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Ulster JHC Quarter Final Report

posted 5 Oct 2010, 07:57 by Jonathan Tavey   [ updated 5 Feb 2012, 04:48 ]
By JP Graham

Inniskeen 2-17, Lisnaskea 0-8.

A slicker Inniskeen deservedly booked their place in the semi-final of the Ulster Junior club hurling championship when they proved too adept in most aspects of their play for Lisnaskea in this fairly low key and ultimately quite one-sided match that was played in ideal conditions in Inniskeen on Sunday last.

This game was only a meaningful contest in the opening 20 minutes with the sides exchanging points regularly and Lisnaskea taking the lead twice but from there to finish the home side took increasing control to run out comprehensive winners by all of 15 points, a margin that might even have been greater such was their dominance. It took Inniskeen a little while to settle but when they did they produced the superior hurling although at times they allowed themselves to be sucked into a more physical match that suited the visitors more and their game as a consequence suffered for periods. Inniskeen defended well and the defence was seen to good effect in the early stages although at times their clearances were not as effective as team manager Gerry Murphy would have liked. Trevor Hilliard and in Gavan Dooley battled manfully in midfield but it was up-front where Inniskeen possessed the superior firepower and once Michael Lennon and Ronan Meegan in particular found the range Inniskeen simply pulled away.

The standard of play deteriorated somewhat in the second half with a number of off the ball incidents and tempers threatening to boil over with the result that a number of yellow cards were issued to players from both sides but one incident in the 16th minute saw referee Kieran McGuinness issue straight red cards to Inniskeen's PJ Boyle and Lisnaskea's East and Mark Curran. The red card is a blow to Inniskeen's prospects in the semi final in that Boyle will be out of bounds and they also could be without Philip Brooks who had to retire with a suspected dislocated shoulder.

Ronan Meegan opened the scoring with a point for Inniskeen in the first minute. Lisnaskea were soon level through a Paul McGoldrick free and they then went on to take the lead with a good point by Shea Curran in the fourth minute. Inniskeen had a chance to regain the lead when they were awarded a penalty but Trevor Hilliard's effort was blocked out for an abortive '65. Paul McGoldrick converted a '65 at the other end in the sixth minute to put the visitors two in front but by the 10th minute Inniskeen had retaken the lead with a point from a free by Michael Lennon following a foul on Ronan Meegan and then Lennon hitting the Lisnaskea net in the 10th minute at the end of a pitch long move that was started by a full back Pauric Dowdall and the final ball in to Lennon delivered accurately by Kevin Boylan.

David McGorman pulled back a point for Lisnaskea in the 11th minute to leave the minimum between the sides and the minimum still separated the sides at the end of the first quarter with an exchange of scores, both from frees between Michael Lennon and Lisnaskea's Paul McGoldrick. A good point from distance by Lisnaskea wing back Francis MacBrien brought the sides level in the 16th minute but Inniskeen were now settling more into their stride and they began to take a firmer grip on proceedings. Points by Ronan Meegan in the 16th minute and a lovely finish from Martin Murphy out on the wing in the 17th minute put Inniskeen two points in front with Barry Smith then latching on to a poor clearance to reduce the deficit to the minimum yet again. Inniskeen responded with a very strong period that saw them register six points without reply between the 19th and 26th minutes to open a seven points lead at that stage and give them a firmer foothold in the game.

Michael Lennon started the rush in the 19th minute, Ronan Meegan converted a free three minutes later for a foul on Martin Murphy, Meegan again from a placed ball after he himself had been fouled and he went on to add two more, one from a free along with a conversion by Michael Lennon after Meegan had again drawn a foul out of the Lisnaskea defence. Two minutes into stoppage time Paul McGoldrick converted a '65 for Lisnaskea to leave the half-time score Inniskeen 1-11, Lisnaskea 0-8.

Within two minutes of the restart Inniskeen had extended their lead to 8 points with scores by Trevor Hilliard in the opening minute and a good point by Ronan Meegan after Seamus Loftus had centred from a '65. By this stage play had become very much of the stop start variety and a further 10 minutes elapsed before Ronan Meegan converted a free in the 12th minute to put Inniskeen nine in front. Another sweeping Inniskeen move carved the Lisnaskea defence open but Michael Lennon blasted wide from in front of an open goal.

Two minutes later though he made amends when a good cross field pass found David McGahon out in the corner, he centred to Lennon who wrong-footed two Lisnaskea defenders before blasting to the bottom left-hand corner of the net to put Inniskeen 12 points in front entering the final quarter. An incident involving a number of players now saw Inniskeen's PJ Boyle and Lisnaskea's Mark Curran both dismissed and when the dust had settled Michael Lennon converted a free for a 15 points lead. Two further points from David McGahon in the 20th minute and Ronan Meegan in the 21st put Inniskeen 15 points in front and brought the scoring to an end even though there was nine minutes of normal time remaining. Lisnaskea did carve out a couple of chances but failed to finish and Inniskeen might well have a third goal but Ronan Meegan's effort came off the post and Alan Ryan's attempt to capitalise on the loose ball was blocked on the line and even the addition of four minutes of added time could not help either side to engineer any more scores with Inniskeen enjoying a 15 points margin at the finish.

Teams and Scorers:
Inniskeen: Gerard Ruddy, Paddy Dooley, Pauric Dowdall, PJ Boyle, Philip Brooks, Seamus Loftus, Paul Meegan, Trevor Hilliard 0-1, Gavin Dooley, Michael Lennon 2-5 (0-4f), David McGahon 0-1, Kevin Boylan, Martin Murphy 0-1, TJ Byrne, Ronan Meegan 0-9 (4f). Subs: Barry McArdle for P Brooks, Alan Ryan for D McGahon, Gerry Boylan for TJ Byrne, Seamus Shevlin for M Lennon.

Lisnaskea: Sean Jackman, Niall Lunney, Jason McManus, Barry Curran, Seamus Maguire, Francis McBrien 0-1, John Rice, Barry Smith 0-1, Shea Curran 0-1, Paul McGoldrick 0-4 (2f,2x65's), Paul McManus, Mark Curran, Brian Curran, Eamonn Curran, David McGorman 0-1. Subs: Adam Wheeler for S Maguire, Jason Curran for E Curran.

Referee: Kieran McGuinness (Down).