Gorey always in control
Only a freak set of results in the final round of games will keep Naomh Eanna out of the Joyces Expert Intermediate 'A' football championship quarter-finals after they eased past Réalt na Mara in Monamolin on Sunday.
Naomh Eanna 3-10 Realt na Mara 1-6
The Gorey boys were always in control of this game, leading from the time Pádraig Doyle kicked them ahead in the fifth minute until James Flood blew his full-time whistle.
In fact the Ballygarrett club were never closer than a goal after Peter 'Pedro' Travers slalomed in from the right wing to net at the end of the opening quarter.
A brace each from Seán Doyle and William Cullen gave Naomh Eanna a 1-5 to 0-2 lead but their opponents responded when Stephen Redmond's shot rebounded off the upright into the path of Jack Hobbs who fisted to the net from close range.
Yet, Gorey re-grouped and took a 2-5 to 1-3 lead in at the break courtesy of William Cullen's free that slipped off Colm Kennelly's hand and past hapless goalkeeper Colm O'Loughlin.
Gearóid Cullen kicked two points in a row at the start of the second-half and saw an attempt for a third crash off the upright. Leading by 2-9 to 1-4, Gorey put the game to bed when Cullen won possession in midfield, starting a move that involved Travers and Dara McDonald and ended with David O'Brien netting off the post.
Just a heavy defeat in their final game against Duffry Rovers, and a draw between Craanford and St. Pat's, mixed in with Réalt na Mara avoiding a loss against Kilanerin, could leave Gorey sweating on score difference.
Réalt na Mara have the somewhat simpler task of knowing that a victory in their game will guarantee them safe passage to the knockout stages.
Naomh Eanna: Kenneth Byrne; Dara McDonald, Seamus O'Donnell, Tom Stafford; Aodhán Doyle, Brendan Travers, Simon Doran; John O'Brien (Ramsfort), Kevin Harrington; Pádraig Doyle (0-2), Peter Travers (capt., 1-1), Seán Doyle (0-2); William Cullen (0-2 frees), David O'Brien (1-0), Gearóid Cullen (0-2). Subs. - Darragh Hughes (0-1) for A. Doyle (47), Darragh Cullen for P. Doyle (47), John O'Brien (Cork) for G. Cullen (50), Conor Hughes for Harrington (50), John Stafford for D. O'Brien (55), Eoin Conroy for B. Travers (57).
Réalt Na Mara: Colm O'Loughlin; Jimmy Murphy, Eddie Redmond, Aidan Murphy; Darren Morris, Colm Kennelly (1-0 o.g.), Tom Sinnott; Evan Dunbar (0-1), David Doran; Cormac Moore (0-1), Pat Naughter (0-1 free), Stephen Redmond; Kevin Jordan (0-1), Jack Hobbs (1-2, 0-1 free), Cathal Dunbar. Subs. - Eoin Corcoran for A. Murphy, inj. (16), Shane Quinn for O'Loughlin (31), Colm Cosgrave for Redmond (34), Seán O'Brien for Naughter (37), Jack Doyle for J. Murphy (50), Brian O'Connor for Doran (57).
Referee: James Flood (St. Mary's, Maudlintown).