Knocknagree edge out Béal Áth'n Ghaorthaidh to reach SAFC last four

Duhallow team will now take on Clyda Rovers in the county semi-final
Knocknagree edge out Béal Áth'n Ghaorthaidh to reach SAFC last four

All eyes on the ball between Knocknagree and Béal Ath'n Ghaorthaidh in the Bon Secours SAFC at Millstreet. Picture: John Tarrant

Knocknagree 1-14 Béal Áth'n Ghaorthaidh 0-14 

KNOCKNAGREE’S winning run in the Bon Secours SAFC continues after a titanic struggle with Béal Áth'n Ghaorthaidh in a thrilling quarter-final at Millstreet.

In a trap to line victory, the Duhallow side deserved a place in the penultimate hurdle against Clyda Rovers thanks to a productive opening half that yielded telling scores. However, by the end of the hour, Knocknagree were given a searching examination from the Comórtas Peil holders yet their more incisive play made all the difference.

From a fast-paced encounter, Knocknagree were quickly into their stride with lead points to Fintan and David O’Connor. Though the Gaeltacht men opened their account with a lovely Ben Seartan score, Knocknagree had gained an edge in the key areas with Kealan Buckley, Daniel O’Mahony, Michael Mahoney, David O’Connor and Michael McSweeney leading by example.

Up front, Knocknagree performed excellently with a run of points, their cause enhanced in the 18th minute, good work by Mahoney saw a Fintan O’Connor blaster deflected to the net by Michéal Doyle.

Trailing by seven points, Béal Áth'n needed to respond and they did so from flags to Seamus Ó Tuama, Seartan and Diarmuid Mac Tomáis to cut the leeway 1-9 to 0-7 at the interval.

Béal Ath'n Ghaorthaidh's Ben Seartan about to win the ball against Knocknagree in the Bon Secours SAFC at Millstreet. Picture: John Tarrant
Béal Ath'n Ghaorthaidh's Ben Seartan about to win the ball against Knocknagree in the Bon Secours SAFC at Millstreet. Picture: John Tarrant

On the restart, Knocknagree added to their tally courtesy of a Denis O’Connor point before Béal Áth'n cranked up their performance, boosted by the solid play of Eanna Ó Duinnín, Conchúir Ó Loingsigh and substitute Leonard Ó Conchúir.

Though the scoring rate dried up, Béal Áth'n qualities began to show, grinding out a couple of turnovers allowed O Loingsigh and Andrias Ó Coinceannáin land three consecutive points to narrow the arrears to the minimum 1-11 to 0-13.

Under the cosh, Knocknagree answered with points to David O’Connor and McSweeney to sandwich a Seartan effort. As the tension and excitement mounted, Béal Áth'n passed up chances with efforts falling wide of the uprights or dropping short into Knocknagree keeper Patrick Doyle.

Indeed Knocknagree looked a bit sharper going forward, McSweeney and Michéal Doyle delivering points. Béal Áth'n required a goal to earn a reprieve, they came raiding in injury time but to Knocknagree’s credit, their defence came up with the answers to send out a clear warning to remaining contenders.

Scorers for Knocknagree: M Doyle 1-1, F O'Connor 0-4 (0-3 f), Denis O’Connor 0-3, David O’Connor 0-2, G Looney, M Dilworth, M McSweeney, N O’Connor 0-1 each.

Béal Áth'n Ghaorthaidh: B Seartan 0-4 (0-2 f), A Ó Coinceannáin 0-4 f, C Ó Loingsigh, D Mac Tomáis 0-2 each, S Ó Tuama, L Ó Conchúir 0-1 each.

KNOCKNAGREE: P Doyle; M Doyle, K Buckley, G O'Connor; D Cooper, D O'Mahony, M Mahoney; D Moynihan, D O'Connor; F O'Connor, M Dilworth, G Looney; Denis O'Connor, M McSweeney, N O'Connor. 

Subs: J Dennehy for F O’Connor (44), E McSweeney for D Moynihan (56), T O’Connor for N O’Connor (58). 

BÉAL ÁTH'N GHAORTHAIDH: D Ó Coill; J Ó Donnchú, E Ó Duinnín, C Ó Nunáin; C Ó Duinnín, M Ó Riordáin, L Ó Cridáin; A Ó Coinceannáin, C Ó Loingsigh; S Ó Tuama, Seartan, L Seartan; D Mac Tomáis, B Seartan, D Ó Ceallacháin.

Subs: L Ó Conchúir for D Ó Ceallacháin (h-t), S Ó Luasa for L Seartan (40), A Ó Loingsigh for M Ó Riordáin (42), E Ó Coill for C Ó Duinnín (56).

Referee: P O'Driscoll (Bride Rovers).

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