IFC: Shercock take derby spoils to move into decider

September 18, 2017

Shercock's Ryan Clerkin

Shercock 2-13
Drumgoon 1-13

Shercock advanced to their first intermediate championship final in four years after an impressive display against neighbours Drumgoon this evening at Kingspan Breffni.

Niall Clerkin and Sean Magee grabbed goals in each half as Francis McPhillip's side were comfortable throughout with their opponents hitting 1-1 in the late minutes to take some tarnish off the score-line.

Clerkin was electric for the winners in the early stages and his well-taken goal helped them to lead at the half before Magee's strike less than 30 seconds into the second-half had them well and truly on their way.

Clerkin's brace of points allowed Shercock to settle in early in this one and the Cavan forward very nearly had the ball in Drumgoon's net with his next attempt, only to be denied by a smart save from Corey Smith.

Goonies full-forward Jim McNally smacked the upright at the other end with his side's first legitimate chance and their neighbours would make them rue the miss.

Lee Clarke and Conor Moynagh exchanged points just after the 10-minute make prior to the goal eventually coming for Clerkin, who got slipped through by Killian Clarke and he kept his finish low below Smith.

Eamon Dunne's men responded to the blow well though, rattling off the next three points through Michael McDonald, Barry Cooney and Paddy Smith, leaving it at 1-3 to 0-4 with 17 minutes on the clock.

Shercock were still winning their battles around the centre though, with Killian Clarke and Brian Sankey each having a hand in their next two points which came through in-form centre-forward Ryan Clerkin.

Damien McIntyre made it a five-point game before a Conall Farrell free earned by McNally inside left it at 1-6 to 0-5 for the half.

Drumgoon's plans for the early stages resumption went out the window just 28 seconds in when Niall Clerkin crept in behind their full-back line again to have his shot smothered by Smith and the rebound land to Magee, who planted to the net before hitting the deck.

The trailers responded by hitting McNally inside for the veteran to punch over Ollie Ward's crossbar but Sherock were able to keep the scoreboard ticking over with singles from Damien McIntyre and Niall Clerkin (free).

Ryan Clerkin had the margin at nine by the 40th minute, ahead of Killian Clarke erasing Shane Smith's point with a brilliantly floated score from an acute angle.

Conor Moynagh's well-struck '45' was also cancelled out by Ryan Clerkin, making it 2-11 to 0-9 with 12 minutes left, and the difference would be in double figures once Shercock sub John McEnroe pointed just moments after coming on.

A pair of Paddy Smith frees left Dunne's men with an outside chance heading towards the finish but it should have been curtains when McEnroe was slipped through one-on-one but his lobbed effort dropped over the bar instead of under.

A scramble in the Shercock square finally saw the Boyle Park outfit grab a goal through Killian Moynagh and they'd still had time to recuse an unlikely draw after Shane McGorry's free went over in the fourth minute of injury-time.

McPhillips's charges held out though to advance to a first Tommy Gilroy Cup decider since 2013 and they'll await the winners of next weekend's replay between Ballyhaise and Belturbet.

Shercock: Ollie Ward; Paul McIntyre, Liam Og O'Reilly, Shane Clarke; Damien McIntyre (0-2), Brian Sankey, Dean O'Reilly; Michael McEnaney, Philip Clerkin; Sean Magee (1-0), Ryan Clerkin (0-4), Lee Clarke (0-1); Niall Clerkin (1-3, 1f), Killian Clarke (0-1), Declan McIntyre. Subs: Paddy McPhillips for L Clarke (30mins), John McEnroe (0-2) for S Magee (47), Ciaran Lennon for D McIntyre (53), Joe O'Reilly for M McEnaney (60), Andrew Culleton for R Clerkin (60).

Drumgoon: Corey Smith; Eddie Gaffney, Killian Moynagh (1-0), Adrian Crossan; Darren Lavery, Dominic Donegan, Barry Cooney (0-1); Michael McDonald (0-1), Conall Farrell (0-1, 1f); Paddy Smith (0-6, 4f), Shane Smith (0-1), Mark Murray; Conor Moynagh (0-2, 1 '45), Jim McNally (0-1), Paddy McCabe. Subs: Tommy McKitterick for B Cooney (45mins), Aogan Farrell for C Farrell (45), Eamon McCluskey for D Lavery (55), Francis Mahon for P McCabe (57), Darren O'Reilly for Dean O'Reilly (59).

Ref: Gerry Sheridan (Mullahoran)

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