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Minors Advance To Shield Final

posted 1 May 2013, 13:02 by Unknown user   [ updated 2 May 2013, 14:51 ]
The Minor team progressed to the final of the League Shield following a convincing 2-13 to 0-6 victory over Menlough in the semi-final on Wednesday evening in Menlough. In the very first attack, Peter Finnerty fed Martin Connell who cut inside his man and his shot beat the keeper but came back off the upright. Joseph Donnellan won the resulting kick-out and played it into the corner to Connell who turned and, from a very tight angle, sent the ball over the bar for the game's first score. The same pair combined moments later as Connell popped over his, and Cortoon's, second point. Menlough pulled one back but Cortoon kept coming and Donnellan played a ball down the line to Finnerty who turned and ran at the defense. He carried the ball 40 yards before unleashing a shot which the keeper did well to tip over the bar. A pointed free from Connell was followed by two quick points for Menlough as they tried to get a foothold in the game. Their new-found confidence was about to be shattered though, as their next attack was brilliantly thwarted by Richard McWalter. The ball was then fed to Donnellan who powered upfield, exchanging passes with Daniel Fleming, and drove the ball into the roof of the net. Eric McHugh won the resulting kick-out and played it straight back into Connell who shot from 21 yards to the back of the net. Two pointed frees from Finnerty and a couple from Menlough rounded off an enthralling first half with the scores at 2-6 to 0-5 in favour of the Shamrocks. Unfortunately though, Martin Connell was forced off just before half-time with a recurrence of a thigh injury.
 
Menlough attacked straight from the restart and it took a fantastic save from Robert Canavan in the Cortoon goal to deny them. Menlough did manage to pull a point back but it was to be their last score until injury-time at the end of the game. A powerful drive from Donnellan, in which he exchanged passes with Fleming, led to a point for Finnerty. Gary Clarke then got in on the action as he ventured forward from midfield and took a pass from Donnellan in the corner and cut back inside and sent his shot high and over the bar, which was followed by a pointed free from Finnerty. Menlough enjoyed a period of possession but, try as they might, they could not break down the Shamrocks' defense. In particular, McWalter and Conor McLoughlin were outstanding, getting the better of their men time and again. McWalter's tenacity and determination denied Menlough again as he harried and blocked a shot and fed Fleming, who charged forward and went unchallenged for 50 yards before popping his shot over the bar. When the Cortoon defense was penetrated, Menlough found Canavan in inspired form and he confirmed that with two more outstanding saves in the space of a  couple of minutes. Cortoon added two more points from the boots of Martin Boyle and Clarke before Menlough finally broke through and beat Canavan. Cortoon packed the goal-line as they faced a 14 yard free and Canavan managed to save the initial shot but was powerless to prevent the rebound being smashed into the net. There was just enough time remaining for Donnellan to slot over his first point of the game.
Full-time score: Menlough 1-6 Cortoon Shamrocks 2-13.
 
Team: Robert Canavan; Conor McLoughlin, Padraic Neenan; Jack Bradley, Darragh Browne, Richard McWalter; Joseph Donnellan (1-1), Gary Clarke (0-2); Peter Finnerty (0-5, 3f), Eric McHugh, Daniel Fleming (0-1); Martin Boyle (0-1), Martin Connell (1-3, 1f). Subs used: Ross Holian for Connell (28), Paul Higgins for Bradley (40).
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