Naomh Eanna 2-4 Starlights 2-1 (abandoned after 38 mins)
The New Ross Standard Under-14 football Division 1 championship semi-final between Naomh Eanna and Starlights will need to be replayed after a nasty neck injury left referee Mick Lanigan with no option but to abandon the game.
With Gorey leading by 2-4 to 2-1 13 minutes into the second-half in St. Patrick's Park on Thursday, Starlights forward Jamie Donnelly went down in an innocuous challenge in midfield and lay motionless on the ground.
He was attended to by a paramedic at the game and not moved while an ambulance was called for.
It brought to a premature end to a highly competitive, fast game of entertaining football. Naomh Eanna went into the clash as warm favourites after cantering through the group stages but Starlights came in with a plan.
It was simple but mightily effective. They sucked players back, had as many as 13 in their own half at stages, and hit quickly with long, accurate passes on the counter-attack.
To see such a young side so clear on their gameplan was impressive, and the mentors deserve great credit for their work.
J.J. Twamley could have blown the plan apart inside six minutes when he drove through the heart of the defence but Adam Shiggins made a stunning save from his goalbound effort. When the first score came it was a major at the other end.
Bill Peare and Oisín Pepper combined, with the latter hitting Callum Murphy in stride. The wing-forward was cool and composed in front of goal and made no mistake.
Things got even better for the Starlights when Stefan San Augustin raced through on Peare's pass in the 19th minute and rattled the net for 2-0 to nil.
Gorey had a chance to get back into the game when Shane Mahon was fouled in the process of shooting but Rian Fitzpatrick's penalty flew over the bar.
It could have been worse for the favourites when Peare broke through in added-time but he flashed over the bar, leaving it at 2-1 to 0-1 at the break.
The second-half was a different affair, as Gorey dominated the first ten minutes and scored 2-3 without reply before play was stopped. J.J. Twamley got his side going with a goal and a point, while Tom Wheatley and Kyle Kenny also popped over scores.
Kenny found the net with a looping effort before the game came to an abrupt halt which means the sides will be back to do it all over again, hopefully with a recuperating Donnelly there to support his team-mates.
Naomh Eanna: Rúairí Tubritt; Conor Kelly, Seán Egan, Darragh Fitzpatrick; Eoin Murphy, Brian Cushe, Enda McCrea; Cormac Doyle, Rian Fitzpatrick (0-1 pen.); Kyle Kenny (1-1), J.J. Twamley (1-1), Shane Mahon; Luke Darley, Lee Cushe, Tom Wheatley (0-1). Subs. - Cian Ó Tuama for Darley (30), also Tomás Mythen, Ruadhan Redmond, Niall Dwyer, Harry McGuckin, Jack Curley, Dylan Cooke-Leonard, Daniel Ennis, Scott Murphy, Ryan Callaghan, Rúairí Sheil, Jamie McGrainer, Ross Kavanagh, Ruadhan Comerford, Tiarnan Black.
Starlights: Adam Shiggins; Jack Kehoe, Tommy McVeigh, Shaun Leacy; Mikey Webster, Ronan Kervick, Shane Farrell; Stefan San Augustin (1-0), Matt Kinnaird; Callum Murphy (1-0), Chris O'Leary, Darragh Breen; Jamie Donnelly, Bill Peare (0-1), Oisín Pepper. Subs. - Brian Cronin for Farrell (31), also Riley Doran, Regan Treacy, Jeff Buckley, Jordan Sharlott, Jake McCarthy, Billy Redmond, Bill Collins.
Referee: Mick Lanigan (Shelmaliers).