Leitrim to face Cavan after narrow semifinal wins

The semifinal of the senior football knockout competition was a repeat of last year's championship final with Leitrim just edging ahead of Cork with the final score. The champions started smartly with Dan Doona firing over long range frees with aplomb. Good defensive work by Johnny Goldrick and some bad misses kept Cork off the scoreboard until Sean Purcell pointed after he was fouled. The momentum now swung to the Rebels as Jason Kelly picked out Shay Furlong with a superb pass for him to fire over. The Leitrim defense became disorganized mid-way in the period as Furlong capitalized on some erroneous passes to crash in a fine goal to put Cork ahead. Two minutes later Leitrim got a point back as a Doona directed ball found Big Kenny O'Connor lurking around the square and he shot on the turn. Kenny's next touch had Leitrim ahead as he blasted to the net after Danny O'Sullivan carried the ball from deep in his own half. Leitrim were now enjoying their best spell as they launched sustained attacks on the Cork goal. A Jeff Farrell raid led to a foul and a pointed free from Doona while Big Kenny acted as play maker for O Sullivan to tap over the next score. Kenny landed another point as he won the throw in resulting from a kick out infraction. With five minutes left Sean Purcell interrupted the Leitrim scoring spree as he set up Mike Travers for a point. Cork finished the period strongly as Purcell pointed two frees for fouls on Francie Cleary and Mike Travers while Doona chipped in with another to leave Leitrim leading by 1-7 to 1-5 at the break.

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On the resumption Rory Woods finished a nice move involving Pat Madden and Jeff Farrelly for a point while Jason Kelly had a majestic one for his side. Leitrim replied in chain like fashion as Madden, Cronin and Woods combined for Doona to slot over. However Leitrim appeared to wilt badly for much of the rest of the game as Cork took command and inspired by the strong running of Kelly, Fitzpatrick, McLoughlin and company moved ahead. The Rebels hit four unanswered points as Purcell had a brace with Travers and Kelly also hitting the target. With ten minutes left Leitrim appeared to find new sources of energy as Cathal Mathews burst from defense to point and tie the game. Now the exchanges became much more exciting as both teams tried to gain supremacy. Cork looked to have fluffed a chance as they missed a free but the hard working Kelly set up Tadgh Foley for the lead score. The lead was short lived as Mathews struck the equalizer with good support from Madden. With time ticking away the game was on a knife edge until Rory Woods had the final score which gave Leitrim the victory in a very sporting and enjoyable game.

Leitrim: Pa Ryan, Dermot Keane, Johnny Goldrick, Colm Cronin, James Mitchell, Cathal Mathews, Pat Madden, Jeff Farrell, Rory Woods, Dan Doona, Danny O'Sullivan, Kenny O'Connor, Paddy Daly

Cork: Alan Lowney, Paddy Harrington, Liam Hanley, John Fitzpatrick, Ger Hanley, John McLoughlin, Pat Mahoney, Jason Kelly, Tadgh Foley, Francie Cleary, Shay Furlong, Mike Travers, Sean Purcell. Referee John Fitzpatrick,

Man of Match Jason Kelly

Kingdom comebackis not enough

The other semifinal of the senior knockout competition was a game of two very contrasting halves. Cavan dominated the first to lead by 3-3 to 0-2 at the break while Kerry hit for 2-6 in the second while limiting the Breffni Boys to just three points. Cavan now meet Leitrim in the final. Meanwhile Cavan were quickly out of the blocks as Gerald McCarthy and Liam Moore were on target from placed balls while Moore struck from play culminating a good run from Steve Harold. Ross Donovan had Kerry's opening score after five minutes but it did little to slow down the Breffni Brigade as Liam Moore struck the first goal from a penalty after Ronan McGinley was fouled. At the half way stage Sean Reilly landed a fine point after a number of fruitless attempts by the Kingdom. Kerry were now coming more into the game but poor finishing kept the score board static. However Cavan finished out the period in empathic fashion as Moore crashed in a great goal after Harold did the support work. Harold's next attempt was rather fortuitous as a rather speculative shot seemed to deceive the keeper to nestle in the corner of the net to give the Breffni Boys a very commanding lead at the break.

Kerry came out a transformed team in the second half as within two minutes Bingo Driscoll had the ball in the net after CJ Molloy set up the chance. Kerry kept the pressure on as Kevin Walsh, Mike Jim Fitzgerald and Darren Moore registered quick scores. At the other end, Liam Moore got Cavan's first score of the period but the momentum remained with the Kingdom as they continued to narrow the gap with scores from Reilly, Walsh and Gavin. With ten minutes left a Gerald McCarthy point seemed to steady the Cavan nerves as the Kingdom keeper redeem himself with a fine save from Moore after a defense splitting run by Harold. However the nerves were soon rattled as CJ Molloy was wrestled to the ground and Kevin Walsh put the resultant penalty in the net to tie up the game with just five minutes left. On a counter attack Cavan got a respite as the keeper Clifford did well to deflect a pile driver from Paddy McCullough over the bar for a point. Kerry launched another attack and Molloy was fouled as he tried to collar the ball. It looked as if the game would go into overtime with a possible point from the free but Vinnie Gavin tried his luck with an effort for a goal to win the game. Alas he blasted the shot wide and Cavan held on to their lead to win game and advance to the final.

Cavan: Maurice Power, Paul Lambe, Alan Carolan, Brendan Reilly, Ronan McGinley, Ciaran Martin, Liam Moore, Paddy McCullough, Steve Harold, Kevin Smith, Sean McGibney, Joe Shanahey, Gerald McCarthy. Subs. Ronan Fitzsimmons, Joe McKeon

Kerry: Shane Clifford, Nobby Smith,Darren Courtney, Diarmuid Ling, Eoghan O'Mahoney, Niall Corbett, Mike Jim Fitzgerald, Vinnie Gavin, Ross Donovan, Sean Reilly, Kevin Walsh, CJ Molloy, Brendan Driscoll. Subs. Darren Moore, Dermie Foley, Conor Ryan. Referee Brendan Moran,

Man of Match Steve Harold

St. Raymond's pull away in 2nd half

In this junior football knockout match new boys on the block, Kildare managed to stay in touch with St. Rays. for most of the first half as both sides hit five points. On target for Kildare were Jonathon Daly (2), Kieran Moran, Daniel Lehane and Tommy Moran while CJ Doherty(2), Seamus Lawton, John Minchin and Tom Huvane replied for St. Raymond's. Then just before the break Lawton struck for a goal as he finished a good move involving Danny Murphy, Shay Furlong and John Minchin.

On the resumption Tom Moran hit a point but it had little effect as Lawton hit his second goal while Steve Gomez also landed a major as well. St. Rays would add another three points courtesy of Lawton, Gomez and a cameo effort from James Huvane while Philip Wickham, Dennis Kilkenny and Frank O'Rourke kept the defense tight. At the other end it appeared to be third time lucky as the post denied Jonathon Daly twice before he rattled the net. His brother David finished out the scoring for the Lillywhites.

St. Raymond's: Tomas Enright, Philip Wickham, Matt Sweeney, Dennis Kilkenny, Thomas Huvane, Steve Gomez, Richie Gaule, Shay Furlong, Danny Murphy, John Minchin, C.J. Doherty, Seamus Lawton. Subs. Emmet Nugent, Ryan O'Sullivan

Kildare: John Gribben, Philip Kennedy, Daniel Daly, Kieran Moran, Daniel Lehane, Paddy Moran, Kevin Daly, Tommy Moran, Brian Twomey, James Kelly, Jonathon Daly, George O'Brien, Declan Henry. Sub: Conor Healy, Referee: Steve Cassels,

Man of Match: Seamus Lawton

Astoria deserve win

The first half of this intermediate knockout game was a low-scoring affair as Astoria led their opponents by three points to two. John Keaveney, Sean Kelly and Justin O'Halloran had Astoria's while speedster Darren Moore and Richie Burns replied for the combo squad. The second half was a lot more productive and entertaining as the sides were close until the last five minutes. John Keaveney and Ray Carroll had a brace for Astoria while Darren Moore countered with a pair for his team. Then Sean Kelly finished a good pass from Keaveney while Moore landed a spectacular point from the wing to maintain the tit for tat nature of the game. At the half way stage a foul on Nestor Allen allowed Liam Farrell to score from the free while defender Eamon Condron raced from defense to score for the combo squad. With just five minutes left there was a point between the sides as Kelly and Moore exchanged minors. Then came the game changer, a goal from veteran O'Halloran after a good pass from Seamus Kelly. The Kellys, Sean and Seamus, added two more minors while Moore and Declan McEleer finished out the scoring for Brooklyn LI Gaels. In the battle of the Gaels, Astoria were deserving winners as they were the more balanced team and more consistent over the hour.

Astoria Gaels: Pa Ryan, Alan Foley, Eoghan Kyne, Ray Carroll, Sam Yore, Ronan Rogers, Sean Kelly, Derek McKenna, John Keaveney, Justin O Halloran, Seamus Kelly, Liam Farrell, Nestor Allen

Brooklyn LI Gaels: Brendan Reedan, Eamon Condron, Kevin Callaghan, Marty Cartwell, Tom Boyle, Thomas O Brien, Gary Moore, Paddy Loughery, Richie Burns, Declan McEleer, Kieran O Kane, Darren Moore, Paul Morgan. Subs. Gareth Moore, Steve O Kane, John Traenor, Jamie Lally. Referee Alan Hearty,

Man of Match Sean Kelly