Rian Quigley who scored five points for Moyle Rovers in the county semi final against JK Brackens in LIttleton
Moyle Rovers - 1.13
JK Brackens - 0-14
Moyle Rovers were pushed all the way by fourteen man JK Brackens in an absorbing county football A semi final under lights in Littleton this evening.
After leading by eight points midway through the second half the south champions had just two points to spare at the final whistle against a resilient JK Brackens who mounted a storming comeback.
Rovers saw their lead whittled away as a spirited Brackens, driven on by the hugely impressi ve Paddy Cadell, made a real game of this semi final despite playing with fourteen men for all of the second half.
They lost their influential captain Niall Quinlan,who had made a two point contribution, with a minute left in the first half for a second yellow after he fouled the hard working Cathal McKeown.
It left his his team with the disadvantage of a man down and a four point half time deficit to surmount.
It was a big ask for JK Brackens but they stuck to their task with an admirable team display against the odds inthe second half.
They matched Rovers in the opening thirteen minutes of the second half as both teams added four points apiece to their half time score with four points still remaining between the teams.
Then Moyle Rovers appeared to make the decisive move to double that four point cushion in a devastating two minute passage of play.
Diarmuid Mulcahy, who showed great composure in front of goal all night, picked off his fourth point of the game making some great work by Ben Owens and Sean Cotter count.
Just over a minute later Moyle Rovers pounced for the only goal of the game.Rian Quigley, who scored a free and four points from play in an impressive performance, released a quick ball to pick out the run of Luke Delahunty and he finished superbly to the net to give his team an eight point lead.
That goal,however, was to be the last occasion the south side registered a score as JK Brackens refused to buckle and set about clawing their way back into the game.
Cadell was truly inspirational showing admirable leadership and all around him teammates lifted their game.
He scored two of the six unanswered points JK Brackens scored inthe last quarter with the other four scores coming from Eanna McBride,Andrew Ormonde,Conor Cadell and a free from ShaneDoyle.
In that period Rovers best chance fell to Luke Delahunty who was unlucky not to add another goal to his tally as he saw his well struck shot hit the crossbar.
In the end Rovers,who held on by two points, did just enough to overcome JK Brackens who dominated the last quarter of the game despite being a man down.
Both teams deserve great credit for providing such an exciting game despite having such a bizarre fixture schedule foisted upon them.
Moyle Rovers played their south final in the last week of April and JKBrackens played their divisional final a week later.
How these two teams and the two other county semi finalists had to wait so long for their next competitive game is beyond belief.
This championship could quite easily have been played off in early May when teams were on form and had momentum having played a number of competitive games to reach divisional finals.
For both Moyle Rovers, who have also to focus on a county hurling semi final,and JK Brackens to have to line out under lights, ina semi final that started fifteen minutes late, months after playing their last competitive game is a shameful state of affairs.
"Football is alien to them now after this long lay off, it is a joke" commented one JK Brackens mentor who summed up the frustration of it all.
The quality of the football certainly suffered as a result of the unnecessary lay off while players , some of whom have started third level education and most of whom are inLeavingCert year, would have beeen better served if some common sense had been applied to the scheduling of this championship.
Brian Quirke,Jack Holohan, ConorMcGrath,Brian Lacey,CillianCrowe (captain) Jack Harney(0.2),Diarmuid Mulcahy (0.4),Darragh Bolger,Luke Fogarty,Ben Owens (0.1),Luke Delahunty (1.1),Sam Power,Cathal McKeown,Rian Quigley (0.5,1f)Sean Cotter.
Subs- Ronan Quigley for Sam Power.
Shane Sweeney,Eddie Egan,Ben Collins,Jack Prout,Paddy Cadell(0.2),Tadhg Nolan,Ciaran Byrne,Eanna McBride(0.2),Dennis Russell,Nick Keane,Anthony Ryan,Andrew Ormonde(0.1),ShaneDoyle (0.6,3fs ) Neil Quinlan(captain) (0-2).
Subs-Darragh Doyle for Anthony Ryan,Cian McDonnell for Dennis Russell,Conor Cadell (0.1) for Jack Prout.