They say an ounce of breeding is worth a tonne of feeding, and that certainly proved to be on the money in the second Regional Football Championship semi final at Dunganny on Tuesday evening. Now read on…
For when the dust settled on this enthralling encounter in the Dioralyte sponsored competition, it was the contributions of Barry and Brian O’Connell which made the vital difference as David Nolan’s side saw off the best efforts of a spirited and highly talented Lough Crew combination.
The foundations for success were laid by the Walterstown/Rathkenny/Slane/Bective amalgamation in the first half when they opened up a lead of 0-08 to 0-00. Keith (three) and David Curtis, Barry O’Connell and Con Smith (two) keeping the flag man busy.
Harry Ryan eventually woke the umpires at the other end from their slumber with a quick brace of scores before full back and captain Michael Flood of the St Brigid’s club sallied upfield to leave ‘just’ the handful of points between the sides at the midway stage.
A Kevin Gilsenan score shortly after the restart halved the deficit before Mark Dowdall, Smith and Barry O’Connell pushed it out again to 0-11 to 0-04. He and his colleagues then faded out of the contest for the remainder of the half as CJ Healy and Sean Reilly set about an unlikely regional rescue mission.
O’Connell then took one for the team as he unceremoniously halted a Lough Crew opponent bearing down on goal. The ensuing numerical advantage did, however, allow Oldcastle’s Jason Scully drive over a 64th minute leveller to send what was an 8:15 throw in to an extra 20 minutes at least.
During the early stages of extra time, with the Walterstown forward still in the Sin Bin, it was actually another O’Connell. Brian, who ultimately proved to be the match winner upon his introduction. The 1-2 he posted giving the men from the valley a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Fogra: Sincere thanks to Walterstown GFC whose Twitter updates have helped me put match reports together on games during the Regional Championships.