Relegation for Craanford
St. Mary's (Maudlintown) managed to keep their Lodgewood Engineering Intermediate football championship place on Saturday as they claimed a sweet three-point victory over Craanford.
St.Mary's (Maudlintown) 0-10 Craanford 0-7
At a bright Monamolin setting, Craanford lost their place in the division and will now have to settle for a spot, one step down the ranks, in the Intermediate 'A' championship next season.
A quick, threatening ball from Dermot Flood had Craanford's goalkeeper Bob Flynn on his feet, but aside from this the goal opportunities were rare from both sides .
Donal O'Leary was sharp off the mark from the following kick-out however, and his efforts claimed the first point from play for Maudlintown. The on-form duo of Peter Kavanagh and James Smyth were quick to react, each securing a point to edge their blue and white team ahead.
Eddie Pitman and Kavanagh re-appeared to exchange points before Shane Kavanagh and Donal O'Leary did likewise. O'Leary was keen to level proceedings though and he made sure he did this by being consistently successful with frees.
Within seconds of the half-time whistle, Matt Nolan and Graham Carty attempted to make their respective men one to the better but they left matters level at the break.
Alas for Craanford, St. Mary's prospered throughout the second-half. Pitman and O'Leary re-enacted their scoring ways before Stevie Greene and James Smyth did likewise to keep the Craanford Intermediate football championship dream alive.
Dermot Flood claimed a hat-trick of points to ensure his men maintained their spot in the division, and these scores were the ones which Craanford couldn't manage to break down. The three-point margin of defeat duly brought Craanford down a notch in the championship rankings, one year after they pipped Duffry Rovers at the same stage.
St. Mary's: Paul Dempsey; Alex Lynch, Paul O'Connor, Ross Lynch; Alan Lynch, Christy Lane, Gary Murphy; Graham Carty (0-1), Donal O'Leary (0-3, 1 free); Eddie Pitman (0-2), Martin O'Connor, Pierce Dooley (0-1); Gavin Cullen, Roy Doyle, Dermot Flood (0-3 frees). Subs. - Barry Harpur for Doyle, Jason Swords for R. Lynch.
Craanford: Bob Flynn; Pat Kenny, Pat Murray, Joe Berney; Des Kavanagh, Stephen Kavanagh, Oliver Doran; Peter Kavanagh (0-2, 1 free), Niall Berney; John Fleming, Michael Lyons, Michael O'Loughlin; James Smyth (0-2), Matt Nolan (0-1), Stevie Greene (0-2, 1 free). Subs. - Tony Kavanagh for Fleming, William Conroy for D. Kavanagh, John Lancaster for Nolan.
Referee: Brendan Martin (Ballyhogue).