Craanford gain place in last eight ahead of Pat's

Brendan Furlong

Published 27/08/2016 | 00:00

A late scoring blast propelled Craanford to a seven-point victory over a battling St. Patrick's in this tense Joyces Expert Intermediate 'A' football championship Group A game in Farmleigh on Sunday.

Craanford 2-11 St. patrick's 0-10

It was an extraordinary finish, as just two points separated the sides (1-9 to 0-10) as the game entered the closing five minutes.

St. Patrick's were down to 14 players, having had centre-back Dermot O'Leary dismissed on a second yellow card after 39 minutes, but they had battled their way back into contention after the game seemed to have earlier slipped from their grasp when they trailed by six points at the end of the third quarter.

As the game approached the end of the normal 60 minutes, a free-for-all developed under the stand involving a number of players, who were joined by substitutes from the St. Patrick's bench, as mentors tried to separate the warring factions.

Referee Francis Neville brandished a red card to Tony Kavanagh (Craanford), in my view a case of mistaken identity which no doubt will be the subject of appeal, and Tommy Morris (St. Patrick's), leaving the Camolin side to finish with 13 players.

In the five minutes of additional time, Craanford struck for 1-2, with the goal coming from corner-forward Ger Lyons, ensuring their place in the quarter-finals, while for St. Patrick's their football season is over.

Through the opening 30 minutes little separated the sides, at the end of which Craanford led by 1-4 to 0-5, their goal arriving from a 19th-minute Pat Murray penalty which gave them a 1-2 to 0-3 lead.

Their earlier two points had also come from Murray frees, while Ashley Tully, Thomas Morris and John Doyle responded with St. Patrick's points.

Craanford opened the second-half with quickfire points from Murray, Jamesie Nolan and John Fleming to stretch into a 1-7 to 0-5 lead.

Then came the dismissal of O'Leary, with a Ger Lyons point increasing the pressure, leaving the eventual winners leading by 1-9 to 0-6 at the end of the third quarter.

St. Patrick's raised their game, responding with points through John Doyle (two, one free), Tomás Morris (free) and Stephen Morris, reducing the deficit to two points (1-9 to 0-10) with just five minutes remaining.

Then came that dramatic finish which led to Craanford grasping their opportunities to propel them into the knockout stages.

Craanford: Bob Flynn; Pat Kenny, Michael O'Loughlin, Michael Lyons (0-1); Joe Berney, James Byrne, Ollie Doran; Niall Berney, Des Kavanagh; Tony Kavanagh, Pat Murray (1-4, 1-0 pen., 0-2 frees), James Smyth (0-1); Jamesie Nolan (0-1), John Fleming (0-2), Ger Lyons (1-2). Subs. - Shane Kavanagh for Murray, Jim Redmond for Lyons.

St. Patrick's; Enda Murphy; James Cousins, Stephen Morris (0-1), Peter Roche; Hughie Doyle, Dermot O'Leary, Daryl Murphy; John Doyle (0-4, 2 frees), Andrew Doyle (0-1); Richie Flood (0-1), Shane Finn, Tommy Morris; Michael Carroll, Ashley Tully (0-1), Tomás Morris (0-3, 2 frees). Subs. - Ian Maguire for Tully, Tomás Flynn for Finn.

Referee: Francis Neville (Shelmaliers).

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