Craanford stay in the hunt

Dean Goodison

Published 13/08/2016 | 00:00

Craanford set up a winner-takes-all Joyces Expert Intermediate 'A' football championship Group A game with neighbours St. Patrick's after cruising past Kilanerin in Monamolin on Sunday.

Craanford 2-14 Kilanerin 0-5

The result was never in doubt as the victors breezed into a 2-4 to 0-1 lead after the opening quarter and coasted to the finish line thereafter. The 'Ford seem to be hitting their peak at the right time, and will be dangerous outsiders if they avoid defeat in their final group game and make the quarter-finals.

This is usually the best time of year to face Kilanerin's second string, after injuries and promotions have taken their toll. In previous years they have managed to do enough to stave off relegation and they will have that opportunity again in the coming weeks when they face Davidstown-Courtnacuddy in the drop decider.

Pat Murray and Emmet O'Toole started the game with an exchange of points but Craanford soon began a run of 2-5 without reply. The first goal proved all too easy as Niall Berney sent Jamesie Nolan away through the middle and the experienced attacker found the net.

Kilanerin lost goalkeeper Eoin Lucey to injury moments after a stunning penalty save from Murray, but his replacement didn't have to wait long to get into the action as he was beaten two minutes later by a fisted Tony Kavanagh major after good work by Ollie Doran.

Just Michael Byrne and O'Toole scores stalled the Craanford momentum but they still went in at the break with a commanding 2-7 to 0-3 lead.

Kilanerin were asked for a response at the interval and they produced it with two of the first three points after the resumption.

However, they wouldn't score after the 42nd minute as experienced legs tired. Craanford kept plugging away, ensuring, with three Jamesie Nolan points and a Ger Lyons double, that a draw in their final game would be sufficient to finish above St. Patrick's in the table.

Craanford: Bob Flynn; Pat Kenny, James Byrne, Brendan Fox; Joe Berney (0-1), Michael Lyons, Michael O'Loughlin; Niall Berney (0-1), Des Kavanagh (0-1); James Smyth, Pat Murray (0-4, 1 pen., 1 free), Tony Kavanagh (1-0); Jamesie Nolan (1-3, 0-3 frees), John Fleming (0-2), Ollie Doran. Sub. - Ger Lyons (0-2) for N. Berney (44).

Kilanerin: Eoin Lucey; Donnacha McDonald, Edward Hughes, Enda O'Leary; Shane O'Toole, Lorcan Clare, Conor Byrne (Craan); Niall Gethings, Noel Kennedy; Aidan Hegarty, William Murphy, Michael Byrne (0-2); Andrew Murphy, Emmet O'Toole (0-3, 1 free), Conor Byrne (The Hill). Subs. - Damien Byrne for Lucey, inj. (9), Michael Hughes for S. O'Toole, black card (15).

Referee: Paddy Brady (Réalt na Mara).

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