IFC semi-final: Curraha claim final spot
09 October 2017
Curraha's David Toner with Robbie Smith Oldcastle during the Meath IFC semi final at Pairc Tailteann
Just two years after winning the JFC title Curraha are one step from senior status following this merited win over Oldcastle at Pairc Tailteann on Sunday afternoon.
Curraha 1-12 Oldcastle 2-7
Stephen Morgan's men upped their game in the second-half, as conditions improved, to see off Oldcastle who finished with 14-men. Ronan Maguire was sent-off in the 54th minute shortly after being introduced as a sub.
Just three points separated the sides at this stage, 1-8 to 1-5. Seconds later there was more than a goal between the teams for the first time when David Coyle sent over.
When sub Sean Keogh completed Curraha's tally in the 60th minute, it was 1-12 to 1-6. Oldcastle pulled back a point through Paddy Gilsenan - whose touch might have been a goal. Then in the final act of the game Darren Hawdon scrambled a Gilsenan' free to the Curraha net.
The wind wasn't a factor in this fixture, but the greasy conditions following heavy pre-match drizzle, impacted on proceedings.
Semi-finals are about the outcome. As the conditions improved the quallity increased. The sides were tied twice in the opening half with Oldcastle in the ascendancy for most of the second quarter. The wide count was particularly high in the first 30 minutes with Oldcastle recording nine and Curraha one less. Matters improved greatly in this area after the break.
Having regained parity by half-time, Curraha pushed on and were never caught after Conor Moriarity regained the lead for them in the 33rd minute. Soon the same player doubled his side's advantage, from a free
A better spread of scorers allowed Curraha incrementally increase their lead. Yet, by the 49th minute just the minimum separated the sides when Peter Monaghan pointed for Oldcastle, 1-6 to 1-5
The greasy pitch impeded cohesion in the opening half with the teams posting more than twice as many wides as scores. Still, the opening half had its moments.
Within 30 seconds of the off, Oldcastle almost had a goal through Stephen Tierney's fisted effort.
Curraha defender Niall Murphy was on hand to clear the danger. Numbers of jerseys bore little relevance to position on the pitch, but more importantly they correlated with those on the programme and players were easily identified.
Peter Monaghan opened the scoring for Oldcastle. Curraha's response was clinical with David Coyle blasting to the net at the town end in the 10th minute. Moments earlier
Brian Murphy's goal attempt for the team in green and gold was low and narrowly wide.
The same player increased Curraha's lead by the mid-point of the half. As the Dublin-border side went scoreless for 12 minutes - and increased their wides' tally - Oldcastle began to leave an impression on the scoreboard.
The scores were tied for the first time in the 17th minute followign a penalty award for a foul on Oldcastle's Jason Scully.
Stephen Tierney's kick richoted off the crossbar and the number 15 was on hand to tuck the ball to the net. Oldcastle moved two clear by the 25th minute thanks to a brace of Jason Scully scores.
Curraha responded in like manner with Niall Murphy and Conor Moriarity (free) registering to leave it 1-3-each at the break. The men in green and gold outscored Oldcastle by 0-9 to 1-4 from the resumption to record a memorable success.
Curraha - Liam Hogan; David Coyle (1-2), Niall Murphy (0-1), Seamus Hogan; Sean O'Hanrahan, Gavin Coyle (0-1), Neil Shortall (C); Brian Joyce, Conor Moriarity (0-4,2fs); James McEntee (0-1), Phelim Dowling, Mark Jackson; Brian Murphy, Andrew Battersby, David Toner (0-2). Subs - Evan McGovern for P Dowling (40), Sean Keogh (0-1) for G Coyle (48), Andrew Coyle for David Coyle (61).
Oldcastle - Packie Kevin; Oran O'Reilly, Cian McPartland, Stephen Lawless; Rory McHugh (JC), Gerard Reidy, CJ Healy (0-1); Conor McHugh, Eoin Gilsenan; Darren Hawdon (1-0), Paddy Gilsenan (JC) (0-2), Robbie Smith; Peter Monaghan (0-2), Jason Scully (0-2), Stephen Tierney (1-0). Subs - Paddy Rahill for R McHugh (43), Niall Mangan for O O'Reilly (43), Ronan Farrelly for Lawless (48), Ronan Maguire for Tierney (51), Conor McHugh for Robert Farrelly (57), Keith Connell for Mangan (61).
Referee - Gerry McGivney (Simonstown Gaels).