Shels end Anne's season
Shelmaliers 0-12 St Anne's 0-9
Shelmaliers ended St. Anne's season as they capitalised on Castletown's slip to move to the top of Group A of the Tom Doyle Supplies Senior football championship in Cushinstown on Friday.
In near perfect conditions, it was far from a vintage encounter but the Over The Water outfit closed out the game stronger to condemn their opponents to an unflattering fifth place finish.
The eventual victors began the game like a steam train and with direct and powerful runs they cut through the Anne's back line, whilst somehow not raising the green flag in the process.
Both Simon Donohoe and Eoin Doyle saw shots fly wide from close range while Glen Malone did at least work Conor Hannigan, but to no avail. They did open up an early 3-1 lead, as Eoghan Nolan was on target twice with Aaron Murphy adding to the lead.
St. Anne's shaded the remainder of a quiet first-half as two quick Francis Simpson minors levelled the game by the twelfth minute.
With the reliable Redmond Barry then taking over the scoring, he looked both clinical when on dead-balls, scoring twice, and from open play, grabbing arguably the point of the game from wide right before the break.
Simon Donohue and Graham Staples both opened their accounts before the interval to give St. Anne's the most slender of half-time leads (0-6 to 0-5).
A 'ball-in-play' statistic for the second-half would have made for interesting reading as one could only imagine it was well below 50%.
With both sides expending more effort thinking of different names to call their opposition during the countless stoppages for fouls, than actually playing football, the second-half as a whole became very fragmented and lacked any real rhythm.
Perhaps this suited the Shels as their seven minors were only countered by three Anne's white flags.
After a spell of early possession, Nolan levelled the scores as the black and amber jerseys gradually took control.
It helped that the Rathangan side would only register one point in the opening 18 minutes and by that stage they were three down.
Donohoe added two more in this time, both from close range, and Nolan pointed from a dead-ball. Colin Cleary's introduction very nearly produced the game's only goal, but his strike was somehow tipped over the bar by the Anne's netminder, Conor Hannigan.
Diarmuid O'Keeffe and Redmond Barry eventually responded with two in two minutes but these would prove to be the last of St. Anne's season.
Conor Hearne's hard work was finally rewarded with his only score, as Glen Malone found Hearne's perfectly-timed run and the youngster tapped over at a crucial time.
Murphy finished it off, putting a little bit of distance between the sides as he added the Shels' twelfth in the 57th minute, forcing St. Anne's to go in search of a goal which they never really looked like getting.
Shelmaliers: Aodhán Foley; Cian Manley, James Cash, Graham Staples (0-1); Andre O'Brien; Ciarán O'Shaughnessy, Aaron Murphy (0-2); Aidan Cash (capt.), Brian Murphy; Eoghan Nolan (0-4, 3 frees), Brian Malone, Simon Donohoe (0-3); Eoin Doyle, Glen Malone, Conor Hearne (0-1). Sub. - Colin Cleary (0-1) for Doyle (42).
St. Anne's: Conor Hannigan; Kevin White, Tomás Cullen (capt.), Kenny Cloney; Páraic O'Keeffe, Diarmuid O'Keeffe (0-1), Finn O'Driscoll; Seán Gaul, Tony McDonnell; David O'Connor, Redmond Barry (0-6, 5 frees), Liam Rochford; Andy Kennedy, Francis Simpson (0-2), Philip Rawson. Subs. - Kevin Hannigan for Cloney (17), Jonathan Fogarty for O'Connor (31), Kenny Cloney for Gaul (39), Mikey Fogarty for Kennedy (42), Ben Moore for Rochford (58).
Referee: Anthony Tobin (Geraldine O'Hanrahans).