A tour de force from brothers’ Brian and Paul Flaherty inspired Abbeyknockmoy to the county intermediate title – their third in all – at the expense of Moycullen in a decider that, for the most part, failed to live up to expectation at Kenny Park, Athenry on Saturday.
For that, Abbeyknockmoy could not be faulted and the passages of play that did catch the imagination were mainly conjured up by the men in red and blue. In this respect, the two Flahertys once again underlined their class as men apart with towering displays in the central diamond.
Added to this, Abbey’s overall work-rate in the middle third was considerably higher than their opponents who, despite winning a great deal of primary possession, continually got over-turned by a hungrier Abbeyknockmoy
Moycullen – out for the seventh consecutive weekend and, perhaps, mentally tired because of this – came into this fixture as pre-match favourites yet they looked a pale shadow of the side that took out Ahascragh/Fohenagh a week previous.
That is what will disappoint them the most – that they didn’t translate their earlier championship form or, indeed, the form which secured them the 2011 intermediate title into a more compact display in this one. For want of a better word, they were ‘flat’.
That said, huge credit to Abbeyknockmoy in the manner in which they went about their business. They led 0-7 to 0-5 after a cagey first half and this was after dropping no less than five efforts short into Moycullen ‘keeper Eric Fox’s hands in the opening 10 minutes.
It was representative of the fare in the opening period with Abbey also hitting a further five wides while Moycullen too were also extremely wasteful, tallying eight wides and spurning another six scoring chances in the opening 30 minutes.
The most agonising of those Moycullen misses was Seamus Conneely’s shot at goal on 23 minutes which Abbey’ keeper Declan Molloy proved equal to. To add insult to injury, Philip Lydon missed the follow-up for a point. It summed up John Faherty’s side woes. They failed to score from play in the first half, with full-forward Niall Mannion tallying all of their points from frees.
In contrast, Abbeyknockmoy were more fluent in their endeavours. Coleman Maher, Eoin Blade and Brian Flaherty all found the target from play in the first period while freetaker Paul Flaherty also chipped in with four points from placed balls, three frees and a 65.
Two points ahead, the Brian Cooley/Gerry Farragher jointly managed outfit rocked on after the break, netting the all-important goal on 37 minutes. It was a fantastic move with Maher and Brian O’Donnell combining early on before semi-final man of the match Damien Rooney set up Padraig O’Donnell for what, effectively, was the clincher.
Full report @ConnachtTribune.ie
Match Reports >