Carnaross GAA Club, Co. Meath - A82 DW01

2017 Junior Championship

Team played won drawn lost FOR AGAINST difference points
Moylagh 5 3 2 0 92 63 29 8
Carnaross 5 3 2 0 81 73 8 8
Dunsany 5 2 1 2 78 65 13 5
Kilmainhamwood 5 2 0 3 59 79 -20 4
St Vincents 5 1 1 3 61 76 -15 3
St Brigid’s 5 1 0 4 75 90 -15 2

Carnaross 1-11 Moylagh 2-8

Junior A Championship (Round 1)

Played in Millbrook – 21/5/2017

Moylagh and Carnaross played out an entertaining draw at a wind-swept Milbrook in the first round of the Junior Championship. This is the 3rd year in a row that Carnaross have failed to win their first round encounter. Twice in the last 5 minutes Moylagh pointed to regain parity after racing into an early lead. Both teams had chances to steal it at the death but a draw ended up being a fair result.

Moylagh played with the elements in the opening period and completely dominated proceedings for the first 15 minutes. Seán Reilly burst through the rear-guard to drive the ball into the net and stun the Carnaross defence. They tagged on two more points and added a further goal when the ball fell kindly to their half forward leaving it 2-2 to no score after 7 minutes. Carnaross eventually regained their composure after Moylagh’s initial onslaught with Liam Day finishing off a well worked move that began in the full back line.  Carnaross began to establish a foothold as Moylagh’s frantic pace couldn’t be maintained. Two more points in as many minutes from the in-form championship debutant Day reignited the Carnaross challenge. Frank O’Reilly converted a free but the Dromone men finished the half the stronger by utilising the wind to good effect adding a further two efforts from play. At half time, the scoreboard read 2-4 to 0-4 points with Moylagh full value for their lead. Carnaross had been caught off-guard by a hungrier and more aggressive opponent but still fancied themselves to overturn the deficit in the second half with the aid of the gale force wind.

In the second half, the tireless Frank O’Reilly began proceedings by converting another free from distance but a combination of wayward shooting by Carnaross and astute time wasting tactics from Moylagh ensured the margin remained at 5 points. Moylagh pointed against the run of play and Cian Gillic responded by curling over a fine effort, much to the delight of the travelling Carnaross contingent. Moylagh converted a free to keep the maroon and saffron men at bay momentarily. Eventually Carnaross’ dominance began to show on the scoreboard as O’Reilly converted another free before Niall McDonnell went on a mazy run bouncing off opponents before rifling a shot beyond the hapless Moylagh keeper. Carnaross lost full back Thomas Nugent to a straight red card but they continued to take the game to their Junior counterparts. Frank continued the comeback with another well taken free as Moylagh resorted to fouling to disrupt momentum. Shane Casserly drew the sides level before McDonnell put Carnaross in front for the first time which brought a rapturous cheer from the crowd. Moylagh weren’t finished yet and they roused themselves from the dead to restore parity once more. With 62 minutes on the clock Frank O’Reilly drove at the Moylagh defence and launched over a monster effort only to be cancelled out by a quick Moylagh reply. Both teams spurned chances to win the game but ultimately the points were shared.

Moylagh’s guise and experience was telling on the day as they carved out a result by ambushing Carnaross in the first half racing into an 8 point lead with pure intensity and desire. This was backed up in the second half by cleverly disrupting play with the physio being called on 7 different occasions. Carnaross spent the majority of the match chasing their opponents and that devastating opening 7 minutes from Moylagh came back to haunt them. Carnaross however had more than enough chances to win the game and kicking 10 wides in the second half with the wind is inexcusable. The main positive on the day was the way in which the youth in the side lead the charge with Liam Day, Sam Reynolds and John Brogan making their first of many Championship appearances for the club.

Carnaross: Shane McNiffe; Cian O Reilly, Thomas Nugent, Ian Donoghue; Sam Reynolds, Tomás Plunkett, Cian Gillic (0-1); Dermot McGee, Cillian Comaskey; Niall McDonnell (1-1), Frank O’Reilly (0-5,0-4fs), Cormac O’Reilly; Liam Day (0-3, 0-1f), Michael Brogan, Stephen Flattery; Subs: Shane Casserly (0-1) for Stephen Flattery; John Brogan for Cormac O’Reilly;

Carnaross 3-8 Kilmainhamwood 1-11

Junior A Championship (Round 2)

Played in Moynalty – 10/6/2017

Carnaross defended rigorously in the final minutes of injury time to ensure Kilmainhamwood never got an equalising goal. Indeed, the result should never have been in doubt at this late stage but Carnaross struggled to kill the game as a contest when they were dominating earlier in the game.

The game began at a frantic pace which saw Liam Day cooly slot the ball by a hapless Kilmainhamwood keeper with consummate ease. The Wood had the gale force wind at their back and began to make use of it knocking over 2 points. Stephen Flattery judged the wind to perfection with a long curling effort that nestled on the roof of the net before Kilmainhamwood replied with 2 more points. Frank O’Reilly, who was one of 3 players that played in this championship encounter despite currently sitting their Leaving Cert exams, opened his account and finished with 4 points to his name. The former Keegan cup winners kicked the next 3 points with 2 from frees, utilising their wind advantage to good effect. Liam Day popped up again, as only he can, to squeeze another effort by the keeper as Carnaross were opening up their defence by running at the heart of the Kilmainhamwood defence. Frank O’Reilly and Dermot McGee kicked a point apiece to ensure that Carnaross held a two point advantage at half time, 2-4 to 0-8, despite being up against the wind. Kilmainhamwood remained in contention throughout by converting their frees but Carnaross looked the livelier opponent and were confident facing into the second period.

Carnaross continued to push on in the second half with a brace of points from midfielder Cillian Comaskey who got just reward for his industrious work load. Frank O’Reilly kicked a point after a typical mazy solo run and continued his rich vein of form with an audacious effort from close to the end line which somehow sent the umpire running for his white flag. Carnaross were 6 points up at this stage and their superior fitness and hunger was evident but their killer instinct was lacking. 5 wides in a 10 minute period enabled The Wood to remain in contention. Carnaross lost goal maestro Day and centre back Cian O’Reilly to injuries and Kilmainhamwood began to step up their physicality. During this fallow period, all momentum and energy was zapped from the game and Kilmainhamwood worked the ball up the field for a goal to reignite the battle. They scored the next point and suddenly the gap was down to the minimum. Decky Reilly’s introduction proved to be vital as he collected a long ball over the top to finish to the corner of the net and stretch the lead back out to 4. Carnaross failed to kick on however and Kilmainhamwood pointed to leave 3 points in it with normal time elapsed. With a goal needed and time running out, Kilmainhamwood’s wing back Carolan bore down on goals and unleashed a shot that was destined to tie up the game. McNiffe in goals, however was equal to the effort and managed to punch it out to safety. Kilmainhamwood unleashed chaos in the Carnaross rear guard with high balls peppering the square with seconds remaining but the Carnaross defence remained resolute and held out for their first championship victory of the year.

Carnaross made life very difficult on themselves in a game where they dominated possession but ultimately never killed the game off as a contest. However they will be happy to remain unbeaten in this year’s junior championship and take a lot of positives from a gruelling encounter against their North Meath counterparts.

Carnaross: Shane McNiffe; Liam Brogan, Tomás Plunkett, Ian Donoghue; Cian Gillic, Cian O’Reilly, Sam Reynolds; Cillian Comaskey (0-2), Michael Brogan; Niall McDonnell, Frank O’Reilly (0-4), Shane Casserly; Stephen Flattery (0-1), Dermot McGee (0-1), Liam Day (2-0); Subs: Decky Reilly (1-0) for Liam Day(inj); Cormac O’Reilly for Cian O’Reilly(inj); John Brogan for Shane Casserly (Black Card);

Carnaross 2-10 St. Vincent’s 2-10

Junior A Championship (Round 3)

Played in Páirc Tailteann – 24/6/2017

St. Vincent’s second half reprieve reaped reward when they snatched a draw at headquarters with the last kick of the game. The failure of Carnaross to put the men from Ardcath away when chances arose proved decisive as St. Vincents finished the stronger to earn a draw.

The early exchanges were split evenly between the teams with Carnaross utilising the wind to their advantage delivering early ball into full forward Charles Brogan who was terrorising the 2016 Junior B champions. Points from Frank O’Reilly, Brogan and an outrageous effort from Stephen Flattery when he drew a boot on a bouncing ball, left the teams tied at 3 points apiece after 12 minutes. Carnaross were dominating possession but were failing to dominate the scoreboard until they hit a purple patch in the last 10 minutes of the first half. Frank O’Reilly converted 2 frees along with one from play which was his fourth of the half. A well worked move resulted in Dermot McGee squaring it to Charles Brogan who made no mistake when he slotted the ball into the Vincent’s net to leave it 1-7 to 0-3 at half time. Carnaross might have been further ahead but a combination of wayward shooting and poor decision making ensured Vincent’s remained in touching distance with the wind to come in the second period.

St. Vincent’s scored the first 4 points of the second half to reduce the deficit significantly. Their unerring accuracy from dead balls coupled with two missed one on one opportunities from the North Meath men changed the complexion of the game completely. The Carnaross defence were dealing expertly with the long ball tactic but struggling when Vincent’s broke out of defence at pace. A point from Dermot McGee and a free from a difficult angle from Frank O’Reilly ensured the Carnaross men remained 5 points ahead halfway through the second half. However St. Vincent’s began to punish Carnaross for wasting opportunities earlier in the game with a quickfire goal and a point to leave the teams level with 10 minutes to go. Carnaross regained their composure to re-establish their lead through the trusty right boot of O’Reilly but Vincent’s replied instantly. Charlie Brogan once again stood up and looked to have put the game beyond doubt when he finished with aplomb to bring his tally to 2-1 for the day with a mere 3 minutes remaining. St. Vincent’s broke forward in a desperate attempt to force a draw but on numerous occasions the Carnaross rear-guard stood up admirably. However a failure to stretch the lead out to an unassailable 4 points proved to be critical as Vincent’s launched an optimistic delivery that fortuitously ended up falling to an unmarked forward 5 yards out who made no mistake.

Carnaross were never fronted in this encounter but failed to put their opponents away when numerous opportunities arose. The plucky St. Vincent’s side stuck in the contest when they were struggling and fought back admirably to snatch a draw. Carnaross handed a full debut to the in-form Aidan Lynch who aquitted himself admirably throughout this keenly fought encounter. A frustrating evening in Páirc Tailteann for the hoops but they look forward to a ferocious battle against Junior Finalists Dunsany in the next round.

Carnaross: Shane McNiffe; Aidan Lynch, Tomás Plunkett, Liam Brogan; Cian Gillic, Ian Donoghue, Sam Reynolds; Michael Brogan, Cillian Comaskey; Niall McDonnell, Dermot McGee (0-2), Stephen Flattery (0-1); Thomas Nugent, Charles Brogan (2-1), Frank O’Reilly (0-6, 0-4fs); Sub: John L McGee for Stephen Flattery.

Carnaross 1-11 Dunsany 0-13

Junior A Championship (Round 4)

Played in Kildalkey – 24/7/2017

Carnaross and Dunsany served up an enthralling encounter in a perfectly presented and sun-kissed Kildalkey pitch where both teams once again demonstrated how evenly matched they are. The contest ebbed and flowed until finally Carnaross emerged one point victors in an absorbing and tension-ridden tie that engrossed and delighted the sizeable crowd that were present.

Carnaross began at a blistering pace that Dunsany simply couldn’t handle. Frank O’Reilly awoke from his recent weekend slumber to split the posts with the outside of his boot. Carnaross then doubled their advantage as Dunsany struggled to get a foothold. Dunsany desperately sought out a leader from their parish to stem the tide but not in the form of the local Teagasc trailblazer, Flattery who had other ideas. He rose highest to claim the mark from the resulting kick-out and set off on an explosive solo run bouncing off the hapless Dunsany defenders before threading the ball by the onrushing keeper. Dunsany responded and began to match Carnaross for the remainder of the half as they gradually reined in the North Meath men. Carnaross however continued to open up the beaten Junior finalists at will with Charles Brogan and John L McGee completing well worked moves.   The game developed into a captivating and open clash with both teams committing numbers forward in a positive and refreshing manner. Frank O’Reilly continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over with 3 frees but Dunsany’s Brennan was equal to the task leaving it 1-6 to 0-7 at half time in favour of the Carnaross men.

Carnaross’ explosive start was gradually curbed by Dunsany who simply refused to lie down when they weren’t firing on all cylinders. Eventually the game settled and Carnaross were disappointed not to be further ahead after dominating the first 15 minutes but Dunsany had all the momentum with them heading into the eagerly anticipated second period.

The second half continued just at the first had ended with Dunsany continuing their dominance. However a combination of wayward shooting and full blooded defending by the maroon and saffron men ensured Dunsany remained at arm’s length. Both teams endured a fallow period as the game entered the pivotal third quarter. The teams naturally tired as the game progressed ensuring an increase in tension, intensity, mistakes and most of all a steady increase in robust tackles as they both fought for supremacy. Dunsany chipped away at the lead despite the fact that the Carnaross full back line were excelling. Niall McDonnell got through trojan work on the day and his valiant effort was rewarded when he split the posts midway through the half. Dermot McGee led by example also by driving at the Dunsany rear-guard to open up his account for the day. Dunsany introduced a wave of substitutes which injected new life into their cause shooting them into a 2 point lead with 7 minutes remaining.  McGee and McDonnell were then denied goal chances that they carved out themselves as the game looked to be slipping away from the despairing hoops. However the industrious Cillian Comaskey began a late revival chipping over a simple score that sparked hope in the ranks. Frank O’Reilly drew the sides level after converting a score from an acute angle as the spectators waited with baited breath for more drama to unfold. Twice Dunsany were foiled by expert defending but Carnaross struggled to capitalise and the winning score remained elusive. The referee was hard pressed to keep tabs on an intense and tumultuous affair but correctly played over 5 minutes additional time and shyed away from blowing up early for the easy option of the draw. In the final play of the game, Carnaross dispossessed their opponents and worked it through the hands until the ball fell to the captain Dermot McGee, who gleefully split the posts ensuring Carnaross emerged victorious, just.

It was an incredibly even contest which had all the makings of a draw but thankfully this encounter wasn’t the 4th draw of the championship in Group B. Dunsany will feel terribly aggrieved to have nothing to show for their tremendous effort but Carnaross got the bounce of the ball when the game was in the balance. On such fine margins are games won or lost but thankfully on a perfect evening for championship football, Carnaross got that elusive rub of the green.

Carnaross: Conor Kenny; Peter Shay Farrelly, Tomás Plunkett, Liam Brogan; Cian Gillic, Ian Donoghue, Sam Reynolds; Dermot McGee (0-2), Cillian Comaskey (0-1); Niall McDonnell (0-1), Frank O’Reilly (0-5, 0-3fs), Stephen Flattery (1-0); Liam Day, Charles Brogan (0-1), John L McGee (0-1); Subs:Killian Porter for Liam Day; Cormac O’Reilly for Stephen Flattery; Thomas Nugent for Killian Porter;

Carnaross 1-17 St. Brigid’s 2-10

Junior A Championship (Round 5)

Played in Moylagh – 14/8/2017

Carnaross concluded the group stages of the 2017 Junior Championship with a final round victory against St. Brigid’s. The venue was switched last minute from a waterlogged Millbrook surface to a desolate Moylagh pitch as all of the Moylagh officials were busy watching their own club play against St. Vincent’s. Carnaross dominated proceedings but a plucky Brigids side twice rose from the dead refusing to lie down making for an exciting encounter.

The dark, gloomy evening was in stark contrast to the tropical conditions the men from Carnaross had grown accustomed to of late, but nevertheless they stormed into an early lead. John L McGee set the tone early-on when he rounded his man only to see his thundering effort rebound off the post. The movement of the full forward line of Shane Casserly, Charles Brogan and John L McGee was causing all sorts of problems for their opponents with expert deliveries from the Kerry convert Cillian Comaskey and Galway Races-fanatic Cian O’Reilly. McGee pointed twice with either foot from acute angles displaying great intent and energy. Casserly’s suspect daytime excursions to the beach stood to him as he fisted over and won numerous frees early on. The on-form Stephen Flattery kicked an audacious point from distance after Niall McDonnell provided him with yet another assist. McDonnell took over the free kicking duties from the unavailable Frank O’Reilly and displayed all the credentials of a county footballer as he nonchalantly kicked over 5 frees throughout the course of the 60 minutes, both from the ground and out of the hands. A slick counter attack move involving a series of hand passes put Flattery through on goal where he ably rounded the keeper only to be unceremoniously hauled to the ground. Thankfully Flattery didn’t step up for the penalty taking duties this time and McGee duly converted from 12 yards. Cian O’Reilly’s welcome return to action was capped by a first half salvo that included a right footed effort from play doubled with a left footed free. Charles Brogan also got his name on the scoresheet after blasting over one of his trademark points. During this barnstorming 20 minute period Carnaross had established a 1-9 to 0-2 lead. However St. Brigid’s displayed great resolve in re-establishing this contest. 2 converted frees were quickly followed by a goal where they utilised their numerical advantage expertly after Carnaross had committed men forward in a foiled attack. Suddenly the rain-soaked Ballinacree supporters began to voice their support and two more points followed for the Brigids ensuring they scored 1-4 without reply. Carnaross needed a score to settle themselves before the break and up stepped the captain for the day, McDonnell, who drove at the opposition and split the posts expertly to leave 4 points in it at half time, 1-10 to 1-6.

The second half began with the maroon and saffron men asserting their dominance once more with McGee continuing his fine form to stretch the lead further. Cian O’Reilly managed to land the ball over the black spot, on his now preferred left side, despite being under serious pressure. Further frees from Niall McDonnell stretched the lead out again before he began to dominate proceedings launching over one expertly taken effort and one somewhat questionable score. The lead now stood at 1-16 to 1-8 and the game looked dead and buried but the heart and belief the Brigid’s side displayed was admirable once more, as they clawed the game back to a single score with 5 minutes to go, 1-16 to 2-10. The setting began to resemble less of a football pitch and more of a swimming pool as a result of the torrential rain, which suited certain Carnaross defenders. Carnaross upped the intensity physically as Cillian Comaskey, the Brogans and substitute Cormac O’Reilly began to make their presence felt. Dedicated clubman Liam Day was unlucky to see his punched effort rebound off the post before St. Brigid’s responded with their own goal-bound effort that struck the crossbar. Some resolute defending by all 6 defenders ensured St. Brigid’s remained at bay while the Carnaross forwards were presented with the opportunity to kill out the game. Liam Day was felled near the sideline where McDonnell placed the ball on the ground and gracefully guided the ball over the black spot and Carnaross into the quarter finals.

Brigid’s left the field despondent knowing that they face into a relegation battle despite giving a tremendous account of themselves. Carnaross were relieved to get over the line after their strenuous warm- weather training sessions over the weekend and look forward to the knockout stages of the Junior Championship for the third successive year.

Carnaross: Conor Kenny; Aidan Lynch, Tomás Plunkett, Liam Brogan; Thomas Nugent, Ian Donoghue, Cian Gillic; Cillian Comaskey, Michael Brogan; Niall McDonnell (0-8, 0-5fs), Cian O’Reilly(0-3, 0-1f), Stephen Flattery (0-1); Shane Casserly (0-1), Charles Brogan (0-1), John L McGee (1-3, 1-0 pen); Subs: Cormac O’Reilly for Stephen Flattery; Liam Day for Shane Casserly;

Carnaross 0-14 Drumconrath 0-8

Junior A Championship (Quarter-Final)

Played in Pairc Tailteann – 9/9/2017

Carnaross emerged 6 point victors after a bruising battle with Drumconrath in Páirc Tailteann on Saturday afternoon. Carnaross were the superior team over the course of the game but Drumconrath will rue some guilt edge goal chances that they spurned. Had they taken any of these, the game’s result could have been very different but ultimately Carnaross had too much for Drumconrath.

Carnaross raced out of the blocks taking the game to their North Meath counterparts. Great discipline and technique in the tackle ensured numerous turnovers in defence affording the forwards the chances to convert. Frank O’Reilly dictated proceedings early on converting numerous frees against the wind. Sam Reynolds curled over a fine effort and Dermot McGee stretched the Drums defence with his direct running knocking over 3 first half points.

It was a half dominated by Carnaross as they raced into a 4 points to no score lead. Frank O’Reilly scored a sublime sub 90 point when he kicked over his shoulder sending the ball skyward splitting the posts.  It was a remarkable score but it wasn’t the score of the weekend. That accolade rests with Jack Roche who pointed from near 50 yards for his first competitive score for Carnaross in the Junior D playoff. Jack’s recent scoring prowess is surely a result of his impeccable feline diet.

Carnaross continued to stretch their lead as Drumconrath continued to struggle leaving it 0-08 to 0-01 after 21 minutes. Drumconrath then failed to capitalise on a hopeful delivery into the square when the ball fell kindly to their forward who blazed wide. This seemed to reignite the Drumconrath spirit and they began to match Carnaross’ intensity, and added a bit of bite for measure. The O’Reillys were faultless from placed balls with Frank on the left hand side and Cian on the right side with his “weaker” foot. Eventually Drumconrath hit a mini purple patch knocking over 3 unanswered points with Terry Skelly to the fore. Carnaross brought their total to 10 with the final score of the half and went down the tunnel content with their first half performance and a lead of 0-10 to 0-5.

The second half had a different complexion as Drumconrath upped the stakes physically. They threw everything at Carnaross early on in an attempt to reignite their failing aspirations. However a combination of wayward shooting and tight marking ensured they kicked 4 wides in the first 5 minutes at the beginning of the third quarter. Carnaross converted two frees as John L McGee was causing the Drums defence difficulties. Carnaross then lost corner back Liam Brogan to a second yellow card offence and were forced to play the last 15 minutes with a numerical disadvantage. They held a 7 point lead at this stage but nevertheless this gave the vocal Drumconrath support reason to believe as they waved their red and white flags and balloons with glee. The Drumconrath players continued to spurn chances as Carnaross were slightly more economical leaving it 0-13 to 0-07 with eight minutes remaining. Drumconrath’s frustration with the looming loss began to boil over with some questionable tackles. Dermot McGee managed to knock over 2 crucial scores to keep Drumconrath at bay despite being mesmerised by Frank’s masterful display. Cormac O’Reilly saw red when his late shoulder was deemed a red card offence which sparked anger in the Drumconrath camp leading to three red cards being issued (Michael Brogan got his marching orders as well as two Drumconrath players). Carnaross maintained their composure despite the chaotic conclusion by confidently keeping possession and thus ensuring a semi-final berth in a fortnight’s time.

Carnaross’ ability to play football ensured they emerged victorious after a titanic battle with their North Meath counterparts. Unfortunately for Drumconrath, their season is over and much like their balloons they left HQ quite deflated. Carnaross on the other hand, look forward to a semi-final match up against Group A table toppers Meath Hill, who hold the upper hand in this fixture having won the previous 3 encounters between these teams.

Carnaross: Conor Kenny; Peter Shay Farrelly, Tomás Plunkett, Liam Brogan; Sam Reynolds (0-1), Ian Donoghue, Cian Gillic; Dermot McGee (0-5), Cillian Comaskey; Niall McDonnell, Frank O’Reilly (0-6, 0-5fs), Stephen Flattery; Cian O’Reilly (0-2fs), Charles Brogan, John L McGee; Subs: Killian Porter for Stephen Flattery; Michael Brogan for Cillian Comaskey; Thomas Nugent for Sam Reynolds; Cormac O’Reilly for Niall McDonnell;

Carnaross 1-6 Meath Hill 1-10

Junior A Championship (Semi-Final)

Played in Pairc Tailteann – 24/9/2017

Meath Hill deservedly edged out Carnaross in a nerve-ridden encounter on Sunday afternoon in Páirc Tailteann. Both teams struggled for fluency throughout but it was Meath Hill’s composure in the third quarter of this encounter that earned them a final berth against Moylagh.

Carnaross began the game at an electric pace but unfortunately their energy and enthusiasm wasn’t rewarded on the scoreboard in the first 10 minutes. In that barron spell, the Carnaross team kicked 5 wides and dropped two efforts into the keeper’s hands and to make matters worse, they lost wing back Cian Gillic to a knee injury. With every misplaced shot, the nervous tension grew and Carnaross couldn’t buy a score. Meath Hill opened the scoring eventually (after wasting some opportunities themselves) to lead by two points to no score after 14 frustrating minutes of football. Eventually the ball fell to Cian O’Reilly who carefully opened Carnaross’ account after 17 minutes. Frank O’Reilly converted a free and the game was level after 22 minutes as both teams fought valiantly to establish some form of rhythm in a disjointed first half. Meath Hill re-established their one point lead before Frank dispossessed Meath Hill’s centre back at centre field and headed straight for goals. After a series of neat, intricate hand passes involving Dermot McGee, Cian O’Reilly and Charlie Brogan, the ball was delivered into John L McGee who palmed it into the net for the score of the game. Carnaross failed to build on this however and Meath Hill struck back with a goal of their own just before half time. A free dropped short in the square and in the resulting chaos, the ball ended up in the back of the net fortuitously sending the sizeable Meath Hill contingent in the crowd wild. The resulting kickout was claimed by Pierce McGrath and he duly converted from 40 yards leaving Meath Hill leading by 2 points at half time, 1-4 to 1-2. The first half was a forgettable experience as both teams made basic handling errors but Meath Hill’s late salvo of 1-1 left them with raised spirits and fresh belief for the second half. Carnaross were still desperately searching for some form of rhythm or cohesion that had deserted their play in the first half.

Carnaross made an ideal start to the second half when they worked the ball down the left side of attack holding possession and drawing the foul for a free that Frank O’Reilly converted. Meath Hill responded with a point of their own but Carnaross converted a second free to ensure the minimum remained between the sides. However Meath Hill hit the only purple patch of the game when they accounted for 4 of the next 5 points. They showed excellent composure when the game was severely lacking stability. Twice they fisted over chances cleverly after the ball rebounded off the crossbar and the upright and they recycled possession when the Carnaross defence misplaced a pass. Carnaross had Conor Kenny to thank for keeping them in the contest when he stood up well to deny a Meath Hill a certain goal. Despite not performing anywhere near to their potential, the maroon and saffron men remained a mere four points behind with 15 minutes to go.  Meath Hill never scored in these remaining 15 minutes of regulation time but critically Carnaross only scored once through a 45 from Dermot McGee. They might have stolen an undeserved draw as they spurned two decent goal opportunities but the elusive goal never materialised. Meath Hill dug in deep and dropped men back to ensure their 3 point lead remained intact. They confirmed their place in the final with a final free deep into injury time, their first in 17 minutes to condemn Carnaross to a third semi-final defeat in 3 years.

Carnaross left the field completely despondent in the full knowledge that their performance did not match their ability. They fought valiantly chasing every lost cause and refused to give up despite the fact that it was just not their day. Amazingly, it was their first competitive loss since June of this year. Credit must go to Meath Hill who performed admirably when the game was in the melting pot. Their sportsmanship after the game was noteworthy and appreciated by the Carnaross contingent. For Carnaross, they must regroup and rebuild for the 2018 championship. Despite the disappointing loss, it was a largely encouraging year for the Carnaross camp ably guided by Tom Shine. Numbers in training were incredible and competition for places was immense with 25 players used over the course of the championship. Accounting for this, the achievements of the Junior D team reaching the semi-final this Friday just shows the strength in depth the club has at its’ disposal.  Looking to next year, they will take encouragement from the fact that they lined out with an average age of just 24 years for the semi-final.

Carnaross: Conor Kenny; Peter S Farrelly, Tomás Plunkett, Liam Brogan; Sam Reynolds, Ian Donoghue, Cian Gillic; Dermot McGee (0-2, 0-1 45), Cillian Comaskey; Niall McDonnell, Frank O’Reilly (0-3fs), Stephen Flattery; John L McGee (1-0), Charles Brogan, Cian O’Reilly (0-1); Subs: Killian Porter for Cian Gillic (inj); Cormac O’Reilly for Niall McDonnell; Thomas Nugent for Stephen Flattery; Declan Reilly for Cian O’Reilly; Liam Day for John L McGee;




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