Magheracloone  1-7    Cremartin  0-7

Everybody expected a grandstand finish after the drawn game and they were right. In the end Cremartin went down by a goal.

In truth Cremartin were unlucky. They missed two kicks at goal, first when Cathal Mc Vicar hit the side netting 8 minutes into the second half and then in the last minute Ken Mc Vicar fluffed a golden chance from 10 metres.

Furthermore, Cremartin were well on top in the opening 20 minutes of the second half, but missed kicks and wild passes killed the flow.

That does not of course mean that Magheracloone did not deserve to win. They had much more accuracy in their kicking for scores – and that’s what it all boils down to.

Magheracloone set a furious pace from the start throwing the ball about, relying on the kicking accuracy of their front-runners and the ability of midfielders Leo Marron and Pat Farnan to open gaps in Cremartin’s solid defence.

Charlie Clarke kicked them into a point lead after 3 minutes and 3 minutes later he set up Gerry Jones for a second point.

Frankie Brannigan and Enda Carville gave Cremartin more fluency in midfield after that, and they began to move forward. Paddy Mc Vicar sent wide a pointed effort in th 15th minute and a point finally came 3 minutes later from the first intelligent pass produced. Gerry Brannigan, always prominent in attacks, thread a beautiful pass to Paddy Mc Vicar which sent him racing through on the right for their opening point.

Two minutes later Magheracloone produced a sweet move down the left flank and a goal resulted. Noel Farnan put full-forward Paul Burns in the clear on the left for a shot which, hit with power, went in off the keeper.

Cremartin exposed Magheracloone’s lack of pace in the centre of defence that resulted in points from Gerry Brannigan (2) and Brendan Mooney to leave only one point separating the sides.

Noel Farnan then kicked high and over the bar from a 25 metres free to give Magheracloone a two-point lead.

Half-time:       Magheracloone  1-3   Cremartin   0-4

The pattern of the game for Magheracloone changed in the second half with the need for a firmer defence and Cremartin could be criticised for their failure to turn superiority to any advantage.

Cathal Mc Vicar drove a ball into the side netting which should have been as easy to score as taking sweets from a baby. There were a couple of other times when Cremartin fluffed chances before Maurice Brannigan pointed in the 15th minute. Aidan Brannigan brought the sides level two minutes later. There was then an exchange of points before Noel Farnan was fouled for Charlie Clarke to kick a point and give Magheracloone the lead again.

Cremartin’s luck was bad in the 27th minute. Gregory Flanagan found Paddy Mc Vicar in space on the right but the equalising chance disappeared when Paddy’s shot struck the upright before ending up safely in the arms of keeper Eamon Marron.

That incident seemed to fire up Magheracloone and in a special effort Tom Mc Dermott pointed, then Charlie Clarke kicked a point from 30 metres after Noel Farnan had been grounded.

Cremartin might have drawn the game when Ken Mc Vicar snapped the ball up in space 10 metres out but his kick at goal was well wide.

Cremartin team manager, Brendan Harris’s gamble on playing the injured Brendan Mooney proved the safest bet of the day. Mooney, who cracked a bone in his foot in a challenge game the week before, proved a handful for the Magheracloone defenders and was one of the best players on view.

Teams and Scorers

Magheracloone: Eamon Marron, P.J. Lambe, Gene Mc Mahon, John Marron, Pat Mc Cahey, James Kierans, Patrick Farnan, Leo Marron, Pat Farnan, Noel Farnan (0-1), Gerry Jones (0-1), Damien Kelly, Charlie Clarke (0-4), Paul Burns (1-0), Raymond Farrelly.

Subs: Noel Busby (for Leo Marron half-time), Declan Farrelly (for Pat Mc Cahey 41st minute), Tom Mc Dermott (0-1) for Noel Busby 54th minute.

Cremartin: Gerry Mc Geough, Paul Flanagan, Michael Carragher, Liam Brennan, Sean Mc Bennett, Maurice Brannigan (0-1), P.J. Collins, Frankie Brannigan, Enda Carville (0-1), Paddy Mc Vicar (0-1), Aidan Brannigan (0-1), Gerry Brannigan (0-2), Kieran Mc Vicar, Brendan Mooney (0-1), Cathal Mc Vicar.

Subs: Ken Mc Vicar (for Kieran Mc Vicar half-time), Gregory Flanagan (for Cathal Mc Vicar 42nd minute).

Referee: Tom Graham, Killeevan.