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IFC: Trim edge Ballinabrackey for final spot

09 October 2012

Trim's Neil Heffernan celebrates
Trim 0-11
Ballinabrackey 0-9

Dunsany was the venue for this semi final on Sunday last where two of the heavy weights of this year's Meade Potato Co intermediate football championship battled it out to advance to the final on the 28th October.

Na Fianna waiting in the wings after beating Castletown in the other semi final earlier in the day in Trim. The game was a battle royal, a tough physical encounter with no quarter given and little to separate the teams at any stage.

Trim looked the stronger side early on but poor shooting resulted in three wides in the first five minutes of the game. After Ballinabrackey were wide of the mark in the sixth minute Trim registered two points in quick succession in the seventh minute. The first came from a forty meter free from James Toher from the ground, a skill sadly missing in gaelic football in recent years. Michael Lowther planted the second point after Frankie Murphy fielded high in the middle of the field from the kick out. He passed on to the advancing wing back Ronan Fitzsimons who, after gaining ground, found Lowther forty meters out and the resulting shot split the posts. The Bracks responded with their first point in the ninth minute and after both sides swapped wides corner forward Neill Heffernan rounded his man to put the Trim lads two up with a well taken point after some good buildup work from Shane Downes, James Toher and Ciaran Joyce. Both sides traded points in the ninth minute with James Toher nailing the free kick for Trim. The Bracks then took the ascendency and hit three points on the trot to reach the twenty fourth minute one point ahead. They kept up the pressure but failed to make it pay as they hit two wides in the final five minutes of the half. Trim had the last say before half time with a James Toher point to leave proceedings level at the break.

The reds responded to the half time talk the better and within the first eleven minutes after the resumption they had four unanswered points on the board to gain a four point lead and open up the first real gap of the game. The points came from centre forward Ciaran Joyce in the fourth, a James Toher free in the eight and two superb Ronan Fitzsimons scores in the eleventh minute. Fitzsimons was a constant threat to the opposition. He advanced up the left wing with every opportunity and his two points were a great fillip to the Trim side in an all important third quarter. But Ballinabrackey are not accustomed to lying down. They kept on battling and were rewarded with two points at the half way stage to pull back the lead to two points and set up a tense final quarter. Michael Lowther increased the lead to three with a pointed free in the twenty first minute but the Bracks kept within striking distance with a point three minutes later. Lowther was on the mark again with three minutes to go with an on target free after Ciaran Joyce was fouled thirty five meters out. Ballinabrackey had the final say with a point just before the final whistle and thus Trim advance to a showdown with Na Fianna in three weeks time.

The Trim backs were put to the 'pin of their collar' having to cope with Ballinabrackey's twin strike force of Damien Carroll and Danny Quinn but that they did with great aplomb thus rendering both intercounty stars relatively ineffective from play. This had a major bearing on the outcome in a low scoring game. Both these players had accumulated a lot of scores in previous outings of the South Meath side.

Trim's left half forward Shane Kennedy had an outstanding game. His non stop work rate, his physicality in the tackle and some fine catching around the middle of the field spurred Trim on to success. Corner forward Mark Gilsenan had a fine game playing a sweeping role in front of the full back line. He cleaned up a lot of breaking ball in that sector and distributed onward with accuracy.

Trim: Brendan Murphy, Colm O'Flaherty, Robert Brennan, Shane Downes, Maurice Power, Stephen Farrell, Ronan Fitzsimons, Frankie Murphy, James Toher, Michael Lowther, Ciaran Joyce, Shane Kennedy, Neil Heffernan, Derek Donohoe, Mark Gilsenan.

The Trim subs were: Owen McGrath, Shane O'Connor, Gary Clarke, Keith Hamilton, David Foley, Darryl Phelin, Damien McGee, Shane Ashe, Shane Lenehan, Thomas Barry.

The Trim scorers were: James Toher 0-4 (three frees), Michael Lowther 0-3 (two frees), Ronan Fitzsimons 0-2, Neil Heffernan 0-1, Ciaran Joyce 0-1.