Kenagh's Thomas McGann gets away from Tadhg Grace of Ballymore Eustace in the AIB Leinster Club Junior Football championship quarter-final Picture: Declan Gilmore
Impressive Ballymore Eustace powered past Kenagh in a disappointingly one-sided AIB Leinster Club Junior Football Championship quarter-final on a bitterly cold Saturday afternoon at Newtowncashel.
AIB Leinster Club Junior Football Championship quarter-final: Kenagh (Longford) 0-5 Ballymore Eustace (Kildare) 2-20
Ballymore Eustace’s reward for their comprehensive twenty-one point victory is a semi-final encounter with Clann na nGael on November 23. The Meath side were 3-8 to 1-9 quarter-final winners over Ballynacargy (Westmeath).
The second semi-final will be between Rathgarogue-Cushinstown (Wexford) and Shannonbridge (Offaly), who were 0-11 to 0-6 winners over Craobh Chiaráin (Dublin) and 2-13 to 1-8 winners over Roche Emmets (Louth) in their respective quarter-finals.
The Kildare standard bearers, managed by Paul Breen, had first use of the strong wind and they certainly made it count, establishing a 0-14 to 0-2 cushion by the interval.
Also read: Longford Intermediate champions Fr Manning Gaels shoot 17 wides in Leinster club defeat
For Enda McGann’s Kenagh to have any chance, they needed a promising start to the concluding half. Unfortunately for the Longford junior kingpins, it failed to materialise.
Free scoring Ballymore Eustace grabbed the opening scores of the second half through Tadhg Grace and Brian Crowe and just before Rory Connor nailed Kenagh’s third point of the contest in the 35th minute, Ballymore Eustace had a goal disallowed as Stephen Dwyer was correctly adjudged to have been inside the small square before the ball arrived.
Kenagh ‘keeper Anthony McCormack produced a smart point-blank 40th minute save to deny Caolan Halpin following the game’s best attacking move.
The goal was coming though and it finally arrived in the 47th minute after Kenagh carelessly spurned possession just inside their own half and Niall O’Neill, a first half replacement for the injured Garreth Clarke, cooly slotted the ball to the bottom corner of the net, 1-17 to 0-4.
Another sub, Aaron Deegan, got in on the scoring act with a point for Ballymore Eustace and in the 54th minute Keith Fennell’s perfectly flighted delivery saw Stephen Dwyer rise highest and fist the ball to the net, 2-18 to 0-4.
Patrick Murphy (Ballymore Eustace) and Shane Farrell (Kenagh) traded converted frees before Tadhg Barrett concluded the scoring for the emphatic winners.
KENAGH: Anthony McCormack; Gary Kenny, John Gill, James Higgins; Dylan Horkan, Graham Forbes, Shane Farrell (0-1 free); Alan Jones, Thomas McGann (0-2); Ronan Hughes, Sean Canavan, David Jones; Karl Farrell, Rory Connor (0-1), Lee Ross Gill (0-1).
Subs: Damien Higgins for G Kenny (28 mins), Ian Farrell for G Forbes (half-time), Brian O’Boyle for D Jones inj (33 mins), Danny Kelly for R Connor (49 mins), Adam Ryan for J Gill (55 mins), John Rowan for R Hughes (55 mins)
BALLYMORE EUSTACE: Steve Foley; Jake Meehan, David McAtamney, Steve Davis; Joe Broderick, Michael Stewart Byrne, Caolan Halpin; Tadhg Grace (0-2), Shane Barrett (0-1); Stephen Dwyer (1-1), Niall Murphy (0-5), Brian Crowe (0-2); Tadhg Barrett (0-3), Garreth Clarke, Simon Murphy (0-3).
Subs: Niall O’Neill (1-1) for G Clarke inj (20 mins), Keith Fennell for S Davis (33 mins), Aaron Deegan (0-1) for N Murphy (45 mins), Patrick Murphy (0-1 free) for T Grace (48 mins), Callum McClintock for N O’Neill (48 mins), Kevin Kelleher for S Dwyer (50 mins)
REFEREE: Marius Stones, Clara (Offaly)