IFC semi: Clann whip up late storm to win

September 29, 2013

Clann Na nGaels Damien Tuite keeps control despite a loose boot and pressure from James Farrell St Michaels during the Meath IFC semi final at Pairc Tailteann
Clann na nGael ....... 1-13
St Michael's ........... 1-12
After extra time

Fourteen-man Clann na nGael finished with a flourish to overcome St Michael's in the Meade Potato Company IFC semi-final at Pairc Tailteann on Sunday afternoon.

The Athboy-Rathcairn outfit never lead until sub Aaron Ennis landed a free in stoppage time at the end of extra time. Moments earlier the same player levelled matters from a placed ball score that looked likely to take the game to a replay.

On the weekend that marked the 14th anniversary of his leading Meath to their most recent All-Ireland SFC success, Graham Geraghty made a significant contribution to the outcome.

Geraghty put 1-2 to his name having spent the opening three quarter around midfield. His points were Clann na nGael's last two scores in normal time, including the score that took the game to extra time. The first time the score were tied was in the 54th minute when Caoimhin O Griofa landed a free for the team in green and gold.

Wind-assisted St Michael's got a big break in extra time when Jamie Farrelly goaled in the 67th minute. Seconds later Clann na nGael's Jamie Shaw was dismissed. A Ronan MacDonncha free left the Athboy-Rathcairn 0-11 to 1-11 in arrears at the break with the prospect of wind-advantage for the final ten minutes of action.

Wing-back Mark Stafford moved St Michael's four points clear within second of the resumption of extra time. Then Geraghty left a significant mark on proceedings. The former county star appeared to have earned a penalty but somehow managed to force the ball over the line and the goal stood.

The wind blew towards the old swimming pool end and favoured St Michael's in the opening 30 minutes. It took the Carlanstown-Kilbeg outfit less than 30 seconds to get off the mark when Ronan Lynch registered from play.

Just over six minutes later the same player landed a free.Before the 10th minute arrived, midfielder David Lynch had St Michael's third score.

It wasn't until the 11th minute that Clann na nGael had their first shot at goal with their second unsuccessful attempt into the elements following shortly after.

Clann na nGael operated with full-forward Graham Geraghty in a sweeper role behind midfield. St Michael's full-back Sam Briody followed him. The former county star reverted to the front line of the attack for the final quarter of normal time.

Midway through the half Jamie Farrelly had the fourth score for the side in red and white. A pitch length move in the 20th minute was finished by Kevin Cassidy for St Michael's fifth score.

Within seconds of their introduction Damien Tuite set Antaine O Colla up for Clann na nGael's first score in the 27th minute.

The Athboy-Rathcairn outfit created a few more scoring chances before the break but were unable to capitalize. The last action of the opening half, in the fourth minute of stoppage time, brought Ronan Lynch's third point to leave St Michael's 0-6 to 0-1 ahead at the break.

Less than 30 seconds into the second period, St Michael's extended their lead through Kevin Cassidy. Dara O Griofa pulled a point back for Clann na Gael. By the 38th minute six points separated the sides when Jamie Farrelly sent over his second score.

Six points on the spin saw Clann na nGael gain parity, 0-8 all, for the first time by the 54th minute when Caoimhin O Griofa landed a 45-metre free.

The score of the sequence arrived just before the first leveller and fell to O Griofa with Ronan MacDonncha providing the assist.

St Michael's regained the lead on two further occasions with Ronan Lynch's 55th minute free ending a 17-minute scoring blank for the men in red and black.

A move to full-forward for the final quarter yielded two points for Graham Geraghty. His second was in reply to Ronan Lynch's 58th minute score. and tied the scores for the third and final time in the hour.

Four additional minutes presented St Michael's with a chance to clinch their final ticket in normal time but Ronan Lynch was wide with a free from a central position. It was 0-10-each after regulation time.

Just as in the opening 30 minutes of normal time, St Michael's had the wind for the first 10 minutes of extra time during which Jamie Farrelly goaled for the Carlanstown-Kilbeg side and Clann na nGael had Jamie Shaw dismissed.

Clann na nGael - Trevor Wallace; Carl Kelly, Darren Kelly, Gavin Browne; Oran Fitzpatrick, Dara O Griofa (0-1), Aaron Ryan; Jamie Shaw, Brian Duffy; Ronan MacDonncha (0-3, 2fs), Gary Woods (0-1 f), Caoimhin O Griofa (0-3, 1f); Gary Hanley, Graham Geraghty (1-2), Ciaran Fitzsimons. Subs - Damien Tuite for Ryan (26), Antaine O Colla (0-1) for Fitzpatrick (26), Aaron Ennis (0-2, 1f) for Woods (47), Alan Fox for Hanley (47); Woods for Fitzsimons (70), Phillip Garry for Fox (76).

St Michael's - Paul McCormack; Jamie Reilly, Sam Briody, Daith Reilly; Mark Stafford (0-1), Phillip Rogers, Ronan Cassidy; David Lynch (0-1), JB O'Reilly (0-1); Ronan Lynch (0-5, 2fs), Felim O'Reilly, Kevin Cassidy (0-2); John Farrell, Peter O'Connell, Jamie Farrelly (1-2). Subs - Gary Dolan for Farrell (ht), Tommy Moriarity for Rogers (36), Brendan Ryan for Dolan (60); James Farrell for D Reilly (73), D Reilly for Stafford (79).

Referee - John O'Byrne (St Patrick's)

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