Shelmaliers bid to complete the double — with a senior football semi-final on Sunday next — faded after a promising opening 40 minutes, but they had little answer once the reigning champions stepped up the tempo of their game in the closing quarter.
After Michael Jacob and Brian Malone had exchanged opening points, the sides were still deadlocked at 0-3 each at the end of the opening quarter. Deteriorating ground conditions made it difficult for players, but through the accuracy of Conor Byrne from frees, Ciaran Shaughnessy and Joe Kelly, the challengers edged into a 0-8 to 0-4 lead approaching the interval. A Des Mythen point reduced the deficit to three points at the break.
After Nicky Kirwan pointed a 65 two quick points from Conor Byrne, one free, saw the Shels lead 0-10 to 0-6 after 34 minutes, but with Kirwan, Rory Jacob, David Redmond and Darren Nolan all picking off points, it was Oulart who went on to control the closing quarter.
Oulart-the-Ballagh scorers: N Kirwan 0-4, 2f, 1, ‘65’; D Nolan 0-3; M Jacob, D Mythen, R Jacob 0-2 each; G Sinnott, C O’Leary, S Murphy (f), D Redmond 0-1 each.
Shelmaliers scorers: C Byrne (0-7, 6 frees); B Malone, C O’Shaughnessy, J Kelly 0-1 each.
OULART-THE-BALLAGH: B O’Connor; P Roche, K Rossiter, B Kehoe; L Prendergast, D Stamp, S Murphy; D Redmond, M Jacob; D Nolan, G Sinnott, D Mythen; R Jacob, C O’Leary, N Kirwan.
Subs: P Sutton for O’Leary; P Murphy for Kirwan; D Morton for Prendergast.
SHELMALIERS: N Murphy; A O’Brien, A Murphy, S Donohue; C Walsh, C Lawlor, A Cash; E Doyle, S Corrigan; B Malone, C O’Shaughnessy, J Kelly; T Barron, S Banville, C Byrne. Subs: J Redmond for Lawlor (inj); A Griffith for Cash; E Nolan for Barron.
Referee: J Carton (Monageer-Boolavogue).
Ferns 2-12 Glynn-Barntown 1-10
Ian Byrne inspired Ferns to the final having withstood a strong Glynn-Barntown’s second-half challenge in this opening semi-final.
First-half goals from Paul Morris and a Tommy Dwyer penalty helped the eventual winners to a 2-5 to 0-4 interval lead. A Mark Fanning 54th- minute goal from a penalty gave Glynn-Barntown brief hope reducing the deficit to three points, 2-9 to 1-9, but Byrne with two fine points drove Ferns on to victory.
Ferns scorers: T Dwyer 1-2 frees; P Morris 1-0; I Byrne 0-6; J Breen 0-3, J Dwyer 0-1.
Glynn-Barntown scorers: M Fanning 1-0 pen; P Carley (0-4, 0-3 frees; C Doyle, G Moore 0-2 each; J Lacey, M Flood 0-1 each.
FERNS: M Walsh; D Byrne, N Maguire, C Whelan; G Bailey, J Tonks, C Roberts; B Jordan, T Dwyer; I Byrne, P Morris, J Dwyer; P Farrell, J Breen, C O’Connor. Subs: D Thorpe for J Dwyer; E Cullen for Farrell; J Whelan for O’Connor.
GLYNN-BARNTOWN: M Fanning; J Reilly, P Donnelly, B Doyle; M Carley, M Regan, P J Carley; K Creane, J Lacey; M Doyle, B Doyle, J Dooley; C Doyle, G Moore, P Carley.
Subs: M Flood for Creane; P Wafer for Dooley; I Moran for P Carley; E Furlong for M doyle.
Referee: J Heffernan (Blackwater).