LIMERICK football continues on the up following this superb victory by Newcastlewest in the All-Ireland Féile Peile Division Two semi-final at the Glen Field yesterday.
The Limerick side produced a marvellous second half display, coming from two points down at half time (1-4 to 1-2) to qualify for today’s final against St. Enda’s of Antrim.
Newcastlewest had many heroes, but none shone brighter than centre-forward Brian Hurley, who scored 2-2 of his side’s tally.
He scored a marvellous second goal. Gathering the football around midfield, Hurley beat defender after defender before unleashing an unstoppable shot to the Newry net.
Full-back Sean Murphy was also majestic for the winners when the pressure came on, while Eoin Sheridan, and Liam McCartan made a significant contribution to a victory that didn’t look likely at half-time.
The Limerick side got off to the best possible start with a goal and a point by Hurley, but they lost their grip on the game around midfield, where the towering Dylan Power ruled the roost.
Four points in-a-row had the sides level after 10 minutes and only the thickness of the crossbar denied the impressive Conor McKeown a goal.
However, he wasn’t to be denied and after a great run he billowed the net for a goal that helped his side to an interval lead of 1-4 to 1-2.
The second half was a titanic struggle as the Limerick boys came storming forward and points by Liam McCartan and Gerald Griffin tied the game for the second time before Hurley showed his class with that magnificent individual effort.
Newry Shamrocks’ cause wasn’t helped by the loss of Conor McKeown, who fell heavily and he had to be stretchered off.
Scorers — NCW: B. Hurley 2-2 (0-1 free); L. McCartan, G. Griffin 0-1 each.
Newry scorers: C. McKeown 1-1; J. Murphy, D. Power, BJ McCourt, B. Tumility 0-1 each.
NCW: C.O’Sullivan; S. Hurley, S. Murphy, T. Darcy; E. Sheridan, S. Levis, D. O’Doherty; C. Long, L. McCartan; C. Foley, B. Hurley, S. Lee; G. Griffin, D. O’Shea, D. Morrissey.
NEWRY: J. Heaney; G. Carville, S. Harper, O. McClaffey; D. McManus, M. Harte, J. Mallon; D. Power, T. Lynch; B. Tumility, BJ McCourt, C. McKeown; J. Durnin, J. Murphy, S. Hanna.
Referee: M. O’Mahony (Kilbrittain).
THE Antrim champions received a far bigger test than the scoreline indicates in the other semi-final at the Glen Field.
They were the classier side, played some great football, and probably deserved their victory. However, had the Americans enjoyed any slice of luck in front of goal they could be in today’s final.
New York matched their opponents in every facet of the game, except when it came to finishing. They kicked a total of 10 wides to just two by St. Enda’s, and missed a sitter of a goal at a stage in the game when just three points down.
Had that goal gone in — and Daniel Fox’s effort was only inches wide — it would have given New York the necessary momentum to go on and win the game.
Odran Eastwood was at the heart of every St. Enda’s attack and finished the game with six of his side’s seven points. Harry Griffin at midfield, and Conor Morgan were others to make a significant contribution to the victory.
Eastwood’s excellent free taking had his side 0-5 to nil in front at half time, but New York kicked five wides from scoreable positions. The wide count continued to mount for the Americans in the second half, and they were grateful to keeper Ryan Kenley, who saved brilliantly from Ruairí Morgan.
New York took control of the game for most of the second half, but it took them 25 minutes to register their first score, before the impressive Odran Eastwood eased the pressure on the beleagured St. Enda’s defence with a late point to set up an intriguing final against Newcastlewest.
Scorers — St. Endas: O. Eastwood 0-6 (0-4 frees); H. Griffin 0-1.
New York: C. Mathers 0-1.
ST.ENDA’S: B. Long; M. McNamee, A. Curran, K. Jennings; G. Morgan, C. Morgan, C. Thompson; C. Lyttle, H. Griffin; R. McAllister, O. Eastwood, R. Morgan; A. Turner, M. McGivern, S. Kalla.
NEW YORK: R. Kenley; R. Allen, B. Murphy, R. James; C. McStay, R. O’Neill, S. Moore; C. Mathers, A. Hynes; D. Fox, D. Carridan, R. Lang; C. McKenna, M. Tierney, C. Kelly.
Referee: C. Egan (St. Nicholas).