SFC semi-final replay: Cian Ward's off O'Mahonys

October 19, 2009

Cian Ward was once again outstanding for Wolfe Tones
Wolfe Tones 0-11 Navan O'Mahonys 0-8 Cian Ward contributed six points as Wolfe Tones - with midfielder Stephen Corrigan cleared to play - proved too good for holders Navan O'Mahonys in this Commons Hardsware SFC semi-final replay at Pairc Tailteann on Sunday afternoon to set up a final meeting with Seneschalstown. However, Wolfe Tones were equally indebted to their defensive sextet that limited the starting O'Mahonys forwards to just three scores from play. Before the off, the 'Tones were boosted by the rescinding of the red card received by Corrigan in the latter stages of the previous Sunday's drawn encounter By the end the Brews Hill outfit had recorded 12 wides - some from potshots under pressure - in contrast to just five by Wolfe Tones. All bar one of Ward's half dozen scores came from placed balls. His first two scores were from frees sent over from about 55 metres at the town end with the assistance of the breeze. Sean Kelly and Sean Barry's men found themselves six points, 0-4 to 0-10, in arrears midway through the second-half. By the third minute of stoppage time at the end of the game they had got the deficit down to a goal. David Bray went for a goal from a 20-metre free and the ball eventually richoted to substitute Shane Gillespie whose attempt to level matters was blocked and cleared and O'Mahonys reign was over. Ward's first point was in response to Cormac McGuinness' point 26 seconds in that gave the holders the lead for the only time in the hour. The second came after wing-back Stephen Sheppard put the 'Tones in front for the first time after five minutes. While the county star took scoring honours, number 15 Paul Byrne was the only Wolfe Tones other forward to register more than once, finishing with three points from play to his name. Playing into the hospital end O'Mahonys were back on level terms by the 13th minute with points from Shane Crosby and Paddy Smyth. Byrne's opening point restored the 'Tones advantage and there they remained until the end. Ward's only point from play doubled the Kilberry side's advantage. Then Ward sent over from a sideline kick 20 metres out on the left and it was 0-6 to 0-3. By half-time the boards read 0-8 to 0-4 and during the opening thirty minutes just one O'Mahonys' forward registered from play. Two Ward frees produced the only scores in the third quarter and Wolfe Tones might have got in for a goal when Stephen Sheppard got on the end of a delivery from the wing, but his punched effort rebounded off the crossbar. Nearly 17 second-half minutes elapsed before Henry Finnegan added to O'Mahonys' tally. Then a punched Bray effort cut the gap to four points five minutes later. Byrne's third point closed the Wolfe Tones' account in the 56th minute but Cathal O'Bric's men had an anxious finale as an O'Mahonys rally produced flags from David Murtagh and Gary O'Brien but it was too little too late for the Keegan Cup holders. Wolfe Tones - D. Nolan; R. Brady, C. McLoughlin, C. Martin; B. McGinn, E. Harrington, S. Sheppard (0-1); G. Beggy, S. Corrigan; D. McGrath (0-1), N. McLoughlin, M. Coleman; A. Fox, C. Ward (0-6, 4 fs, 1 sl), P. Byrne (0-3). Sub - A. Callaghan for McGrath (60). O'Mahonys - M. Brennan; C. Reilly, N. McKeigue, S. O'Toole; G. O'Brien (0-1), S. Crosby (0-1), C. McGuinness (0-1); B. Regan, M. Ward; L. Russell, R. Geraghty, H. Finnegan (0-1); D. Bray (0-2, 1 f), S. McKeigue, P. Smyth (0-1). Subs - D. Maguire for Russell (40), D. Murtagh (0-1) for Geraghty (44), S. Gillespie for Smyth (55), J. Regan for S. McKeigue (57), D. Moran for Finnegan (60). Referee - L. O'Brien (Duleek/Bellewstown).

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