Fr Manning Gaels (Longford) 1-10
By Kieran Murphy
O’HANRAHAN’S may feel they left this Leinster club intermediate football championship first round game behind them at the Training Centre on Sunday. On the other hand, if the visitors from Longford had lost here, they could very well have made the same claim.
It was tight from the start with O’Hanrahan’s starting well when Daryl Hayden clipped over a second-minute point. He could have had a goal two minutes later as he collected a long delivery and turned into space. He looked odds on to find the net. Instead, Fr Manning Gaels keeper Paddy Collum crowded the big centre forward out and the chance was lost.
Both sides were focussed and willing to put in the hard yards. At one stage, visiting forward Conor Keenan dropped back inside his own half. Moving towards goal he sprinted forward and was on the end of a good move. He looked certain to claim a point but Jason Kenny had tracked back and heput enough pressure on the ball carrier who shot wide.
Alongside Hayden, Danny Thompson, James McGrath and Mark Davis all got on the scoreboard for O’Hanrahan’s in the first half. With three frees and a point from play, Martin Cassidy was Fr Manning Gaels’ leading scorer in the first half.
Ironically with both sides producing a lot of good moments, it was a short kick-out that went wrong which led to the only goal of the game. Aaron Quinn was alert and intercepted Jamie Hennessy’s short pass to a colleague. Running clear he made no mistake from short range. Rubbing injury into the wound, the visitors combined again and Pauric Gill picked off a nice point. From parity, there were now four points between them: 1-6 to 0-5. Hayden then snaffled his second point of the game for The Blues.
One minute into the second period Quinn extended the visitors’ lead with a point from play. McGrath cancelled that out with a free. By this stage Marc Carpenter was in the game and he made his presence felt with one of his trademark points when he created space for himself and dinked the ball over the bar from a narrow angle on the left.
The Blues suffered a hammer blow when Colin Quigley was sent off for a high challenge on Deane Cosgrove. Sometimes referees show yellow for this kind of contact, but not this time.
With 12 minutes to go, Fr Manning Gaels led by four points. They had chances to extend the lead but registered some bad wides. Those misses brought the home side onto them and they finished strongly. Owen O’Gorman came forward to find the posts and James McGrath added two frees.
O’Hanrahan’s shot two wides as the Gaels’ Deane Cosgrove saw red in an incident which saw an O’Hanrahan’s mentor dispatched outside the crowd barrier.
The visiting side clung on desperately. It was all O’Hanrahan’s in the final seconds but the full-time whistle precipitated some distasteful scenes as the referee became the subject of the anger of a number of O’Hanrahan’s mentors and players.
From an O’Hanrahan’s point of view, the referees report could make for unpleasant reading.
Fr Manning Gaels: Paddy Collum (0-2 frees); Darren Reilly, Cian Brady, Derek McCormack; Emmet Noonan, Gary Connell, Mark Hughes; Liam Lynch, Aaron Quinn (1-1); Deane Cosgrove, Ryan Crowe, Conor Keenan; Pauric Gill (0-2), Martin Cassidy (0-5, 0-4 frees), Cian Cassidy. Subs: Eoin Keane for Noonan (24 mins), Kevin Whelan for Crowe (41 mins).
O’Hanrahan’s: Jamie Hennessy; Owen O’Gorman (0-1), Simon Doyle, Chris Bermingham; Peter Fagan, Justin O’Brien, Jason Kenny; Colin Nolan, Ray Walker; Colin Quigley, James McGrath (0-4 frees), Mark Davis (0-1); Danny Thompson (0-3, 0-2 frees), Daryl Hayden (0-2), Keelan Lacey. Subs: Graham Power for Kenny (27 mins), Marc Carpenter (0-1) for Lacey (27 mins).
Referee: Chris Dwyer (Offaly)