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Shamrocks secure IFC status

posted 31 Aug 2011, 03:42 by Unknown user

Bailieboro Shamrocks 2-8
Laragh Utd 0-6

Bailieboro put their league woes to one side last weekend to ensure that they'll again be playing intermediate championship football in 2012.

With just three wins from 14 outings in division two, the Shamrocks were facing more than one relegation trapdoor going into last Sunday's set-to.

However the town team upped their game and turned their league form on its head to put Laragh to the sword in what was a tense, intriguing and lively relegation play-off in Munterconnacht.

With early afternoon showers dousing the surface of the pristine St. Bartholomew Park and asking searching questions of the players' balance as well as bravery, this wasn't a purist's delight but it was a game which tested character, nerves and composure to the full.

Above all, last Sunday's deadly duel examined the teams' will-to-win and capacity to turn the difficult task of converting good clean possession into the hard coinage of scores.

By dint of their defeat, Laragh must now beat Killinkere in a winner-take-all scenario next time out to retain their IFC status for next year.

Critically, while Laragh matched Bailieboro for desire and ambition, they played second fiddle in the score-taking skills.

In notching their highest tally of scores in any competition this year, Bailieboro didn't hit all the high notes all of the time but enough of the time to show up their less than potent opponents.

Laragh's shortcomings in the last third of the field were exemplified by the fact that they failed to score from the 18th minute to the 55th minute, a full 40 minutes taking into account added-on time.

United's deficit in that department was starkly highlighted in the first five minutes after half-time as they sought to eat into Bailieboro's 0-7 to 0-5 interval lead.

The Stradone-based crew shot two wides in as many minutes and then when a goal beckoned again drew a blank.

The goal chance was afforded the otherwise impressive Darragh Brady who, in on a one-on-one situation, saw his low shot brillantly parried by the advancing O'Mara in the Bailieboro goal.

Laragh's hopes of redemption were later dealt another blow when the aforementioned Brady was given his marching orders for an off the ball tangle.
Goals were always likely to make the whole difference in deciding this game and so it proved with Bailieboro's success in bagging their brace in the final quarter match-winning achievements.

Earlier, the game shaped up like being a straight shoot-out between Paddy Rudden (Laragh) and Niall Kelly (Bailieboro) and it was no surprise that both players ended up being their team's top scorer as their markmanship from frees and from open play stood out.

A brace from Kelly in the first 17 minutes and a neat effort from Paul Hanley did much to help counter two frees from Rudden and ease the eventual winners into a 0-4 to 0-2 lead at that juncture.

Laragh's laboured efforts at hitting the target continued but nobody in the losers' camp could possibly have imagined that Enda Cullivan's 18th minute point would be their last 'till five minutes from the death.

Laragh seemed to lose heart and, just as crucially, their discipline after squandering a possible 1-2 tally on the restart.

As things panned out, Damien O'Reilly's goal (15th), two minutes before Laragh were reduced to 14 men, and Eoin O'Sullivan's major in the 22nd minute were all that mattered.

Bailieboro Shamrocks: Alan O'Mara; Gerry Clarke, David Rooney, Calvin Daly; Niall Comey, Declan O'Reilly, Conor Tierney; Barry McMahon, Peter Clerkin; Niall Kelly (0-5), Paul Hanley (0-1), Paul O'Reilly (0-1); Eoin O'Sullivan (1-0), Paul Cooney jnr (0-1), Damien O'Reilly (1-0).
Sub: Michael Argue for B McMahon; Kieran McCabe for G Clarke; David Carolan for D O'Reilly.

Laragh Utd: Martin Smith; Paddy King, Shane O'Rourke, Enda King; Declan King, Colm McKenna, Philip Fitzsimons; Declan Brady, Colin Oates; Darragh Brady, Seamus Cooney, Derek Hand, Adrian Cooney, Enda Cullivan (0-2), Paddy Rudden (0-4).
Subs: Martin Joe Smith for D Hand; Conal Donoghue for A Cooney; Colm Hand for E Clarke.