South SFC semi-final
Moyle Rovers 0-10
Moyle Rovers qualified for the Clonmel Oil South Senior Football final against either Commercials or Kilsheelan after defeating Ardfinnan by four points in Cahir on Saturday evening last. In an entertaining game, full of honest endeavour, it was the winners greater composure in the last quarter that saw them home against a gallant Ardfinnan side who struggled to cope after the loss of centre half back Sean Maher through injury ten minutes into the second half.
Moyle Rovers started brighter and led by 0-2 to 0-0 after 6 minutes as David McCarthy popped over the opening score after a timely offload from Declan Browne and then Brian Mulvihill added the second, fisting over after a good passing move.
Ardfinnan responded well and enjoyed their most dominant spell in the game as they scored 3 unanswered points. On seven minutes full forward Daniel O’Regan scored their first point after intercepting a loose pass while two minutes later Peter Halley levelled matters. Ardfinnan were now dominant in the middle third as Jonathan Ryan and Sean Maher were in the ascendency and Thomas Maher then gave them the lead on 13 minutes, the full back coming up the field to convert a ‘45’, the product of some good work inside by corner forward Johnny English.
Declan Browne scored the first free of the game for Moyle Rovers to level matters at 0-3 to 0-3 on 20 minutes as Moyle Rovers adjusted better to the wet conditions. Paul Shanahan pointed a good solo effort for Rovers on 24 minutes to edge them into the lead before Declan Browne missed the first goal chance of the game after good link up play between Alan Campbell and Martin Dunne.
Ardfinnan finished off the half strongly. On 27 minutes, midfielder Philip Murphy had his goal chance saved by Rovers keeper Ian Browne as Ardfinnan increased their intensity around the field. Jonathan Ryan and Brian Lonergan both hit wides before lively corner forward Billy Hewitt levelled matters with a free after Daniel O’Regan had been fouled to leave the scores level at 0-4 to 0-4 at half time.
The second half was only two minutes old when Moyle Rovers had extended their lead to two points. With former county star Liam Cronin moved to centre back this provided the platform for Rovers to push on and Declan Browne converted two frees after fouls on Brian Mulvihill and Liam Boland. The foul on Mulvihill earning Ardfinnan full back Thomas Maher a yellow card. This spurred Ardfinnan into life and Billy Hewitt, now playing at right half forward closed the deficit to one point after a fine point from 35 meters. The controversial score, which had initially been waved wide confirmed after a consultation between the referee and his umpires. Had Ardfinnan taken their chances at this juncture they would have been ahead but wides from Billy Hewitt, Daniel O’Regan and Peter Halley would cost them dear as their attack became ponderous and laboured in the face of Moyle Rover’s massed defence.
The turning point in the game occurred ten minutes into the second half as Ardfinnan lost their talisman Sean Maher to injury, the centre half back landing awkwardly after competing for a high ball around the midfield. This was emphasised as Moyle Rovers took control of the game to score four unanswered points in the next 15 minutes. Liam Boland made it 0-7 to 0-5 to Moyle Rovers after 14 minutes of the second half, the corner forward pointing after a sweeping move from defence.
Declan Browne then scored his first point from play two minutes later to extend the lead to 0-8 to 0-5 after latching onto a long ball from John Shanahan. Moyle Rovers were now in complete control as Liam Boland scored a fine solo effort to extend the lead to four points and Browne could have finished the contest with 12 minutes to go after being put through one on one with keeper Eamon Ryan but the Ardfinnan net minder kept his side in the game and was able to push the effort around the post for a ‘45’. Paul Shanahan duly converted the resulting placekick however to move a more clinical Moyle Rovers into a commanding lead, 0-10 to 0-5 with ten minutes to go.
To Ardinnan’s credit they never gave up and Billy Hewitt scored another free after a foul on Philip Murphy to reduce the arrears to four points with 8 minutes left.
When the final whistle blew Moyle Rovers had held on for a four point victory. 0-10 to 0-6. In a game in which both teams produced an honest effort, it was Moyle Rovers greater composure on the ball and a greater spread of clinical forwards that was the difference between the sides.
Moyle Rovers: I. Browne, A. Campbell, R. Power, L. Cronin, S. Keating, D. Conway, D. Dwyer, M. Dunne, N. Fitzgerald, S. Carey, B. Mulvihill(0-1), D. McCarthy(0-1), L. Boland (0-2), P. Shanahan(0-2,0-0-1’45)’ D. Browne(0-4,0-3f). Subs Used: D. Nolan, J. Shanahan
Ardfinnan: E. Ryan, J. Kinehan, T. Maher(0-1,’45’), T. Ryan, M. O’Sullivan, S. Maher, A. Martin, J. Ryan, P. Murphy, P. Halley(0-1), B. Lonergan, D. Lonergan, B. Hewitt(0-3,0-2f), D. O’Regan(0-1), J. English. Subs Used: O. O’Flynn, J. O’Mahony, A. Heffernan
Referee David Grogan (Aherlow)