Enniskeane 3-12 Fr O’Neill’s 3-8
ENNISKEANE had to fight to the finish before victory was secured in this SE Systems Intermediate Championship semi-final clash in Castle Road.
Despite having dominated the early stages, having played with the aid of the strong wind, Enniskeane only led by two points at the break as Fr O’Neill’s settled first and got into the game.
Playing with a lot of confidence, O’Neill’s took an early second-half lead but in the finish, it was Enniskeane that made it through thanks to two Daire O’Brien goals.
Fr O’Neill’s goalkeeper Nicola Nagle was superb all through and she denied Enniskeane with the first attack of the game bringing off a point-blank save from Orla Cronin. With Cronin (45), Sinead Hurley and Tara Sheehan on target Enniskeane opened up a three-point lead inside 10 minutes.
Keelagh Cullinane had one back for Fr O’Neill’s before Clodagh Finn tied the sides up with a superb goal.
Enniskeane’s response was instant Tara Sheehan had them on level before Sinead Hurley hand passed to the net after Orla Coughlan had intercepted a short puck out and offloaded an excellent pass to Hurley.
With Cronin stretching their advantage from play Enniskeane held the upper hand and again Nagle denied Coughlan with a point-blank save and the first water break Enniskeane held a four-point lead 1-5 to 1-1.
The closing 10 minutes of the half belonged to Fr O’Neill’s and three points without reply from Keelagh Cullinane, Ciara O’Doherty and Clodagh Finn had them within a point.
Cronin then converted a free to give Enniskeane a 1-6 to 1-4 interval lead.
On the resumption, Fr O’Neill’s got a dream start with Cullinane edging them into the lead hand passing to the net after she collected a long Yvonne Murphy delivery and with Sarah Harrington adding a point it was all Fr O’Neill’s.
Holding their composure Enniskeane dug deep Tara Sheehan had two-point in a row before Cullinane and Cronin swapped points as the sides were again level. With their defence holding a tight rein on the Enniskeane attack Fr O’Neill’s pushed forward and they hit the front again when Cullinane’s long-range free from almost the 65 dropped in the square and looked to be deflected to the net.
Pushing to extend their led O’Neill’s went four clear with a Sarah Harrington point.
Cronin hit one in reply and with her now playing a roving role she was winning a lot of ball around the middle.
Daire O’Brien switched from defence to attack and proved to be hand full and she had the sides level before the second water break.
Cronin edged Enniskeane ahead with a pointed free and with 13 minutes remaining the game was there for the taking.
Twice Nagle again denied Enniskeane before Cronin converted a free to put two between the sides before a second O’Brien goal with four minutes remaining gave Enniskeane breathing space.
O’Neill’s battled back with Finn denied by Kate Corcoran. Kate Harrington hit point for O’Neill’s but in the finish Enniskeane just about edged it thanks in the main to O’Brien’s two second-half strikes.
Scorers for Enniskeane: O Cronin 0-7 (0-4 f, 0-1 45), D O’Brien 2-0, T Sheehan 0-4, S Hurley 1-1.
Fr O’Neill’s: K Cullinane 2-3 f, C Finn 1-1 (0-1 f), S Harrington 0-2, K Harrington C O’ Doherty 0-1 each.
ENNISKEANE: K Corcoran; L Duggan, C Nyhan, K Scannell; E O’Driscoll, S O’Brien, A O’Driscoll; L Mannix, D Carroll; S O’Driscoll, E O’ Brien, O Cronin; O Coughlan, S Hurley, T Sheehan.
Subs: D Browne for O Coughlan (43), C O Donovan for K Scannell (52).
FR O’NEILL’S: N Nagle; C McGrath, S Murphy, L Lawton; A Higgins, Y Murphy, R Steele; S Harrington, E O’Keeffe; C O’Brien, K Cullinane, D Corcoran; C Finn, C O’Doherty, K Harrington.
Subs: N Cowhig for E O’Keeffe (inj 9), A Dalton for D Corcoran (48), K O’Riordan for C O’Doherty (58).
Referee: Cathal Egan (Glen Rovers).