Juniors Just Miss Out on Semi Final Spot. Despite Five Point Win in the Clans

10 Jun 2011

The Juniors played the final round of the divison4A league away to the Clans this evening. They went into the game knowing that they would need to win and rely on other results to go in their favour in order to make the semi final stages of the competition.


An early Lorcan Doyle free opened the scoring, before Alan Lynch set up Brendan O Donoghue for the first score from play. Clans midfielder Billy Smith got their first score within a minute with a fine individual point. And it was a fine Alan Quigley point from the right corner that restored the two point advantage for the Joes. Before Paul Martin crashed home a super goal, to put the home side in front for the first time. They added a further two points from play to lead by three with 16 minutes played. Eamonn Neary was called on to make an important save from the Clans full forward shortly after, with Paul Martin hitting the post from the rebound. The Joes would move the ball downfield within a minute and a good John Murtagh drive saw him set up Alan Quigley for the leveling goal with twenty minutes played. This would prove to be the final score of the half, as a rather malaise last ten minutes didnt render a score for either team.
Half Time Score: St Josephs 1-3, Clan na Gael 1-3


The second half would prove to be open and high scoring and this was the case right from the start, when Billy Smith added another point to his tally straight from the throw in. This just seemed to kick the Joes into life though, with a good immediate response, which involved good passes from John Murtagh and Alan Quigley, before Conall Smyth played Brendan O Donoghue through. With several bodies in front of the goal he fired his shot over the bar. The Joes then pushed into the lead when Alan Lynch played a good long distance ball into Conall Smyth for the lead point.  Then it was the Clans turn for an immediate response, with another point for Billy Smith and they went into the lead with further point straight from the throw in. A well worked short 50 yard kick finished up with a Niall Henry point, after he had linked the play twice in the move. Then came a goal for either side within the space of a few minutes. The Joes struck first when Conall Smyth found the unmarked John Murtagh, who, like in the first half, set up the goal chance, this time for Brendan O Donoghue. When the Clans hit back it left the sides level with 12 minutes played.


However, this would be the last time that the teams would be level, as the Joes eased in to a narrow lead that they would never lose. Firstly, Alan Quigley latched onto a long ball in from Murtagh to hit a well taken point. Gary Kinahan laid off the next point for Alan Mc Kenna, before a John Mc Guinness shot from 40 yards stretched the lead out to three. Paul Martin hit a good point for the Clans against the run of play in the 24th minute and Eamonn Neary had to be strong under a dangerous ball a minute later, the ball was worked downfield by the Joes and when Conall Smyth was fouled, Alan Mc Kenna restored the three point advantage. Billy Smith hit his fourth from play to leave the Joes with a nervy two point lead in the closing minutes. But with the Clans pushing forward, it left them open at the back and when John Murtagh won a ball back deep in his defence in injury time it was worked forward to Alan Mc Kenna, who exploited the space and flicked the final pass on to Brendan O Donoghue, who calmly slotted home his second goal to the bottom of the net.
Full Time Score: St Josephs 3-10, Clan na Gael 2-8


Niall Henry was best in the Joes defence with some good work also coming from Alan Lynch and Stephen Murphy. John Murtagh put in a very good shift in the middle, while the old man of the attack, Brendan O Donoghue lead it well, with able assistance from Alan Quigley.


The Joes got the five point win which they needed and the result they wanted in the Cooley Kickhams game with the Marys. However, with the Pats only drawing with a Fechins team which that the Joes had beaten by 17 points in the opening round of the competition it meant that the Joes miss on a quarter final spot by 1 point to the men from Termonfeckin. A bit more consistence in performance throughout the competition would have surely seen them through as good performances were invariable followed by poor ones. Until the most unlikely of fight backs, from seven points down, with two minutes to play, away to the Blues, gave the opportunity to make the top four. Ultimately the 34th minute goal conceded to Cooley on Wednesday night will be rued as the score that prevented progression in competition. A very respectable fifth place in the highest level of junior football is good going, but there will be no silverware for the juniors in this competition in 2011, hard luck lads.


Joes Team: Eamonn Neary, Mark Dromgoole, Malcolm Carolan, Stephen Murphy, Conor Lynch, Alan Lynch, Niall Henry (0-1), Bernard Mulligan, John Murtagh, John Mc Guinness (0-1), Brendan O Donoghue (2-2), Conall Smyth (0-1), Alan Quigley (1-2), Alan Mc Kenna (0-2), Lorcan Doyle (0-1). Substitute: Gary Kinahan for Lorcan Doyle

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