Kierans the playmaker in Magheracloone’s Third Intermediate Title
Magheracloone 1-8 Truagh 0-5
Magheracloone may have lifted the silverware, but they had to work hard at it to keep Truagh on their heels every step of the way on Sunday at PearsePark, Ballybay.
For this was no picnic. In winning their third Intermediate title they had to rely heavily on midfield dynamo James Kierans and Pat Mc Cahey who slotted home the only goal in a game that would have been more entertaining but for poor distribution of the ball and shooting.
James Kierans had nothing to feel angry about. As far as football skills and intelligence was concerned, he was head and shoulders above all. He played midfield, but popped up pretty well everywhere. He was named Man of the Match and it would have been pretty darn stupid if he hadn’t.
For as Truagh’s challenge grew in the second half, so did the influence of Kierans. And the killer blow was struck when Charlie Clarke made his appearance four minutes into the second half, replacing Declan Farrelly. He scored two points, including the one that put the result beyond doubt right at the death.
Those who came early saw a strange first half, play swinging back and forth, Truagh more so showing themselves to be quite inactive where it counts – up front.
Truagh, who had hoofed the ball wide twice, lost some rhythm when full-back Gerard Treanor had to be taken injured in the 5th minute. He was replaced by Patrick Deery.
At both ends there were examples of poor finishing born from attackers everywhere who preferred to stroke the ball about instead of having a go. Twice the winners looked like scoring, but Patrick Deery nipped in untroubled to clear the threat.
The first real strike on target in the 9th minute could very well have ended up in the back of the net. It began with a long clearance from Brendan Mc Kenna to the hands of Denis Mc Kenna who ran at the Magheracloone goal. Easing his way past two defenders, and then flaking a right-footed shot from 20 metres which keeper Eamon Marron did well to save.
Denis Mc Kenna hoofed a 25 metres free wide a minute after that, and there was more of the same. Noel Farnan, from a ball by Barry Farrelly, found space but shot wide. And Cahal Sherlock had room to bring the ball down and rifle wide from 20 metres in the 13th minute. Poor stuff.
Then at last somebody scored. James Kierans lofted the ball from midfield towards the right post, the Truagh defence was caught square, particularly Macartan Connolly, and Gerry Jones darting in behind had all the time and room he wanted to rifle the ball over the bar from 10 metres.
That was in the 14th minute and there were more chances spurned by Noel Farnan and Seamus Murray before James Kierans whipped over Magheracloone’s second point from 30 metres, chased by Owen Skinnader.
Kierans was working across the entire width of midfield and defence, breaking up attacks and creating most others. Kierans and Pat Farnan were far too strong for Gerard Mc Quaid and Enda Mc Meel, and from both chances were being served on a plate for the Magheracloone forwards.
There was a warning for Truagh captain, Gerard Mc Quaid, from referee Tom Graham for a foul on Noel Farnan, and from the resultant 20 metres free Barry Farrelly sent over the bar in the 22nd minute. The same player stroked over Magheracloone’s fourth point 3 minutes later.
To stop Barry Farrelly on another quicksilver burst, there was another close-in foul committed and another Farrelly point to put the winners 0-5 to 0-0 up at half-time.
As far as the general run of play was concerned, there was very little between the sides in the first half. The pattern was similar at the start of the second half, Truagh looking for spaces in the Magheracloone defence that weren’t there.
There was another Truagh wide in the 2nd minute from Denis Mc Kenna before Magheracloone introduced Charlie Clarke, who immediately nipped in to flick the ball across the face of the goals for Gerry Jones to set up Noel Farnan for the sixth of the game in the 35th minute.
The opening point from Truagh came three minutes later, Seamus Murray applying the finishing touch and a bit of common sense by thumping the ball first-time over the bar in a clustered Magheracloone defence.
There was another influential player to emerge from the dug-out, Truagh veteran Kevin Treanor for Cahal Sherlock in the 39th minute. Colin Mc Caul was also introduced by Magheracloone for Aidan Mc Entee.
Denis Mc Kenna fired over a superb point from a difficult angle down the right in the 12th minute, and the Truagh comeback was now on.
But just as suddenly they were caught on the break and had no answer when Pat Farnan’s cleverly-weighted pass to Barry Farrelly enabled the centre half-forward to expose the opposing defence with a pass that Pat Mc Cahey, at the far post, chipped over Declan Mc Quaid into the net.
Charlie Clarke made it 1-7 to 0-2 right on 15 minutes but there was still plenty of play left in Truagh.
Denis Mc Kenna firmly planted the ball over the bar in the 19th minute and Kevin Treanor hit the right sort of pass for Brendan Corrigan who was bundled to the ground 20 metres from the Magheracloone goal. Denis Mc Kenna duly pointed.
Kevin Treanor was then chopped down and his quickly taken free was cleverly slotted over the bar by Mark Kelly. Truagh were now asking all the questions but chances for Brendan Corrigan and Kevin Treanor were spurned. There was no answer and no way back when Charlie Clarke got his second and the games’s last point a minute from the end.
Another brilliant performance to emerge from the tussle was Magheracloone’s right full-back P.J. Lambe. He was the pick of a very solid-looking rearguard.
Barry Farrelly, Gerry Jones and Noel Farnan were all outstanding in the Magheracloone attack.
For Truagh, Brendan Mc Kenna, Denis Mc Kenna, Seamus Murray, Gerard Mc Quaid and substitute Kevin Treanor were best.
Magheracloone: Pat Mc Cahey (1-0), Barry Farrelly (0-3), Charlie Clarke (0-2), Gerry Jones, James Kierans and Noel Farnan (0-1 each).
Truagh: Denis Mc Kenna (0-3), Seamus Murray and Mark Kelly (0-1 each).
Magheracloone: Eamon Marron, P.J. Lambe, Francie Jones, Pat Mc Cahey, Pat Farnan, Raymond Farrelly, John Marron, James Kierans, Pat Farnan, Leo Marron, Barry Farrelly, Gerry Jones, Declan Farrelly, Noel Farnan, Aidan Mc Entee.
Subs used: Charlie Clarke for D. Farrelly (34th minute), Colin Mc Caul for Aidan Mc Entee (38th minute).
Truagh: Declan Mc Quaid, Trevor Kelly, Gerard Treanor, Damien Mc Kenna, Brendan Mc Kenna, Owen Skinnader, Macartan Connolly, Gerard Mc Quaid (Capt.), Enda Mc Meel, Mark Kelly, Sean Mc Kiernan, Denis Mc Kenna, Brendan Corrigan, Seamus Murray, Cahal Sherlock.
Subs used: Patrick Deery for G. Treanor (injured 5th minute), Kevin Treanor for C. Sherlock (39th minute), Seamus Mc Kiernan for S. Mc Kiernan (46th minute).