Sean Connolly’s are in a play-off for a place in the semi-finals of the Intermediate Championship with a couple of crucial first half goals clinching their comfortable win over Legan in the Round 3 game at the Higginstown grounds, Granard last Saturday evening.
The Sarsfields opened the scoring with a very well-taken point by towering midfielder Conor Quaine before Connolly’s replied with two pointed frees from Stephen Lynch. Legan equalised with a fine individual score from Kieran Murphy and then Trevor Murtagh got Connolly’s first point from play in the 11th minute.
Then came the first Connolly’s goal in the 15th minute. A great move involving a number of players set up John McKenna for an excellent effort to increase the lead for the Ballinalee side.
At this stage the midfield battle was intense with no side winning control but the more committed Connolly’s half-back-line and half-forward-line were cleaning up most of the breaking ball. Legan were now fighting a real rearguard action and some good tackling pressurised the Connolly’s forwards into kicking a number of wides – six in the first half.
In the 19th minute Connolly’s introduced the lively Joe Heaney whose first involvement was a great run through the Legan defence and he was denied a great goal by the width of the goalpost.
In the 25th minute Paddy O’Neill brought Legan back into the game with a point before John McKenna was, from a Connolly’s point of view, the right man in the right place when a shot for a point came back off the post and he pounced to finish the ball to the net.
In the final play of the first half, Legan’s Shane Cox was very unlucky to have his shot for a goal cleared off the line and his side ended up trailing by 2-5 to 0-4 at the break.
The playmaker in the the first half was centre-half-forward Paddy O’Neill who was at the heart of most of the Connolly’s attacks and continued to be effective throughout the second half.
Legan opened the scoring on the changeover but only managed to register two more points during the remainder of the game.
Connolly’s added another five points to their tally but the damage was already done in the first half with the game over as a contest.
SEAN CONNOLLY’S: Keith Molihan; Andy McNamee, Ciarán MacEoin, Thomas Keogh; Dominic Watters (0-1), Michael McGlynn, Daniel Collum; Stephen Lynch (0-3, frees), Frank Reynolds; John McKenna (2-0), Paddy O’Neill (0-1), Trevor Murtagh (0-3); Dessie Reynolds (0-1), Eugene Murtagh, Adrian Dalton.
Subs:- Joe Heaney (0-1) for A Dalton; Brendan Treacy for J McKenna; David Brady for B Treacy (black card); Pauric Brady for E Murtagh.
LEGAN SARSFIELDS: Michael Doherty; Stephen Doherty, Noel Cox, Kevin Moran; John Slowey, Barry Tierney (0-1), Kieran Murphy (0-1); Conor Quaine (0-3, 2 frees), Niall Flood; Dylan Boylan, Paddy O’Neill (0-2), Declan O’Neill; Noel O’Neill, Shane Cox, Ian Moran.
Subs:- Joseph Keogh for S Doherty; Kevin Quaine for D O’Neill; Tyrone Nulty for D Boylan.
Referee: Fergal Kelly