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IFC: Cortown comeback sinks Syddan

08 September 2008

Gordon Codd 0-7 for the winners
Cortown produced a stirring second-half comeback to sink Syddan in this exciting IFC quarter-final at Moynalty and Sunday to secure a semi-final date with Ballinlough.

Cortown 2-11
Syddan 0-15

Cortown looked lost when trailing by 0-4 to 0-9 at the break but John Henry’s charges outscored Syddan by 2-7 to 0-6 thereafter to advance to the last four stage.

The side that lost their top flight status at the end of 2006 were lifted when Gary Coyne goaled within minutes of the restart after Gordon Codd’s penalty - an award that appeared harsh on Syddan - hit a post.

Cortown hit the front for the first time since the opening seconds in the 37th minute when Ivor O’Halloran goaled after Syddan ’keeper David O’Sullivan failed to collect a Codd delivery.

That left it 2-5 to 0-10 but Trevor Gilsenan tied the scores from a free moments later. Cortown responded with four scores on the bounce to lead by as many points, 2-9 to 0-11 heading into the final quarter.

Syddan got the deficit down to the minimum on two occasions but couldn’t fashion a leveller. Their last hope of salvaging forcing extra time passed when a long range from substitute Gary Farrelly was collected on his own line by Glen Loughran.

Cortown worked the ball upfield and Codd added the insurance score from a free deep into stoppage time.

Syddan misery was compounded by the dismissal of two players in the latter stages. Corner-back Sean Malone picked up his second yellow card, in the 56th minute while substitute was red-carded Noel McGillick with the hour almost up.

The first-half panned out in marked constrast to the second as Syddan bossed proceedings despite conceding the opening score, a Codd free.

Martin Barry’s charges moved the ball with purpose in the first-half. Phillip Duff and Stephen Dillon bossed the midfield exhanges with Trevor Gilsenan prominent in attack.

The latter might have goaled when putting Syddan in front for the first time four minutes in but chipped over. Half-back Thomas Dillon and Luke Halpenny got on the scoresheet in the opening half as the team in green and yellow hopes looked set for their second championship win in six days following their preliminary quarter-final win over Carnaross.

All changes on the restart, as Cortown rallied to repeat an earlier win over Syddan in a Division 2 FL fixture.

Cortown - J. McFadden; P. Waters, P. Kerrigan, D. Coyne; J. Casserly, D. O’Halloran, J. McGearty; G. Loughran, J. Fagan; M. Reilly, I. O’Halloran (1-0), C. Kerrigan; G. Coyne (1-4, 0-1 free), B. Casserly, G. Codd (0-7, 5 frees). Subs - J. Reilly for Reilly (27 mins), M. Casserly for Waters, R. Flanagan for McGearty (both half-time), I. Coyne for C. Kerrigan (54 mins).

Syddan - D. O’Sullivan; E. Maguire, M. Cassidy, S. Malone; P. Rafferty, T. Dillon (0-1), L. Halpenny (0-2); P. Duff (0-1), S. Dillon; I. Curran, M. Byrne, P. Young; P. Meade (0-4, 3 frees), C. Rowe, T. Gilsenan (0-6, 5 frees). Subs - N. McGillick for Byrne (45 mins), F. Ross for Curran (53 mins), G. Farrelly (0-1, free) for Meade (56 mins).

Referee - B. Darby (Ballinabrackey).