Rathkenny edge Skryne to advance to Final
Rathkenny 2-10, Skryne 1-08
Premier Football Championship. Division 5 – Semi final.
Skryne took an eternity to get all the cylinders firing in this game in sunny Rathkenny and found themselves five points down by the time the game broke for the first water break having registered only a single point in the opening quarter, the point coming in the first minute of the game when Daniel Fitzpatrick fielded a Gary Browne kickout. He sent the ball down to Allan Carty who knocked it down to Aidan Gill. Gill popped it over from the right hand side. After that Skryne were guilty of giving away possession time and time again, handing Rathkenny the advantage as they capitalised on these mistakes. Water break: Rathkenny 0-6, Skryne 0-1.
Both sides were reduced to 14 men shortly after the water break with Jayo Fox seeing red for Skryne. Rathkenny added another point from their lively number 15 before Mark Harrington added Skryne’s second point on the 25th minute of the game. Rathkenny’s pacy corner forward again found the target after cutting in along the endline and pointing from a tight angle. Ronan McCabe made a burst forward as the game moved into injury time and was fouled 30 yards from goal. Allan Carty stroked over the free. Mark Harrington hit the target for his second point on the stroke of half time after Colm McLoughlin made a fine block to win back possession for Skryne. Despite a miserable opening quarter, Skryne were only four points down at half time. Half time: Rathkenny 0-8, Skryne 0-4.
The second half saw a barren opening five minutes with neither side troubling the scoreboard. But the game suddenly burst into life when Mark Harrington sent a delicious ball into Aidan Gill who rounded his opponent and raced towards the Rathkenny goal before dispatching the ball low under the keeper and into the back of the net. Skryne were back within one point of Rathkenny. From the kickout Rathkenny moved the ball forward quickly and their troublesome corner forward hit a shot that was well saved by Gary Browne. However, the ball rebounded out and the Rathkenny centre forward was quickest to react finishing the ball to the back of the Skryne net to restore their four point lead. Brian Smyth pulled a point back for Skryne, but then came the sucker punch when Rathkenny were awarded a penalty on the fourteenth minute after one of their forwards was taken down inside the Skryne penalty area. Their prolific corner forward stepped up and cooly slotted the ball to the left hand side of the goal. A Felim O’Rourke free was Skryne’s final score of the third quarter. Water break: Rathkenny 2-8, Skryne 1-6.
In the final quarter Rathkenny hit two more points to extend their lead. Felim O’Rourke added two more frees, but alas Skryne were not able to reel the Rathkenny men in and the game finished with Rathkenny triumphant on a scoreline of Rathkenny 2-10, Skryne 1-08.
This was an excellent campaign for the Skrynemen who produced some brilliant performances, particularly in their first game against Rathkenny where they produced a superb comeback to secure a draw when the game looked to have been lost.
Skryne: Gary Browne; Paddy O’Leary, Paul McGoldrick, Liam Gill; Colm McLoughlin, James Looby, Ciarán Finnerty; Ronan McCabe, Mark Harrington(0-2); Jason Fox, Allan Carty(0-1, 1f), Daniel Fitzpatrick; Bryan Clarke, Felim O’Rourke(0-3, 3fs), Aidan Gill(1-1).
Subs Used: Brian Smyth(0-1,1f), James Keane, Michael Swan, Niall Morley, Martin Mulvany