Intermediate Championship Q/F: O’Connell’s 1-13, St. Fechins 1-12
O’Connell’s set up a semi-final encounter with their neighbours St. Josephs with a one point victory over St. Fechins in Ardee on Saturday night. The Bellingham side got off to a great start and were three points up after ten minutes with scores from Paul McKeever, Cian Doyle and a 45 from Robert Quigley. The sides shared the next four points, Ryan Sheridan and Niall Devlin got the Fechins off the mark and Mark Stanfield and Niall Conlon kept the O’Connell’s three ahead after 15 minutes. The Termonfeckin side levelled the game with a well taken goal when Eoghan Duffy
was let run half the length of the field and his shot somehow got under the keeper and in to the net. The Fechins went two points up with scores from Colm O’Neill and Devlin. Jackie Agnew pulled one back for the Bellingham men, but two points from Ronan Holcroft put the Termonfeckin men three ahead with four minutes to go in the first half. O’Connell’s got the last two points of the half from Doyle and Quigley to leave the score 1-6 to 0-8 to the Fechins at the break.
O’Connell’s were out of the traps quickly in the second half and had a purple patch when they scored a goal and four points in the first 14 minutes of the half without reply. The goal from Quigley and the points from sub Andrew Sharkey, Stanfield, Conlon and Quigley again to put the Bellingham side six points in front. But the Fechins were not finished yet and replied with the next five points, four of which came from the boot of Holcroft two of which were frees and the other point from Conor Haughney to leave one between the sides with five minutes to go. The remainder of the game was scrappy, a Cian Doyle free put the O’Connell’s two ahead, but that man Holcroft again reduced it to one between them with a free in the 60 minute his seventh score of the game. In injury time the Fechins were awarded a free between 45 and 50 yards out but Holcrofts shot was caught by the Bellingham keeper just under the crossbar and the final whistle sounded, and its O’Connell’s who advance to the semi-final by the narrowest of margins.
O'CONNELLS: Sean Connolly; Andrew Shields, Conor Byrne, Jason Carroll; Salem Rifaie, PJ Tuite, Killian Shields; Stuart Reynolds, Dean Stanfield; Cian Doyle 0-3(1f), Paul McKeever 0-1, Niall Conlon 0-2(1f); Robert Quigley 1-3(1,45), Mark Stanfield 0-2, Jackie Agnew 0-1. Subs: Andrew Sharkey 0-1 for Rifaie, Sean Cairns for Reynolds.
ST FECHINS: Mark Savage; Derek Younger, David Collier, Conor Haughney 0-1; Mark Hynes, Niall Mc Cabe, Harry Mc Ardle; Ryan Sheridan 0-1, Leo Cunningham; Eoghan Duffy 1-0, Colm O'Neill 0-1, Jamie King; Brian Devlin, Niall Devlin 0-2, Ronan Holcroft 0-7(3f). Subs: James Devereaux for Mc Ardle, Paul Dillon for King, Richard Mc Donnell for Cunningham.
[Report: Aidan Murtagh]