Rathkenny 0-15 Carnaross 1-10
Rathkenny were full value for the win in this one after being made work hard by a determined Carnaross side on Wednesday evening in Rathkenny.
Wayward shooting in the first half meant Rathkenny went into the break trailing by one, after initial points from Jack Thompson, Keith Curtis, Brian Meade, Jack Gore and Adam Brennan.
Pushing on after the resumption, Rathkenny were much better in front of the uprights, hitting 10 second half points and taking the game to the opposition.
Rathkenny: Richie Timmons, Niall Brannigan, Christy Meade, Mark Byrne, Jeaic Timmons (0-1), Robbie Garry, Keith Timmons (0-1), Brian Meade (0-1), Adam Brennan (0-1), Jack Gore (0-1), Ivan Lenehan, Jack Thompson (0-1), Keith Curtis (0-7,6f), James Macken, Andrew Bellew.
Subs: D Curtis (0-2) for Brennan, Matt Hanley for Bellew, Daithi Downey for Gore, Michael Dineen, Sean Gavigan, Cathal Hickey, Johnny Farren
Carnaross 1-10, Rathkenny 0-15
Carnaross suffered a narrow defeat in this closely fought encounter on a fine summer’s evening in Rathkenny.
Space and time on the ball were at an absolute premium in the first half as both sides tackled aggressively. The home side opened the scoring with a point on the 5-minute mark but Carnaross struck back immediately with points from John L McGee and Declan Reilly. The opening half was defined by the battle in the middle third as the Carnaross midfielders, together with the accuracy of keeper Shane McNiffe from kick outs, provided the visitors with a platform on which most of their attacks were built.
The lead changed hands several times during the half with Rathkenny guilty of some wayward shooting. Carnaross on the other hand made the most of their chances recycling possession effectively until they could find an opening. Captain Frank O’Reilly was on song from dead balls and scored three in a row to give Carnaross a one-point lead heading into the break on a score line of 6 points to 5.
The second period followed a similar pattern in the opening 10 minutes as the two sides traded points with the McGee brothers and O’Reilly pushing the Carnaross lead out to two points. However, Rathkenny gradually pushed on thereafter and began to take control of proceedings. Half-time substitute Donal Curtis made a telling impact as the former All Ireland winner mopped up possession around the middle and Rathkenny rattled off the next six points.
Carnaross continued to battle and were brought back into contention by a screamer of a goal from Pierce Fleming. The wing back burst through the Rathkenny defence with one of his many lung-busting drives before unleashing a fierce shot into the top corner, an incredible parting gift before he heads off down under. Carnaross pressed for an equaliser but Rathkenny held out and a late free ensured the victory on a score line of 0-15 to 1-10.
Carnaross: Shane McNiffe, Jack Roche, Peter Farrelly, Ian Donoghue, Peter Carpenter, Tomás Plunkett, Pierce Fleming (1-0), Frank O’Reilly (0-5, 4f), Cillian Comaskey, Niall McDonnell, Dermot McGee (0-2), Killian Porter, Luke Gillic, John L McGee (0-2), Declan Reilly (0-1) Subs: Richard Mulvey for Luke Gillic