IFC play-off: Shercock brush Denn aside to move into quarters

September 05, 2017

Denn's Ben Conaty with Shane Clarke (Shercock) at Kingspan Breffni

Shercock 0-13
Denn 0-7

Shercock are into the quarter-finals of the intermediate championship after seeing off Denn with six points to spare on Friday night at Kingspan Breffni.

Francis McPhillips's side were unquestionably deserving victors, moving ahead in first-half injury-time and never looking back once star man Killian Clarke lashed over the first two points of the second-half, as they comfortably crossed the line into the last eight.

After enduring a shaky start, Denn had a 0-5 to 0-3 lead by the 18th minute thanks to the accurate shooting of ace forwards Thomas Edward Donohoe and Ben Conaty but they lost Donohoe to injury seven minutes later, which took the sting out of their attack.

In fact, the Crosskeys men would only manage two Conaty frees throughout the entire second-half and ended up with just those two individual scorers over the entire 60 minutes.

Clarke (4), Damien McIntyre and Declan McIntyre did the damage on the score board for the men from the Monaghan border, leaving Denn in a last chance saloon against Cornafean next Wednesday night to reach the knock-out stages, where Laragh United look their likely opponents going by the standings. 

It took Shercock a mere 20 seconds to open their account after Damien McIntyre broke loose through the centre and rifled high between the posts.

Donohoe levelled by the third minute with a 35-metre free off his left boot but it was the eventual victors that looked a lot more comfortable in the early minutes, as McIntyre landed his second before Philip Clerkin opened a two-point gap after receiving an inch perfect pass from Brian Sankey.

With Tomas Corr stationed at full-back to guard county colleague Clarke, the Crosskeys contingent were void of a big influence around the centre for much of the first-half. That said, Conaty very nearly had them in front by the 10th minute with a goal chance which stung the hands of Ollie Ward.

Donohoe (free) and Conaty drew matters level by the 17th minute though and Raymond Smith's charges would arrive at their first lead after the next attack produced another free for former county minor Donohoe to convert.

A minute later a perfectly weighed pass from Dean Hyland hit Conaty in the chest and the speedy forward blasted over Ward's crossbar for the two-point advantage with 12 left in the half.

Things looked to be running smoothly for Denn at that point but they lost their talisman Donohoe after he'd picked up a knock minutes earlier and conceded back-to-back points from Niall Clerkin and Sean Magee in the space of three minutes, which put a different perspective on things heading towards half-time.

It was in the added minutes that Shercock took back the lead, with Killian Clarke earning a free in the right corner of their attack and Niall Clerkin's trusty left boot left it at 0-6 to 0-5 for the half.

Cavan captain Clarke sailed over a 40-metre free to double the town side's advantage after six minutes of the restart and the same duration would pass before he grabbed his first of the night from open play.

A Conaty free was the Denn response but more dominance around the centre from their counterparts reaped consecutive frees along the left flank for Damien McIntyre to pop over, moving Shercock 0-10 to 0-6 in front.

Denn didn't look like coming back either as fantastic work around the middle from that man Clarke saw him fetch Mark Fegan's kick-out, opt not to the 'mark' despite being surrounded and earn a free on the 45-metre line which he drilled over himself.

A Declan McIntyre free made it double scores with four minutes to go, prior to Clarke cancelling out Conaty (free) in injury-time.

Shercock: Ollie Ward; Paul McIntyre, Liam Og O'Reilly, Shane Clarke; Damien McIntyre (0-4, 2f), Brian Sankey, Dean O'Reilly; Michael McEnaney, Philip Clerkin (0-1); Declan McIntyre (0-1, 1f), Lee Clarke, Daniel Clarke; Niall Clerkin (0-2, 2f), Killian Clarke (0-4, 3f), Sean Magee (0-1). Subs: Ryan Clerkin for D Clarke (6mins, inj), Paddy McPhillips for L Clarke (40), John McEnroe for S Magee (44), Dean O'Reilly, Michael O'Reilly for P Clerkin (60).

Denn: Mark Fegan; Damian Callaghan, Adrian Cahill, Micheál Gaffney; Conor O'Reilly, Martin Cahill, Brandon Keogan; Tomás Corr, Noel Crowe; Dean Hyland, Thomas Edward Donohoe (0-3, 3f), Ben Conaty (0-4, 2f); Stephen McPartland, Andrew Cusack-Smith, Fergal Farrelly. Subs: Jerome Kiernan for T Donohoe (25mins, inj), Alan Tierney for B Keogan (42), Cian McCann for D Callaghan (53), Aidan McKiernan(59), Conor Smyth for A Cusack-Smith (60).

Ref: Noel Mooney (Cavan Gaels)

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