Nobber crush Carnaross in IFC final

Story by Jimmy Geoghegan

Thursday, 7th October, 2010 3:05pm

Nobber crush Carnaross in IFC final

Finals can often be fraught, tight, uncompromising affairs with one side or other winning in the end by a point or two. This IFC showdown at Pairc Tailteann on Sunday wasn't in that category.

Nobber came into the game finely-tuned and all too ready and able to show their opponents how to do the business on the big day.

Carnaross were flat, lacking in self-belief and fizz. From very early on it was no contest.

Not even in their wildest dreams could Nobber have expected the Mattie McDonnell Cup to fall into their laps as easily as it did before a good crowd on a near balmy afternoon.

Power-packed with pace and drive Nobber looked odds-on certainties to win this game at half-time when they led by 1-9 to 0-4. Carnaross needed a good start to the second-half to have any chance.

They didn't get it and the game meandered on in a predictable fashion with Nobber, at times, producing exhibition stuff on their way to securing their first IFC crown in 30 years.

The Nobber team that lined out bore only an accidental resemblance to the side named in the programme.

Players stared in unfamiliar positions, and chopped and changed as the action unfolded. Maybe that put Carnaross off? Whatever the reason, nothing worked for Ollie Murphy and his men.

One player however, started in the position that everyone expected - Brian Farrell. Carnaross must have worked out some sort of strategy to try and diminish his effectiveness. Whatever it was it malfunctioned badly.

Farrell started like a steam train, sweetly firing over three unanswered points in the opening eight minutes to send his side on the way. Carnaross then put their best defender on him, Paddy Nugent.

That helped to curtail Farrell's effectiveness yet it also meant that Nugent was unable to make his forward surges that are so effective in turning defence into attack. In one stroke Carnaross lost a potent feature of their armoury.

Farrell went on to score five points, but with six other Nobber players also getting on the scoresheet the team in black and amber were never short of options when it came to transferring possession into scores.

Gordon Weldon, Alan Farrell, Gavin Farrelly, Brendan Heffernan, Andrew Hayes and Darren Lambe all split the posts over the hour underlining the wide range of their attack.

The full-back combination of Padraig Weldon, Brian O'Reilly and Andrew O'Brien snuffed out danger with consummate ease. It was significant that Nobber's netminder Christopher O'Reilly didn't have a save to make. The Nobber half-backs pushed up at every opportunity, yet they didn't forget their primary duty - to defend.

Carnaross, in contrast, never found any fluency. Murphy put in a huge effort yet his team over-rely on him to add some vision and verve to their cause.

Murphy got three points, but he also failed to score from a few close-in frees.

John L McGee had to live off scraps and did well to eke out two points from play while Dermot McGee, who had a good game, and Daniel Reilly, were the only other players to split the posts.

The nearest Carnaross came to getting a goal was late in the opening half when Dermot McGee punched a Reilly cross wide. It was a half-chance at best.

The tide really started to turn in Nobber's favour midway through the opening half when they bagged their opening goal - and what a goal it was.

It originated deep in their own half and Philip McEntee, Gordon Weldon and Lambe were involved in moving the ball forward.

Hayes also contributed, breaking the ball down for the in-rushing Heffernan. He could have secured possession and pointed. Instead he took the more flamboyant route, striking it first-time and driving it low and hard from 20 metres out through a well-populated goalmouth.

A Carnaross back and goalkeeper Cillian Comaskey got a touch yet it wasn't enough to prevent the ball from rolling over the line. That left it 1-4 to 0-1 and Nobber were well and truly on their way.

There was also a touch of flamboyance about the second goal. The ball was played into the square, Brian Farrell went down. Referee David Gough - who had a good game - had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot.

There was a lengthy delay as players jostled each other as they lined up for the penalty. Nobber's Colin Clarke went off holding an ice pack to his face, while a Carnaross player also received treatment.

The side-show didn't upset the concentration of Alan Farrell. He stepped up and right footed the ball to the left side of the net. It was a textbook penalty hit with all the power and confidence that characterised the team's display.

With 49 minutes on the clock Nobber closed out the game. This time a move that involved Jamie Owens and Hayes ended with Heffernan crossing for Lambe who fired home from about eight metres. With the scoreline reading, 3-11 to 0-5, it was time for some spectators to head for the exits. They knew the game was up.

Carnaross kept battling yet there was a lack of real conviction about much of their play. While they huffed and puffed Nobber eased their way to another IFC title - and a return to the Promised Land.

SCORERS

Nobber - B Heffernan 1-2; B Farrell 0-5, two frees; A Farrell 1-1, point free, goal penalty; D Lambe 1-1; G Weldon 0-1; G Farrelly 0-1; A Hayes 0-1.

Carnaross - O Murphy 0-3, three points; J L McGee 0-2; D McGee 0-1; D Reilly 0-1.

THE TEAMS

Nobber - C O'Reilly; P Weldon, B O'Reilly, A O'Brien; G Weldon, P McEntee, R Shiels; A Farrell, G Farrelly; N Farrell, C Clarke, B Heffernan; A Hayes, B Farrell, D Lambe. Subs - J Owens for Clarke 41mins; P Clarke for Shiels 62m; P Fox for N Farrell 63m; C Halpin for Hayes 65m.

Carnaross - C Comaskey; P Nugent, T Nugent, P Nugent; E Comaskey, S Carpenter, C Brogan; D McGee, B Comaskey; D Reilly, J L McGee, P Mullan; N McDonnell, O Murphy, G Murphy. Subs - J Plunkett for P Nugent 23mins; C Porter for Reilly half-time; C McDonnell for Mullan 37m; C Woods for G Murphy 41m; J Ward for E Comaskey 45m.

Referee - David Gough (Slane).

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