Kepak SHC Semi-Final
Four Roads 2-18
Pádraig Pearses 0-10
Four Roads are determined to get their hands back on the Mickey Cunniffe Cup and they continued their good form against a disappointing Pearses side in the second semi-final. The ‘Black and Amber’ led by 1-8 to 0-1 after 25 minutes and Pearses had no answer to the power play of the likes of Shane Curley, Micheal Kelly, Noel Fallon and Cathal Dolan in particular.
With Dolan unerring from frees and play, Four Roads quickly ran up an impressive scoring tally and when James Cunniffe pulled first-time to the net in the 25th minute after Conor Mulry’s shot was blocked, there were ten points between the teams. Pearses never managed a point from play in the opening half and had to rely on Cathal Kelly’s frees for scores. At half-time Four Roads led by 1-9 to 0-4.
Pearses enjoyed their best spell in the third quarter when they hit four points without reply to reduce the margin to six by the 45th minute. But Four Roads flexed their muscles once again and sped off into the distance in the final quarter.
Cathal Dolan scored their second goal in the 58th minute and they were also on target with some very well taken points as they swept aside the challenge of their near neighbours. Make no mistake, Four Roads are on a mission this year and Athleague will have to play very well to deny them a return to the summit of Roscommon hurling.
Jamie Lawlor, Michael Kelly, Cormac Coyle Shane Curley, Noel Fallon, Conor Mulry and the outstanding Cathal Dolan were the stars for Four Roads on the day while for a very disappointing Pearses outfit, Aaron Fehily, Cathal Kelly and Shane Naughton had their moments.
Four Roads: David Dowd; Oisin Campbell, Jamie Lawlor, Martin McLoughlin; Cormac Coyle, Micheal Kelly, Jack Donnelly (0-1); Shane Curley (0-1, s/l), Conor Coyle; Cathal Dolan (1-10, 6 frees), Noel Fallon (0-3), Padraig Kelly (0-1); James Fitzmaurice, Conor Mulry (0-1), James Cunniffe (1-0). Subs: Niall Hynes for Fitzmaurice (38), Donal Kelly for Donnelly (43), Brendan Mulry (0-1) for Cunniffe (50), Niall Hynes for Fallon (56).
Pádraig Pearses: Thomas Sweeney; Matthew Comerford, Eoghan Cogavan, Luke Corbett; Evan Kelly, Aaron Fehily, Paul Dolan; Mike Donoghue, Cathal Kelly (0-8, 6 frees, s/l); Shane Naughton (0-1), Eoghan Costello, Leon Fehily; Oisin Kelly (0-1), David Loughnane, Keelan Daly. Subs: Karl Fehily for Kelly and Jamie Donoghue for Daly (h/t), Mikey Kelly for L Fehily and Jamie Curley for Costello (63).
Referee: Vincent Burke
Wides: Four Roads 11 (5 first half) Pearses 9 (4 first half)
Red cards: None
Yellow cards: Four Roads 1 (Noel Fallon) Pearses 3 (Eoghan Costello, Keelan Daly, Karl Fehily)
Man of the Match: Cathal Dolan (Four Roads)
Four Roads talisman Micheal Kelly said it was a case of ‘mission accomplished’ following last Saturday’s semi-final win over Pádraig Pearses.
He said: “Our aim from the beginning of the year was to get back into the final and we are there now. We had come up short the last three years but we have put in a huge effort this year. It’s going to be a massive test against Athleague but we are looking forward to it now.
“We played well on the day and we pulled away in the last fifteen minutes but it was a tough game. It’s never easy playing against Pádraig Pearses. We are where we want to be now and Athleague and Four Roads always bring out the best in each other so it will be a great final”.