Réalt na Mara left to rue brace of missed penalties
Craanford 2-7 Realt na Mara 0-5
Realt na Mara were left to rue a couple of missed penalties in a bizarre five-minute spell in the third quarter as Craanford deservedly emerged victorious by 2-7 to 0-5 in Tuesday's Joyces Expert Intermediate 'A' football championship Group A third round tie in Ballygarrett.
The off-colour hosts were already enduring a frustrating night when trailing by 1-6 to 0-4 at half-time, but they were afforded a route back into contention six minutes after the break when substitute Dylan Sweeney was up-ended in front of goal at the expense of a penalty and a dismissal on a second yellow for Mick Sinnott.
However, Jack Hobbs uncharacteristically screwed the spot-kick wide. Four minutes later, James Smyth was the quickest to react to Matthew Nolan's Hail Mary attempt to swoop in and clinically goal to boost Craanford's lead to 2-6 to 0-4.
Amazingly, the home side were quickly awarded another penalty, with Stephen Redmond using his experience to draw the foul. Sweeney stepped up to the dead-ball this time, but long-serving Craanford netminder Bob Flynn had his measure with a low save, and both sides only troubled the scoreboard once more each as the 14 men held on to leapfrog the losers in the group standings. Earlier, the swirling sea breeze wreaked havoc on the overall quality of proceedings, with Craanford edging it by 0-3 to 0-2 at the end of the first quarter.
Smyth and John Fleming added points by the 24th minute before Des Kavanagh stole possession from the kick-out from the latter's score, ran through unopposed and netted the goal that paved the way for victory.
Réalt na Mara completed a frustrating week with a narrow loss to Cloughbawn on Saturday. with Craanford beaten on Sunday.
Craanford: Bob Flynn; Mick Sinnott, Pat Kenny, Joe Berney; Des Kavanagh (1-0), Shane Kavanagh, Michael O'Loughlin; Niall Berney, Peter Kavanagh (capt.); Mick Lyons, Pat Murray (0-3, 1 free), James Smyth (1-2); Ger Lyons (0-1), Matthew Nolan, John Fleming (0-1). Sub. - James O'Loughlin for Fleming.
Réalt na Mara: Shane Quinn; Eddie Redmond, Aidan Murphy, Colm Cosgrave; Darren Morris, Colm Kennelly, Paddy Fleming; Tom Sinnott (0-1), Stephen Redmond; Seán O'Brien, Kevin Jordan (capt., 0-3, 2 frees), Jimmy Murphy; Cathal Dunbar, Seamus Doyle, Jack Hobbs (0-1 '45). Subs. - Dylan Sweeney for O'Brien, David Doran for Hobbs.
Referee: Pádraig Byrne (Kilanerin).