James Lalor in action for Raheen against Clonbullogue in last year's IFC final
THE Offaly Intermediate and Junior Football Championship semi-finals went according to the form book when they took place on Sunday afternoon.
The rain and wind made conditions a lottery but there was no surprises with Raheen and Ballycommon qualifying for the Intermediate Football Championship final while the Junior Football Championship decider will be between the long time best teams in the championship, Ballinagar and Kilcormac-Killoughey.
Raheen had a good 1-11 to 0-7 win over St Brigd's. They were just a point up at half time, 0-5 to 0-4 but got away from them in the second half for the win.
In the other intermediate semi-final, Ballycommon beat Tullamore by 0-13 to 1-8. Ballycommon led by 0-6 to 0-3 at half time. They opened up a gap in the second half but Tullamore came back at them and Ballycommon held on for a deserved win.
As expected title favourites, Kilcormac-Killoughey and a young, emerging Ballinagar team made the Offaly Junior Football Championship final when the semi-finals took place on Sunday afternoon.
Kilcormac-Killoughey were pushed hard before getting the better of a very hard working Rhode, 0-11 to 0-7 in Gracefield.
Kilcormac-Killoughey led by 0-5 to 0-4 at half time and finished strongly to win by four points. It was a significant win for Kilcormac-Killoughey who lined out minus flying forward Alex Kavanagh who scored 3-4 in their last group game while Peter Geraghty has gone back to Dubai. U-20 All-Ireland winning star Cathal Donoghue also went off after shipping a heavy knock – Donoghue just came back recently following a long lay off with a knee injury but thankfully it doesn't seem to be related to that.
Ballinagar were delighted to beat Edenderry by 0-15 to 0-8 in the other semi-final in Clonbullogue. Ballinagar went out minus some of their best players – another Offaly U-20 winning hero Morgan Tynan is out for the season with a hamstring injury while Ryan Strong is injured and his twin, Adam Strong is in Texas on a college placement.
It meant that Ballinagar were without some of their strongest and most physical players but they produced a fine second half to win. Ballinagar led by 0-7 to 0-5 at half time and restricted Edenderry to just three points in the second half – Ballinagar opened up a gap after a few minutes of the second half and were able to hold that to the finish.
The constant rain made conditions a lottery but the form book was upheld in both semi-finals – K-K will be favourites for the final but will be taking nothing for granted against a young Ballinagar who have a lot of exciting young players.
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