13-metre line, epitomised the battling spirit.

The inevitable happened four minutes from time when Charlie Brogan sent the Carnaross supporters into raptures when he sent the ball over the black spot.

Murphy pointed a free deep into injury-time to cement a place in the last four where another local rival awaits, St Michael's.

Carnaross - C Comaskey; Peter Nugent, T Nugent, Paddy Nugent; E Comaskey, S Carpenter, C Brogan (0-1); D McGee, B Comaskey; D Smith (0-2), J L McGee (2-1), P Mullen; N McDonnell (0-1), O Murphy (0-3 frees), G Murphy. Subs - S Flaherty for Mullen 35 mins, C Woods for G Murphy 55m.

Gaeil Colmcille - D Drew; P Tormay, R Flanagan, B Tormay; M Foley (0-1), B Smith, S Reddy; P Ward, D O'Neill; K Reilly, M Barrett (0-1 free), C Keegan (0-1 free); G Arkins (1-1 point free), B Hanlon (0-3 one free), D McGovern (0-1). Subs - S McManus for Reilly 23mins, A Hickey (0-1) for Keegan 44m, B Farrelly for Arkins 58m.

Referee - Donal Smyth (Navan O'Mahonys).

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