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U21 B Championship Slaney Rangers 1-15 Pal 3-10

posted 29 Aug 2014, 05:49 by PRO St Pats,Tullow,Carlow

Slaney Rangers team; Stephen Cleary, Gordon Hegarty, Ryan Malone, Sean Condon, Jamie Ansboro, Lee Kavanagh, Paddy McCall, Stephen Nolan, Henry Hegarty, Ben Hade, Daniel McMahon, Paul Shepard, Cathal Bailey, Fionn Murphy, Rory Jones.

Subs; Sean Brophy for Hade 53 mins. Also Jamie Byrne and Jack Ryan.

Scorers; Shepard 0.5, Bailey 1.2, Murphy 0.4, Nolan 0.3(2f), Jones 0.1.

There was a strong wind blowing straight down the field in favour of the Slaney siders for the opening half of this u21 B Championship semi final at Fenagh Centre of Excellence. Paul Shepard opened the scoring with Cathal Bailey kicking another to have Slaney two up after two mins. Slaney kicked a few wides in this opening period through some wreckless shooting, being too reliant on the wind. However, after Slaney dominating the opening five minutes, Pal attacked up the field and hit the back of the net through full forward Sean Brennan. Slaney did not score for the next ten minutes even though they had plenty of possession and it is this lack of finishing in the early period proved costly. After 15 minutes Pal led 1.1 to 0.3 after Rory Jones, who looked lively throughout, had scored for Slaney and Brennan again for Pal.

Slaney came into their own for the second quarter, after getting used to the wind, scoring 1.6. Shepard kicked 3, one a beauty with his weaker foot, Fionn Murphy and Stephen Nolan kicked one each while Cathal Bailey scored 1.1, the goal a cracker! Pal kept themselves in touch with another goal on 26mins through wing back Jack Brennan. This Pal goal came immediately after the Slaney goal when the Slaney lads switched off. The HT score saw Slaney lead by 1.9 to 2.1. These opening first half goals kept Pal in the game.

Slaney kicked 6 points into the wind during the second half through Fionn Murphy(3), who looked dangerous in possession, two from Stephen Nolan and a cracker of a point from Paul Shepard. Slaney held the lead right up until the 56th minute when Pal midfielder Brian Lawlor powered through to hit a low shot to the back of the net to bring the sides level. Pal pulled ahead with points through Shane O'Neill and held on for the narrowest of victories.

Slaney will rue the missed chances in the first quarter of the game, and were indeed very unlucky not to force a replay after a few late attacks. Referee Patrick Murphy let the game flow (by ignoring many fouls by both teams!) and was in question for a few interesting late calls (or lack of them!)

For the winners Sean Brennan, who scored 1.5, was the main man in attack, aided well by O'Neill and John Lyons. Jack Brennan attacked well from wing back while Brian Lawlor worked hard at midfield. For Slaney, Ryan Malone worked hard at full back while Lee Kavanagh and Paddy McCall won a lot of ball in the half back line. Stephen Nolan and Henry Hegarty worked tirelessly throughout at midfield. Paul Shepard and Fionn Murphy scored 9 points from play between them with Bailey adding his own good scored too. The Slaney Rangers lads go their separate ways now to line out for Grange and St Patricks with plenty of these young men set to make their mark at adult level in this year's championship!