Oughterard and Magheracloone to contest All-Ireland IFC Final
AIB All-Ireland Club IFC semi-finals
OUGHTERARD (Galway) 1-12 TEMPLENOE (Kerry) 0-12
MAGHERACLOONE (Monaghan) 0-24 MATTOCK RANGERS (Louth) 1-8
Longford’s win over Dublin in the O’Byrne Cup might get a lot of the headlines, but the real shock of the day was in Kilmallock, when Oughterard beat a star-studded Templenoe team in the semi-final of the AIB All-Ireland intermediate club football championship.
With Tadhg Morley, Gavin Crowley, Adrian Spillane and Killian Spillane from the Kerry senior panel in their ranks, there were very few people outside of West Galway who would have expected anything other than a Templenoe win, which would have made them the 10th Kerry club in 14 seasons to reach an Intermediate football decider.
Yet they struggled to shake off the challenge of Oughterard and only led by 0-7 to 0-5 at the break, despite having the best of the play in the opening 30 minutes. Four third quarter wides kept the Galway and Connacht champions in the game, and the temperature was kicked up a notch when Paul Walsh pounced on a poor clearance from the Templenoe keeper, firing in the game’s only goal.
That seemed to energise the westerners, with Cian Monaghan and Matthew Tierney, young players who have starred throughout this campaign, very influential in the closing stages. Late points from Tierney (his fourth of the game) and Enda Tierney sealed a 1-12 to 0-12 win for the Galway side.
Their opponents in the final in a fortnight’s time will be Magheracloone, the club who hit the headlines 16 months ago when a devastating sinkhole saw their club facilities near Carrickmacross closed down. From that crushing blow, the club recovered to win an Ulster title and now they are headed for Croke Park with a spring in their step after producing a majestic attacking display in the second half of their clash with Mattock Rangers at Crossmaglen.
Tommy Freeman of Magheracloone and David Reid of Mattock Rangers were the top scorers in a closely-fought first half, after which the sides were level at 0-7 apiece. Niall McKeown’s goal after just a minute of play in the second half seemed to tip the scales back towards the Wee County men, but instead what followed was a truly remarkable performance from Magheracloone that saw them score 0-17 over the remainder of the game, with Mattock tacking on one more point, that just four minutes after their goal.
Barry Kieran, Ryan Farrelly, Gavin Doogan and top scorer Tommy Freeman, who ended the day with 0-8 (four frees) all scored well as the men in black simply over-ran their Leinster opponents to set up a trip to Croke Park on January 25th.