Brosna Gaels advanced to Friday night's Junior A Hurling final.
BROSNA GAELS 1-15
BROSNA Gaels progressed to the Offaly Junior A Hurling Final with a convincing 10 point victory over Kilcormac/Killoughey in the semi-final played in Moystown on Saturday.
After a tight opening quarter Brosna Gaels struck for the only goal of the game midway through the first half and from there on they were in control of the contest. They led by eight points at the interval and that lead was never threatened in the second half.
Brosna Gaels can now look forward to Friday night's final against Ballinamere at The Faithful Fields and the only blot on their display was a red card received by wing back Lee Colgan as the game entered injury time which will rule him out of the final. Colgan and Kilcormac/Killoughey's Tomas Brennan were both sent off following an altercation involving a number of players from both sides. That was an isolated incident in a game that otherwise was contested without any real rancour.
Kilcormac/Killoughey came into the game having qualified for the semi-finals through a three game round robin play off, the last game of which was only the previous Tuesday. It was a tough ask to play a fourth game in just two weeks and it seemed to take its toll on them.
In contrast Brosna Gaels hadn't played a competitive game for six weeks but they showed little signs of rustiness and once they settled into the game they were clearly the better team. They used full forward Dan Kelleher as a very effective target man and a number of scores came through that source.
Corner forward Eoin Murphy was also in good scoring form, both from frees and from play, and he finished with 11 points. He was active throughout and troubled the Kilcormac/Killoughey defence a lot,
While Brosna Gaels had players who were able to pick off scores, Kilcormac/Killoughey struggled in that regard and they only managed a single point from play over the hour. That in essence was where their problems lay. They fought hard but just couldn't find the space to get scores.
A lot of that was down to the effectiveness of the Brosna Gaels defence, superbly marshalled from centre back by Richard Fox. Full back Sean Hackett and Eoin Hennessy also caught the eye in defence. Declan Buckley and John Egan formed a good combination in the middle of the field and Dan Kelleher, Eoin Murphy and Andrew Buckley were best in attack.
Eoin Kilmartin, Daithi Guinan and Niall Egan fought hard in the Kilcormac/Killoughey rearguard, Colm Leonard put in a good shift around the middle but they struggled to make an impact in attack.
Eoin Murphy pointed two early frees for Brosna Gaels before Trevor Fletcher got Kilcormac/Killoughey off the mark from a free after 10 minutes. Eoin Murphy had the first point from play a minute later but Fletcher replied again from a free.
Declan Buckley finished a good move with a point and then at the midway point of the half Eoin Murphy's long free from midfield was batted to the net by Dan Kelleher. Andew Buckley quickly added another point and they were 1-5 to 0-2 in front at the water break.
Eoin Murphy and Trevor Fletcher exchanged points from frees before Dan Kelleher and Murphy found the range from play. Trevor Fletcher pointed another free but Eoin Murphy replied with two of his own before Aidan Bracken got Kilcormac/Killoughey's only score of the game from play in first half injury time to leave it 1-10 to 0-5 at half time.
Scores were scarce after the break and an Eoin Murphy '65' was the only score in the first 10 minutes as both sides hit a series of wides. Trevor Fletcher pointed two frees and Eoin Murphy hit one as the score was 1-12 to 0-7 at the second half water break. Brosna Gaels added three more after that, two Eoin Murphy frees and one from Andrew Buckley.
Both sides were reduced to 14 men on 60 minutes when Lee Colgan and Tomas Brennan were red carded following an altercation. Sean Buckley did add a late point from a free for Kilcormac/Killoughey but it is Brosna Gaels who will be heading to the Faithful Fields for Friday night's final
BROSNA GAELS: Seanie Farrell; Jack Buckley, Sean Hackett, Ger Buckley; Lee Colgan, Richard Fox, Eoin Hennessy; Declan Buckley, John Egan; Andrew Buckley, James Langan, Gary Larkin; Eoin Murphy, Dan Kelleher, Ciaran Allen. Subs. Jack Quinn (for James Langan, 38 mins), Conor Robbins (for Andrew Buckley, 54 mins), Joe Lowry (for Eoin Hennessy, 57 mins).
KILCORMAC/KILLOUGHEY: James McDonald; Eoin Kilmartin, Mark Leonard, Sean Kilmartin; Niall Egan, Daithi Guinan, Brian Moore; Colm Leonard, Anthony Kilmartin; Jimmy Kavanagh, Dan Mahon, Martin Murray; Aidan Bracken, Trevor Fletcher, Liam White. Subs. Sean Buckley (for Dan Mahon, 28 mins), Rob Boland (for Brian Moore, half time), Diarmuid Bracken (for Martin Murray, 43 mins), Tomas Brennan (for Liam White, 43 mins).
REFEREE: David McLoughlin.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Richard Fox and Eoin Murphy were very strong contenders but the vote goes to Brosna Gaels full forward Dan Kelleher. He was a very effective target man for the Gaels, he won lots of good possession, linked well with his colleagues and also scored 1-1 himself. He was prominent throughout and just about edged his two colleagues.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
Dan Kelleher's first half goal was a defining moment. There had been little to separate the sides up to that score after 15 minutes but it gave Brosna Gaels a five point advantage and seemed to release some of the shackles from them as they played more freely after that and quickly opened an eight point half time lead.
David McLoughlin handled the game well. He acted decisively in issuing two red cards following a late altercation and also showed cards when necessary earlier. He threw in a lot of ball but that was often down to a soft pitch and not allowing a scrummage for the ball to develop in soft conditions.
Brosna Gaels hadn't played for six weeks as they got a walkover in their final group game whereas Kilcormac/Killoughey were involved in a four way play off and this was their fourth game in just two weeks. Brosna Gaels didn't show an ill effects from their long lay off and their freshness seemed to help them against a team which looked a little leg weary from their recent exertions.
Brosna Gaels advance to meet Ballinamere in Friday night's Junior A final at the Faithful Fields. For Kilcormac/Killoughey defeat marks the end of the season.
The Moystown pitch looked very well but it was soft and pre-match mist and rain didn't help. There was no run on the ball and it did lead to a lot of rucks. The club had parking well organised and hosted the game well.
Wides; Brosna Gaels 7 (3 in first half) Kilcormac/Killoughey 4 (1 in first half)
Yellow Cards: Brosna Gaels 2 (Sean Hackett, Gary Larkin) Kilcormac/Killoughey 4 (Brian Moore, Paul Kilmartin, Trevor Fletcher, Colm Leonard)
Red Cards: Brosna Gaels 1 (Lee Colgan) Kilcormac/Killoughey 1 (Tomas Brennan)
Brosna Gaels; Eoin Murphy (0-11, 0-8 frees, 0-1 '65'), Dan Kelleher (1-1), Andrew Buckley (0-2), Declan Buckley (0-1).
Kilcormac/Killoughey; Trevor Fletcher (0-6, all frees), Aidan Bracken (0-1), Sean Buckley (0-1, free).
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