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Superb Defensive Display Earns Cortoon A Replay

posted 18 Jun 2013, 11:23 by Unknown user

The Senior team ground out a hard-earned draw with Killererin in the Senior Championship Qualifier in Tuam Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Two of our All-Ireland u21 heroes, Cathal Mulryan and Paul Varley, showed just what the Club means to them by postponing their flights to America to play in the game and both played a pivotal role in earning a replay. Going into the game, the key was to keep the Joyces, Padraic and Nicky, quiet and Brion Gilmore and Donal O’Neill were tasked with this unenviable job. Both stuck to their men like glue and, in the first half in particular, stifled the Killererin attack. Killererin opened the scoring with two quick points before Mulryan found the back of the net. Adrian Varley received the ball in the corner and he beat his man along the end-line before sending a delightful ball across the goal to Mulryan who turned his man inside-out and fired past the keeper. Derek Savage won a ball out near the sideline and found Mulryan inside him, who played a low, angled ball into the corner to Adrian Varley. He took one solo before firing over a left-footed effort from a tight angle. Moments later, Paul Varley launched a long ball forward from the left-wing towards his brother, Adrian at full-forward. The break fell for Savage who popped it over with the right from 20 yards. Killererin pulled one back before Ryan Rooney was fouled about 40 yards from goal. David Warde took the free short to Adrian Varley who quickly turned and fired over another beauty with the left foot, again from a tight angle. Killererin reduced the gap to one with a point from play and a pointed free. O’Neill, playing at centre-back, ventured forward in the 24th minute and, following a strong run, passed inside to Savage who drew the foul. Warde made no mistake with the free. Two minutes later, O’Neill burst forward again, this time making it as far as the 21 before being brought down. Savage, this time, with the easy free. A pointed free from Killererin was followed by a fine pointed free from Savage from out near the sideline after Adrian Varley was fouled in the corner. Killererin added one more point in first half injury-time to cut the gap to two going in at the break.

Killererin came out fighting in the second half and knocked over three unanswered points to take the lead by one. In the 37th minute, Mulryan collected a short kick-out from goalkeeper, Darragh Glynn, and, as he turned, was hit hard by Michael Boyle and went down in some considerable pain with a dead leg. Boyle was booked for his challenge and, after some lengthy treatment, Mulryan was able to continue. In the 39th minute, Rooney collected a high ball into the box and was tripped as he turned. Referee, James Molloy, pointed to the spot. Savage took responsibility for the kick but, unfortunately, he got under it slightly and sent it over the bar. Things were to get worse as a long ball over the top eluded everyone and, as Matthew Concannon tried to recover, he came together with his man. A free was awarded to Killererin and Concannon, somewhat harshly, was shown his second yellow card and Cortoon were down to 14 men. The free was tapped over and Killererin led by one, with a one-man advantage for the remaining 18 minutes. As often happens, though, the sending-off galvanised the Shamrocks and every man upped their performance levels as they defended for dear life. Every loose ball was chased down and the Killererin were given no time on the ball. A pointed free from Savage levelled the game after a foul on O’Neill before another free from Savage was played short to Mulryan who sent over a monster point from 45 yards. A minute later David Finnegan powered forward and, through Brian Roache and Mulryan, the ball was worked to Martin Connell in space who fired over from 30 yards to put Cortoon two up. Killererin brought the sides level again with two points, one from a free as the game headed into injury-time. In the second added minute, a great long free out of defence from Alan Boyle found Warde near the sideline on the halfway line. He powered forward before unleashing a shot from 40 yards which sailed over the crossbar. As the clocked ticked away, Cortoon defended brilliantly against everything Killererin threw at them but, in the 5th extra minute, Killererin were awarded what seemed like a very soft free on the 45. The referee told Padraic Joyce that it would be the last kick of the game and, as his teammates were crouching in the middle of the field he sent it agonisingly (for Cortoon) over the bar to send the game into extra-time.

Mulryan, who went off towards the end of normal-time, still suffering from the knock he picked up early in the second half, was re-introduced to bring Cortoon back to its full compliment again. Killererin pointed in the fourth minute but Cortoon responded emphatically. A free out on the left wing was launched into the area by Paul Varley and was claimed brilliantly in the air on the corner of the small rectangle by Adrian Varley who drilled it into the back of the net. Killererin pulled one back before the referee spotted an off-the-ball foul on Savage which Warde duly punished to leave Cortoon two up at half-time in extra-time. Killererin pulled one back early in the second half and most of the half saw the Cortoon defence continually frustrating the Killererin attack. Cramp and fatigue were beginning to show as the physio was made to earn his money as every last ounce of energy was being given by everyone. It wasn’t to be, however, as Killererin got their equaliser in the second minute of injury-time to send the game to a replay. Full-time score: Cortoon 2-12 Killererin 0-18 after extra-time.

It was a Herculean effort by everyone and one which will have to be repeated without, unfortunately, the services of Mulryan and Paul Varley who jet off to the States. For now though, every single man in Sky Blue can take pride in their performance on Sunday when nothing was left behind.

Team: Darragh Glynn; Matthew Concannon, Brion Gilmore, Brian Roache; Alan Boyle, Donal O’Neill, Paul Varley; David Finnegan (c), David Warde (0-3, 2f); Cathal Mulryan (1-1), Mickey Costello, Norman Connolly; Derek Savage (0-5, 3f, 1pen), Adrian Varley (1-2), Ryan Rooney. Subs used: Martin Connell (0-1) for Costello (HT), Brian Walsh for Rooney (58), Joseph Donnellan for Mulryan (59), Mulryan for Concannon (ET), Costello for A. Varley (82).

Following the game, Cathal Mulryan was presented with the Connacht Hotel Sportsperson of the Month for April in recognition of his outstanding displays for the Galway u21s as they matched to All-Ireland glory. Congratulations Cathal, it was well deserved.

At the time of writing, no date has been set for the replay. The Seniors are due to play Kilconly away in the John Dunne Cup on Thursday evening although this is subject to change. Please check the website/Facebook for details.

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