St. Michaels 1-14 Walterstown 0-14
Peter O'Connell, Shane McCormack and Shane McDonnell were in fine scoring form in this Intermediate football group A match as they led St. Michaels to a vital but hard earned victory over Walterstown in Castletown.
In a game that swung back and forth with the sides level on 4 occasions, their combined total of 1-11 was instrumental in firing their side in front and then seeing off a stern second half challenge from the Walterstown men who were reduced to 14 men for the final 7 minutes.
Walterstown got off the mark quickest with three points in the opening 8 minutes but they were soon reined back in by points from O'Connell (2) and Oran Meehan (1). Ten minutes passed as did several scoring opportunities for both sides before Shane McCormack broke the deadlock with a converted free on 18 minutes. Walterstown replied with four unanswered points to go three in front, McCormack floated over another free before it too was cancelled out by the "Blacks". Two from O'Connell ( one from play ) and one from Shane McDonnell levelled the match for the third time. Walterstown edged back in front in the first minute of injury time, however St. Michaels added two further points in as many minutes to lead by one at the interval, 0-10 to 0-09.
A high ball into the Walterstown square from the throw-in caused chaos in the goalmouth but the clinical Shane McDonnell pounced onto the loose ball and blasted to the net with just 30 seconds of the half gone. However St. Michaels failed to build on this lead, they sat back as Walterstown responded with three unanswered points to reduce the deficit to the minimum once again, and as the game entered the third quarter a good move down the field by St. Michaels was finished off with a point from the hard working Ben Reilly who covered every blade of grass on the Castletown pitch. McCormack restored a three point lead following a foul on J.B. O'Reilly.
The "Blacks" dominated the last five minutes but could not make it count on the scoreboard as they missed several efforts from play and placed balls. Christopher Drew popped over his sides final score in the 59th minute while Walterstown's brave effort ended with a pointed free in the second minute of injury time.
Along with the aforementioned, the winners had several gallant triers in Ray Reilly, Davy Lynch, Chris Drew and the O'Reilly brothers Felim and J.B.
St. Michaels: Darren O'Connell; Alan Reilly, Sam Briody, Mark Stafford; Ben Reilly (0-1), Christopher Drew (0-1), J.B. O'Reilly; Felim O'Reilly, Matthew Halpin; Shane McCormack (0-5), David Lynch, Ray Reilly; Oran Meehan (0-1), Peter O'Connell (0-5), Shane McDonnell (1-1). Subs: Harry Dunne for Mark Stafford, Patrick Clarke for Ben Reilly 59 minutes.
Referee: Pat Clarke.
Report: Pascal Reilly PRO.
Walterstown Rue Missed Chances
Walterstown played St Michaels on Fri evening badly needing a win in the Intermediate Championship to boost their hopes of qualifying from their group. This was a hotly contested match right to the final whistle. walterstown started brightly enough and were 3 points to 1 ahead after 10 minutes. St Michaels however had the scores level at 4 points each by the 10th minute. Walterstown's forwards made plenty of chances and they went ahead again and were 8 points to 5 ahead with 5 minutes left to half time. But St Michaels again struck back with some quick points and were 10 points to 9 ahead at half time. Walterstown will be concerned that 6 of the Michaels points in the first half came from frees.
St Michaels got a great start to the second half with a well taken goal after only 1 minute of the restart. Walterstown however, never gave up and continued to pick off the points. As in the first half they missed several kickable scores and St Michaels maintained the 3 point gap to the final whistle. Walterstown's cause was not helped when they lost sub Mick Clarke to a straight red card with 10 minutes to go. Though they were without a couple of first team players, Walterstown will feel they should have won this game. However they should also be encouraged by the performances of several young players making their championship debuts. Barry O Connell was especially impressive scoring 4 points from play and also a free.
Walterstown: John Davis; Dan Halligan, John Geoghegan, Aron McLoughlin; Cathal McGuinness, Peter Reynolds, Davy Donnellan (0-2); Brian McGrane, Cathal Hennelly; Stephen Davis (0-1, free), Ruairi O Dowd (0-1), Mark McCormack; Robbie McDonnell (0-2). Cormac Madden (0-2 frees), Barry O Connell (0-5, 1f). Subs: Eoin O Mahony for Aron McLoughlin and Mick Clarke for Stephen Davis.