Drumaness into last four

Drumaness into last four

9 September 2020

DRUMANESS withstood a brave second half fightback from Kilclief to book their spot in the semi-finals of the Parador Lodge Junior Football Championship at Saul on Saturday afternoon. 

Holding a four-point lead going into the closing stages of the second half, Drumaness seemed well placed to see off their opposition with a degree of comfort. But to Kilclief’s credit, they did not lie down and put Drumaness under pressure. 

Kilclief started brightly and Caelin Savage split the posts just two minutes into the contest. A sixth minute free from Savage gave Kilclief a two-point cushion. However Drumaness got themselves on to the scoreboard as Ryan Walsh produced a well-taken score.

That opening salvo allowed Drumaness to grow in early confidence and by the tenth minute they had taken the lead. Firstly, Nathan Jones took a well-executed score from range and that was added to by a point from Owen Wright to make it 0-3 to 0-2.

On 16 minutes Drumaness made it a two-point game. James McGivern escaped the attention of a dozing Kilclief defence, and in truth Kilclief will have been relieved to see the effort go over the bar, rather than in the net of Ryan Miskelly. 

Three minutes later, Kilclief showed a glimpse of the sharpness they can possess on the counter attack. A wonderfully slick and flowing move involving a ball from Eoin King to Declan Merron sent Conaill McErlean free and he produced a score which was one of the real highlights of the contest.

On 20 minutes, there was even more for Kilclief to celebrate. A hopeful up-and-under from Rua Sharvin, caused panic in the Drumaness area. As the ball hung in the wind, it was Callum Shields who reacted quickest as he found the back of the net. 

Drumaness were shocked by this setback but they did regroup quickly. Daniel Bell produced some sharp footwork on 21 minutes and pointed.

That allowed them a mini purple patch. They produced a wonderful team move on 23 minutes, as McGivern fed Gary Murdock who made no mistake to split the posts.

Moments before half-time Drumaness added another score. This time good work from Wright, saw him get the better of the Kilclief defence to float one over the bar of Miskelly as the scoreline read Drumaness 0-7, Kilclief 1-3 at the interval.

Kilclief were rocked inside the first 90 seconds of the second period when Drumaness found the back of the net. Gary Murdock capitalised on the loose ball after it rebounded off Miskelly’s post and tapped home.

Drumaness were buoyant and added another score from Walsh. They withstood a potentially crucial moment in this period too when in those opening second half exchanges, Callum Shields had another guilt-edged chance to score a goal, but he was denied by an heroic Walsh block.

As the contest neared the midway point of the second half, Louis McMullan punished Drumaness for not clearing their lines with a point. Kilclief were boosted as Conor Carew was black-carded and they made the extra man count when Savage knocked over a free to cut Drumaness’ advantage to three points.

Following the drinks break, Ciaran Brennan helped to calm Drumaness when he confidently floated over a free. 

However, Kilclief were not to be shaken off so easily. Another one of those beautifully flowing team moves came inside the last ten minutes, as Ciaran Sloan found team-mate Shields. He then picked out the run of Connall Magee who produced the finishing touch to point.

Drumaness were doing enough to withstand the pressure just about however and Wright’s point gave them a four-point cushion with six minutes to go. That was cut again by a Savage free.

The clock was against Kilclief as they battled to find a goal to really up the ante. Spaces were becoming more evident for Drumaness in the middle of the park in the dying stages and McGivern was able to exploit that to push the scoreline on further.

Sharvin pulled one more minor back for Kilclief late on, but it was not enough as Drumaness closed out the win.

Drumaness:  G O’Hare, P McGurnaghan, M Rainey, E Orr (C) C Brennan (0-1), P Bell, R Walsh (0-2), A Somers, J Noade, O Wright (0-3), D Bell (0-1), C Carew, N Jones (0-1), G Murdock (1-1), J McGivern (0-2).

Subs: C Hazard, M Rainey, P Morgan, J Fegan, D Rooney, R Crawley, C Lynch, D Kennedy, P Gilchrist, C Donnelly, J McLean, N McAleenan, D McAleenan.

Kilclief: R Miskelly, E Watterson, B Fitzsimmons, J Shields, E King,  A McCann,  C McErlean (0-1), 8 L McMullan (0-1), R Sharvin (0-1), C Magee (0-1), C Shields (1-0),  E Breen, C Sloan, C Savage (0-4), S Savage.

Subs: D Merron, E McMullan, P Nugent, R Clarke, M Rooney, T Burns, M Shields, L Gordon, D Sharvin, F McFall, D McMullan.

Drumaness 1-11

Kilclief 1-8