Intermediate Football Championships: Tough match yields no winner

Offaly 1-15 Roscommon 2-12

What was supposed to be a light day began with a bang as the Intermediate Football final began.  

The match started simply enough with a Liam O’Sullivan point, in what would be the first of many. Offaly countered however when their back line won the ball and moved it swiftly up the field to Vinnie Gavin who was able to slot over an easy point.

Moments later the first casualty of the game came when Shane McCeever was injured and forced to leave the field, being replaced by Martin Slooey. Vinnie Gavin chose to add another to Offaly’s tally, by winning the ball from 40 yards out and earning himself space for an easy point.  

Liam O’Sullivan cancelled this out quickly however, keeping the sides even. John Curden put Offaly ahead once more with a fisted point and was taken down immediately after providing John Walsh with a yellow card barely ten minutes in.  

Offaly seemed to find their stride when Vinnie Gavin slotted a point. Kieran Burgen followed quickly when Offaly worked the ball up the field quickly before Sean Purcell dropped a footpass to burgen ahead of traffic and he finished with a beautiful shot past the Roscommon keeper to thrust Offaly ahead 1-4 to 2 points.  

Offaly’s play was outdone quickly, however, when Roscommon played the ball around the box and gave Nick Magnon a chance to shoot, which he did as he was hit, sending a slow roller into the corner of the net cutting the deficit to 2. Magnon wasn’t done yet, however when Liam O’Sullivan took a long shot that dropped in front of the square where Magnon was waiting to put a fist to it and push it past the keeper.  

The half  began to wind down, with Adrian Doherty and Liam O’Sullivan scoring a pair for Roscommon and Mike Dolan taking one for Offaly.

Roscommon came into the second half with a quick burst resulting in a Liam O’Sullivan free, but it was short-lived. Offaly managed to hold control with 3 straight, with 2 coming from Sean Purcell and one from John Cudden’s fist.  

Shane Russell stole back two of those with two of his own in a row to put Roscommon ahead by 2 with ten minutes to spare. Shane Purcell’s free kicking was not to be denied however, when two chances arose and he took both expertly to draw the match level again.  

Moments before the final whistle an Offaly chance on goal caused a roar from the crowd when a stray fist pass resulted in the net. The goal was disallowed due to the fist pass, and the sides were sent to their managers to prepare for extra time.

The first half of extra time proved high scoring, with the opener coming from Offaly’s Martin Slooey who played a ball well with a sliding catch, before regaining his footing and slotting over a quick point, but Shane Purcell canceled it out quickly with another free. Michael O’Reilly and Shane Russell added on two more, seeming to put Roscommon ahead for good only for Vinnie Gavin’s expert handling of the midfield where he won two balls and made space to take two shots, drawing the match again.

With ten minutes left in the final, and both sides drawn even once more, the decider was on its way.

Shane Purcell started the proceedings with a free, only to have a Liam O’Sullivan free tie it once more. Howie Mitchell, the late sub added his own for Roscommon, once again putting them in front, only to have yet another Purcell free force the sides to a stalemate.

The Final Whistle blew with the scores even, saving the game for another day, Sunday September 27th.

Offaly: 1John McGinley 2John Fitzpatrick 3Will Halton 4Mark Dolan 5Anthony Kelly 6Ray Lennon 7Noel Coughlin 8Kieran Burgen(1-0) 9Vinnie Gavin(0-5) 10John Curden(0-2) 11Jason Kelly 12Tom Rosney 13Sean Purcell(0-7) 14Tim Quaid 15Mike Dolan(0-1)

Roscommon: 1Liam Sheehan 2Michael O’Neill 3John Walsh 4Lonan McGuire 5Dunica Dunne 6Michael O’Reilly(0-1) 7Jason O’Callaghan 8Adrian Tate 9Senon O’Grady 10Shane McCeevey 11Shane Russell(0-3) 12Nick Magnon(2-0) 13Liam O’Sullivan (0-5) 14Adrian Doherty(0-1) 15Michael Travers Subs: Martin Slooey(0-1) Howie Mitchell(0-1)

Man of the Match:
Shane Purcell(Offaly)

Referee: Tommy Fahey

Senior football semi-final: Senior Semi comes to a draw

Tyrone 0-15 Cork 1-12

Gary Reilly started this one off with a strong point for Tyrone, only to be quickly canceled out by Nicky Denine.

Ciaron Ling would add another to Cork’s score with a point only to have Johnny Murtagh earn a strong point for Tyrone after winning the ball on the wing and opening space to shoot. Murtagh would follow with a lovely free to announce his return.  

JP Boyle slotted a score for Cork before Murtagh again went on a spree with two more scores, one coming from a free. Connor Downey would also score one for Tyrone pushing the lead.  

Cork would not finish the half down by three however, and thanks to Mickey Denine and Ciaron Ling they drew within one.

The second half began with a bang, with the this getting harder and scores growing fewer and farther in between.

The first score would come from the boot of Darren Doherty from a free for Tyrone. Cork would respond with another score from a free this time by Joe O’Neill.  

Rory Woods would follow with a point for Cork, coming from the wing 40 yards out. JP Boyle would also make his own contribution to Corks score with another point from a free, earned when Paul Mulhern made a rough tackle outside the box earning himself a trip to the line.  

Cork’s streak would continue when Joe O’Neill won a ball at the wing and broke towards goal and slotted over a point with the outside of his foot. Tyrone answered with a Nick Murtagh free, followed by a Gary Reilly score from play and another Murtagh Free.  

Down by one and with a man advantage, Cork earned another free and managed to slot it over courtesy of Mickey Denine to draw the match once more.

The first half of extra time started with a bang, and firmly in the hands of Tyrone, with Connor Downey scoring a point, followed by two points from frees by John Murtagh.  

As the half wound down, John Fitzpatrick tied it again when Joe O’Neill took a long shot that bounced off the Crossbar and into the way of Fitzpatrick who fisted it in over the keepers head leveling the match again.

The second half began in Tyrone’s hands once more when Adrian Power Scored a long free. Cork however were not as willing to fall behind this time and JP Boyle took a free and converted.  

Boyle would follow again with another point before a Murtagh free canceled the effort leaving the game tied once again as the game ended a tie.

The replay will be next Sunday, the 20th.

1John McGinley 2Joe Bell 3Gerard McCullough 4Paul Mulhern 5Adrian Power(0-1) 6Steve Keating 7Seamus Skeffington 8Gary Reilly(0-2) 9Eamonn Lyons 10Patrick McGuire 11Darren Doherty(0-1) 12Sean Coyle 13Conor Downey(0-2) 14John Murtagh(0-9) 15Packie McMullen

Cork: 1Evan Byrne 2Denis McCarthy 3Kevin Cotter 4Paddy Harrington 5Ian Helly 6Alan Rafferty 7John Hoare 8Sean Lorden 9Colin Daly 10Mickey Denine(0-3) 11JP Boyle(0-4) 12Dave Crimmons 13Ciaron Ling(0-1) 14Rory Woods(0-1) 15Joe O’Neill(0-2) Subs: John Fitzpatrick(1-0)

Man of the Match: John Murtagh (Tyrone)

Referee: Lawrence McGraw