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Leitrim Intermediate Championship Football Final
Carrigallen v Drumreilly

Venue: Cloone Date: 07.10.06 Throw-in: 6:00pm
Final Score: 0-10 / 0-10
 
 
Maguire's late point ensures replay
by John Connolly, Leitrim Observer

Deep into injury time, Drumreilly's Mick Holohan popped up with an interception in the Carrigallen backline and set up Nigel Maguire for an equaliser that postponed the destination of this year's GWP Intermediate Championship title for another seven days.

Carrigallen will be gutted by the result, and in particular Noel Nash, whose crossfield free from deep defence, was picked off by the alert Holohan. For long periods, it looked like Carrigallen were the likely winners, but doggedly, Drumreilly fought back - albeit through a bit of luck. Carrigallen settled exceptionally quick and rattled over four points without reply in the opening 16 minutes. Eventually, Drumreilly managed to put together some meaningful moves and it was their best that got them off the mark in the 17the minute.

They kicked on from there and looked like they would romp to victory, such was the ease that they rattled off four more points in a ten minute spell that saw them go on in front. Carrigallen snatched a late point to go into the break level, and again in the opening stages of the second half, they edged a couple of points ahead. It was pretty much nip and tuck for the remainder of the match, with never more than two points between the sides. With his side leading by a point in the last minute of normal time, substitute Eamon O'Malley picked up his second yellow card, as Drumreilly pressure began to show.

It was the decision by Drumreilly management to make changes that gave them a more attacking format and produced that pressure on the Carrigallen rearguard. Pat Donoghue brought himself on at midfield and pushed Declan Maxwell into the full forward line. While it didn't bring a deluge of scores, it put sufficient pressure on the Carrigallen defence. Having won a rather soft free on the left corner back position, Noel Nash attempted to pick out a team mate in front of goal. However, Drumreilly were quickest to react and Nigel Maguire slotted the ball over the bar.

With the referee's whistle following the kick-out, at least one replay will be required to separate the sides to decide who will win the Intermediate title this year. Carrigallen were naturally despondent after the final whistle, having come so close to upsetting the odds. While Drumreilly had the better team on paper - with five players who have played senior football for Leitrim at one stage - Carrigallen had a tremendous team ethos. They worked devilishly hard for each other, which was best exemplified by the performance of JP McManus. A club stalwart, McManus was everywhere on Sunday last - helping out in defence and attack, keeping moves going, without fear.

At either end of the ground, there were some interesting tussles. David Flynn was paired up against the dangerous Drumreilly forward James Holohan, who looked lively early on, winning mostball out in front - in particular when ball was put into space. But when the key one-on-one tackles were required, Flynn came out on top. At the other end, Francis Holohan was handed the task of marking another lively forward in Charles McGuinness. While the Carrigallen man scored five points over the hour, three of those were from frees. He similarly enjoyed better possession in the first half, but Francis Holohan came more into the game to have a solid game - just when his side needed him.

In spite of the error, Noel Nash had a fine game, working hard throughout and scoring a magnificent point. At midfield, Noel Doonan was the busier of the Carrigallen duo and the fact that he was carrying a knock into the game makes his performance all the better. In the forwards, it was captain Andrew McManus who stood out with an excellent showing, which was full of pace and threat, and was a contender for the man of the match accolade. In the Drumreilly defence, Damien Holohan and Damien Mitchell were the pick, while Declan Maxwell and John McKeon were both influential in keeping their side in the match.

Apart from those mentioned in the forward line, Raymond Fee, with five points (four frees) and Michael Holohan also impressed. But it was Carrigallen who were doing all the early pressing, with McGuinness opening the scoring after just 16 seconds - from Noel Doonan's pass, who won the ball from the throw-in. Early tensions over-spilled with James Holohan clashing with David Flynn as they awaited Declan Maxwell's free kick from 45 metres. Flynn ended up on the ground receiving attention to a facial injury, and Holohan picked up a yellow card.

Carrigallen continued to tack on the scores - Benny O'Rourke (free), Noel Nash (a fine curling effort) and JP McManus all raising the white flag to put them four in front, without reply. McManus' point, in particular, was a well-worked move, with JP chipping a fine pass inside to McGuinness before taking the return pass to score. In the 17the minute, Drumreilly finally opened their account, as the game swayed their way. Doonan's foul on McKeon ended Drumreilly's most enterprising move to date, with Olly Maguire converting the free. Declan Maxwell cracked over a massive point from a '45, before two successive frees by Raymond Fee levelled the match in the 30the minute. Olly Maguire fielded the ball from the kickout of Fee's last point. His long ball was fisted on by McKeon towards Michael Holohan, who passed to the unmarked Fee to score his side's fifth point - their first from play.

Five minutes into injury time, Carrigallen brought the game back level. Charles McGuinness, with a free in front of goal, hit the post, but was fouled when the rebound came to him. He made no mistake with the follow-up. Three minutes into the second half, Benny O'Rourke put his side back in front with a free, before Cliff Richardson hit a fine point from distance. The score came from an excellent David Flynn tackle on James Holohan, and led to Andrew McManus bursting down the right wing on a solo run, before he found the tall Carrigallen midfielder inside. Drumreilly immediately cut the deficit back to on with a Raymond Fee pointed fee, but suffered a major scare at the other end in Carrigallen's next attack.

It was a sweeping move that saw Terence Reynolds provide the final pass for Ray Reilly on the left of the large square. Without a second thought, Reilly immediately sent a snap shot toward the opposite corner, but much to his dismay the ball his the post square-on and rebounded back into play. McGuinness and Fee exchanged scores before both sides had decent chances for a goal. Both were long balls lofted into the square, but both Maxwell and Ciaran Flynn were wide with their efforts. In such a tight game, a goal would surely have decided it. Eight minutes from time, Andrew McManus was fouled going through on the right, which McGuinness punished with a point.

Sensing the game slipping away, and trailing by two, Drumreilly opted to push Maxwell into the full-forward role that has worked so well for Leitrim. Add to that, Pat Donoghue was brought on to play in midfield. The moves worked. After Maguire converted a free, Maxwell gave a glimpse of what most had come to expect. Donoghue, having made wonderful catch at the middle, was fouled. His free picked out Maxwell in a bit of space and he jinked his way through the Carrigallen defence before firing over a point with a low purposeful shot. McGuinness edged his side in front. Eamon O'Malley picked out fellow substitute Ciaran Flynn with a cross-field pass and following a few short passes, McGuinness was there to knock the ball over the bar.

A minute from the end of normal time, referee Eamonn O'Grady ended O'Malley's short stay on the field of play with a second yellow card. The first was produced for a robust challenge not long after his 42nd minute introduction. The second came in the 59the minute, for a deliberate foul as Drumreilly attempted to work the ball out. Several injuries led to a lengthy injury time period, and five minutes after the 60 had elapsed, Noel Nash managed to win the ball in defence and won a free rather easily, having appeared to have fell on top of the ball, rather than receive a push from Maxwell.

His quickly-taken free was over-hit and was intercepted by the alert Michael Holohan and he passed back out to Maguire, who managed to work the space for a shot to level the match.

Carrigallen

Enda Lyons; Dermot Mulligan, David Flynn, Mick Tighe; Karl Ward, Noel Nash (0-1), Gary Reynolds; Cliff Richardson (0-1), Noel Doonan; Andrew McManus (capt), Ray Reilly, JP McManus (0-1); Benny O'Rourke (0-2), Charles McGuinness (0-5), Terence Reyonlds. Subs: Ciaran Flynn for T. Reynolds, Eamon O'Malley for B. O'Rourke (both 42 mins); Darragh McGovern for R. Reilly (54 mins).

Drumreilly

Mick McGirl; Ciaran Holohan, Francis Holohan, Damian Holohan; Nigel Maguire (0-1), Damian Mitchell, Ciaran Holohan; Declan Maxwell (0-2), Oliver Maguire (0-2); Ray Fee (0-5), John McKeon (capt), Cillian Maguire; Warren Maguire, James Holohan, Mick Holohan. Subs: Pat Donohoe for K. Holohan.

Referee: E. O'Grady


Leitrim Intermediate Championship Football Final - Replay
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