Nobber dispose of disjointed Dunderry side

Story by Jimmy Geoghegan

Wednesday, 8th September, 2010 4:51pm

Nobber dispose of disjointed Dunderry side

Dunderry's Evan Stephens shoulders the challenge of Nobber's Philip McEntee during Saturday evening's IFC semi-final at Pairc Tailteann.

Over the last few months the Nobber footballers have become accustomed to the TV cameras around the place as part of the Celebrity Bainisteoir series.

The players showed that they weren't distracted by all the razzmatazz as they put in a five-star display to defeat Dunderry in this IFC semi-final at Pairc Tailteann on Saturday evening.

It wasn't that Nobber had to give an Oscar-winning performance to win this game. Dunderry simply didn't show up for much of this encounter and they were left with the bitter realisation that they didn't do themselves justice.

Their evening of misery was compounded in injury-time when substitute Paul Govern, who had added quite a lot to the Dunderry attack when he came on late in the game, was sent off for retaliation.

Losing is one thing. Dunderry's sinking feeling was worsened by the realisation that they could, and should, have done a lot better.

Not until the final 10 minutes did Dunderry start to mount the kind of sustained attacks that threatened to cut open the stubborn Nobber defence, by that stage it was a perfect case of too little, too late.

This was no classic with both sides giving the ball away, time and again, in the slippery conditions. It all added up to a fractured, scrappy affair with Nobber more capable of finding a foothold than their off-form opponents.

It was the manner in which the respective attacking units went about their business that proved to be the difference between the teams.

Once the ball came near the Nobber forwards there was always the sense that they could make profit from the possession.

That was particularly the case when Brian Farrell got ball in hand. The Meath attacker - no stranger to injury concerns this year - teased and tormented the Dunderry backline all evening.

He ended up with nine points and it could easily have been a whole lot more. In the opening minutes of both the first and the second halves Farrell was presented with excellent goal opportunities.

Each time he fired wide. The second chance, literally seconds after the break, was particularly good.

Maybe he didn't realise just how much time and space he had. The fact that he had so much of both was an indictment of the Dunderry defence. He snatched at his shot and the ball whistled past the post.

On another day those misses could have proved costly yet Dunderry simply didn't have the momentum to make their opponents pay.

Those misses aside Farrell gave a first-rate display firing over six points from play including one memorable effort from near the right touchline in the opening half.

Dunderry tried a number of players on the Meath attacker without any noticeable benefit to their cause.

Yet this was by no means a one-man effort. If anything it was a strong, cohesive, collective team display from Nobber who took control of affairs early on and fully deserved their 0-6 to 0-1 interval advantage.

The Nobber players worked hard at tracking back and it wasn't unusual to see half-forwards in defensive positions closing up the avenues to goal.

Dunderry attackers repeatedly appeared out-numbered and they were frequently forced to cough up possession on those infrequent occasions when good, clean ball did come their way.

Nobber moved the ball quickly from defence to attack with Farrell regularly left on his own with just one defender to look after him. Invariably there was only one outcome - a point for the black and ambers.

Gordon Weldon, Niall Farrell (pictured, left) and Jamie Owens all tagged on points for Nobber who, despite the misty, murky conditions, moved the ball around well.

A good example of this could be seen just before half-time when Padraig Weldon, Andrew Hayes, Alan Farrell and Brian Farrell combined to set up Owens for his point. It was the kind of controlled, direct football both teams found difficult to produce.

Philip McEntee mopped up a lot of ball from his centre-half-back position while Brian O'Reilly also did well in Nobber's excellent defence.

Nobber goalkeeper Christopher O'Reilly didn't have a whole lot to do except when he made a brilliant save from Govern on the hour mark, turning a goal-bound shot over the bar.

It says a lot about the Dunderry display that they didn't get their opening point from play until the 57th minute and that from half-back David McCormack who came surging upfield, picked up a pass and split the post from distance. The only other point from play was Govern's.

T J Garry once again was Dunderry's main scorer, with all his six points coming from frees.

In the second minute of injury time Dunderry reduced the deficit to three points. Could they get a goal and force extra-time? The answer came when Nobber worked the ball downfield and Farrell pointed from a free.

None of the Dunderry players could be faulted for effort, they just couldn't, collectively, find any momentum and it was Nobber who deservedly booked their place in the final.

SCORERS

Nobber - B Farrell 0-9, three frees; G Weldon 0-1; N Farrell 0-1; J Owens 0-1.

Dunderry - T J Garry 0-6, frees; D McCormack 0-1; P Govern 0-1.

THE TEAMS

Nobber - C O'Reilly; P Weldon, B O'Reilly, A O'Brien; G Weldon, P McEntee, P Clarke; A Farrell, G Farrelly; N Farrell, J Owens, B Heffernan; A Hayes, B Farrell, D Lambe. Subs - R Shiels for Clarke 51mins, C Clarke for Owens 53m, C Halpin for N Farrell 58m.

Dunderry - D Jennings; Darren Callaghan, David Callaghan, K Slattery; D McCormack, J Kelleher, D Clarke; P Callaghan, K Dowd; B Doherty, E Stephens, A Coogan; C Halton, K Callaghan, T J Garry. Subs - C Harte for Halton half-time, T Conaty for Slattery half-time, A Kane for Coogan 36mins, S Carty for Doherty 39m, P Govern for K Callaghan 52m.

REFEREE - Brendan Darby (Ballinabrackey).

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