Group B of the Intermediate football championship was delicately balanced on Sunday morning last as three teams were vying for third place on a route into a preliminary quarter final. Trim had to beat Nobber to have any chance of qualifying. It was also in the back of minds that if Ballinlough beat table toppers Sydden then they would have been on the same points as Trim.
If that was the case then points difference would decide who would advance. Both games were played at the same time but the Trim one finished ten minutes ahead of the other due to an injury delay. After a titanic struggle Trim won by four points leaving them with a +4 points difference. Word was coming through that Ballinlough we ahead by seven points, then four points and then apparently they scored a final goal to leave them seven points ahead with a points difference of +5.
This effectively put Trim out of the championship. Games are normally tense occasions but the tension continued in Bohermeen for twenty minutes after the game with the phone geeks hard at play on twitter trying to find out the final result of the Ballinlough game. Such is sport. This is why we all follow it. The unexpected, the uncertainty, the disappointment, the jubilation, in this case dissappointment in the end.
The Trim lads got off to the better start. Robert Bourke hit a wide after one minute but he made no mistake with a pointed free in the third minute after Alan Douglas who fired in a long shot from the middle of the field shipped a late tackle. Both sides swapped wides around the fifth minute. Nobber got off the mark three minutes later with an on target free. Trim then hit a two minute purple patch with three points over in as many minutes to forge ahead by three. The first of these resulted from a fine fetch in the middle of the field by Frankie Murphy. He laid in it on to Mark McCormack and onward to Alan Douglas whose shot on goals was blocked down. Sean Fitzgerald snapped up the rebound and fired over. The second point came from a Robert Burke short free to Sean Fitzgerald in the middle field. Fitzy's long pass found James Cullen in the right corner. The your minor star turned and hit a fine point from a narrow angle. The third point came from Robert Burke. Nobber cut the deficit back to the minimum with two points in the twelfth and thirteenth minute. After a Nobber wide on mid half Frankie Murphy, who was having a fine game at centre forward and around the middle of the field sent Trim ahead by two with a point in the seventeenth minute. From then on the end of the half the momentum went out of the Trim performance and Nobber gladly responded hitting three points and luckily for the Trim lads three wides also to leave the teams going in with the North Meathers ahead at 0-6 to 0-5.
The Trim back room team were busy at half time ringing in the changes. Three substitutions were made with Owen McGrath, Ciaran Joyce and Colm Flatherty being sprung from the bench. Both sides took time to settle into their game after the resumption with Nobber hitting two wides to one for Trim but the North Meath side made a significant push forward when they fired over two points in the tenth minute to open up a gap of three points. The Reds showed plenty of character thereafter when the key half time substitutions started to tell. Four points were landed in a period from the seventeenth to the twenty third minute to reverse the lead by one point. Two of the points were pointed frees from the foot of Robert Burke, the third when Frankie Murphy fielded high in the middle of the field and found Owen McGrath in the right corner who in turn fired over a fine point. The fourth effort came from a mazy run from Alan Douglas who played a one-two with Mark McCormack and then planted a motivating score. Trim were now ahead by one point with seven minutes left. The game was poised on a knife edge at this point and to increase the tension both teams were wide of the mark on three occasions each. Nobber brought the game back to 'even stevens' in the thirty first minute with a point. The final minutes brought out fine character in the Trim lads. Owen McGrath punched over a point after some good lead up work from Luke Moran. In the thirty fourth minute Owen McGrath fielded a high ball on the end line, he passed to Alan Douglas who received inside the square but he was up-ended resulting in a penalty. Mark McCormack made no mistake from the spot. Final score Trim 1-10, Nobber 0-9.
The Trim team was: Brendan Murphy, Robert Brennan, Eoin Kelly, Cian Downes, Luke Moran, David Foley, Ciaran O'Rourke, Richard Murphy, Robert Bourke, James Cullen, Frankie Murphy, Sean Fitzgerald, Mark McCormack, James Toher, Alan Douglas.
Subs: Colm Flaherty Ciaran Joyce, Owen McGrath, Eoin O'Connor, Darryl Phelin, Mark Gilsenan, Cathal Birmingham, Stephen Farrell, Conal McGrenna, Colm McGrath, Dean Egan, Brian McKeown, Dean Egan.
The Trim scorers were: Robert Burke 0-4 (Three frees), Owen McGrath 0-2, Mark McCormack 1-0 (Penalty), James Cullen 0-1, Frankie Murphy 0-1, Alan Douglas 0-1, Sean Fitzgerald 0-1.
Brian Farrell. 0 04
Brian Kelly. 0 01
Andrew O Brien 0 01
Niall Farrell. 0 01
Sean Meade. 0 01
Karl Casserly. 0 01
C O Reilly S O Brien B O Reilly B Cassidy B Heffernan F McEntee N Farrell R Shields G Farrelly B Kelly B Farrell G Campbell K Casserly A O Brien S Meade
Subs Conor Halpin for Cassidy Jamie Owens for Kelly Dale Larkin for Cambpell Brian Meade for Shields
Nobber players and mentors sends their best wishes to corner back Barry Cassidy who received a serious shoulder injury during the course of this game.