Crucial win for Curraha
Curraha took a major step towards SFC safety when they defeated Blackhall Gaels in the first relegation play-off by 0-15 to 1-9 at Dunshaughlni this evening.
Blackhall contributed significantly to their own demise with too many handling errors that gifted possession to Curraha and they also gave away too many frees.
Sean Whelan's 57th minute penalty goal (see video clip) gave them a lifeline as it cut the deficit to two points, but that was as close as it got in the closing stages.
SEAN WHEAN'S PENALTY GOAL
Curraha only hit the front once early in the second-half and although they gave it their best shot, they now have to get ready to tackle St Patrick's and if they lose that then they will make the drop to the IFC for 2019.
Tonight in Dunshaughlin a large crowd saw Curraha lead by 0-7 to 0-6 at the interval with brace of of points each from Sean O'Hanrahan, James McEntee and Conor Moriarty and one from Jack O'Connor.
Moriarty had a goal bound effort cleared off the line by Blackhall defender James Kelly.
Blackhall stayed in touch with some great effrots that saw Alan Nestor send over three from play while Sean Whelan converted two frees and John M Kelly also split the posts.
Quick points from Nestor and Whelan pushed Blackhall into a 0-8 to 0-7 second-half lead, but Curraha's Jack O'Connor sent over three successive frees (see clip of third) to steady the ship and they kept control for the remainder.
JACK O'CONNOR'S THIRD POINTED FREE
Whelan added a point for Curraha before he converted the penalty, but further Curraha points from David Coyle, McEntee, who had a big influence on the game, O'Connor, David Toner and Moriarty sealed victory.
Curraha - Liam Hogan; Mark Jackson, Phelim Dowling, Seamus Hogan; Sean O'Hanrahan (0-2), Neil Shortall, Gavin Coyle; David Toner (0-1), James McEntee (0-3) ; Andrew Battersby, Brian Murphy, Padraig O'Hanrahan; Conor Moriarty (0-3), Jack O'Connor (0-5 three frees), David Coyle (0-1).
Blackhall Gaels - Robbie Butler; James Kelly, Hugh Smith, Dan Carty; Stephen Morris, Donnacha Tobin, Tom Murphy; John Fagan, Paddy Brady; Dermot Carty, Sean Whelan (1-4 penalth goal, two frees), Andy Brady; Colm McElligott, Alan Nestor (0-4), John M Kelly (0-1). Subs - Kevin O'Keane for Murphy,Paul Kelly for Tobin 46 mins, Tobin for Fagan 56m.
Referee - Colm McManus (Gaeil Colmcille).