Gortletteragh progressed to the the semi-finals of this year’s GWP Intermedaite Football Championship with a comprehensive victory over south Leitrim rivals Cloone in Pairc Sean Ui hEslin, Ballinamore on Sunday evening last.
Nine points from the boot of county star Cathal McCrann inspired his side to a 0-14 to 0-7 win and a place in the final four of this year’s competition.
Gortletteragh were comfortable throughout this tie although they did go behind with two minutes played as Cloone midfielder Brian Mulvey converted his free from close range, the first of his personal tally of three points on the night. This was the only time throughout the 60 minutes that Cloone were to lead however as three McCrann scores saw Gortletteragh take a two point lead with eleven minutes played.
Sean Hynes’ side dominated the opening period and should have enjoyed a more comfortable lead but for nine first half wides, five of which came in the first 15 minutes. Cloone struggled match their opponents for scoring chances but did make the most of them as points from Ronan Mulvey and Mark Creegan levelled the game.
Gortletteragh recaptured the lead on 21 minutes via a Duignan point from a tight angle at the scoreboard end a minute before substitute Seamus Quinn hit Gortletteragh’s sixth wide of the game despite being in a goal-scoring position in front of goal.
The green, white and gold should have been well out of sight by this stage and suffered three more wides in as many minutes minutes through Ciaran Egan, Darren Duignan and Niall Woods before both McCrann and Mark Duignan showed their team mates hows it’s done with two close-range points both on 27 minutes to give Gortletteragh a 0-6 to 0-3 lead.
Gortletteragh spurned another great goal chance on the stroke of half-time as Cloone ‘keeper Ciaran Casey kept out McCrann’s penalty after the keeper had fouled the Leitrim net-minder inside the square.
McCrann didn’t let this affect him however as he converted the resulting 45 only seconds before Darren Duignan extended the lead to five points with a well hit point to give Gortletteragh a 0-8 to 0-5 lead at half-time.
McCrann began the second half where he left off notching his sixth point just seconds into the second period. Cloone managed their first score of the second half courtesy of a Mulvey free on 34 minutes but McCrann re-opened a six point lead five minutes later. Both sides sent over two points each over the next ten minutes of play as the game began to go through the motions,
Gortletteragh now enjoying a 0-12 to
0-6 lead as Gerry McGovern’s side went in search of a goal to bring them back into the tie.
A further point each from McCrann and Cloone’s Ronan Mulvey saw Gortletteragh maintain their six point advantage. Try as they might, Cloone could not manage another score as Gortletteragh kicked two more wides from the boots of Egan and late substitute Gavin Mitchell.
Darren Duignan sent over his third of the evening and Gortletteragh’s final score a minute into stoppage time to send his side into the last four of the tournament.
Conan Clarke; Niall Duffy, Seamus Prunty, Mark Mitchell; Eamonn Reynolds, Ciaran Egan; James Campbell (0-1); Mark Duignan (0-1), Naill Woods; Colm Duffy, Cathal McCrann (0-9), Gerard Campbell; Conor Reynolds, Darren Duignan (0-3), Kevin McGrath. Subs: Seamus Quinn for C. Reynolds (10 mins), Cathal Quinn for E. Reynolds (45 mins), Mitchell & John Reynolds for G. Campbell & for Quinn (60 mins).
Ciaran Casey; Liam Reynolds, Seamus McCaffrey, Ronan Mulvey (0-2); Declan Brennan, Gavin Reynolds (0-1), Seamus McGuire; Brian Mulvey (0-3), Mark Beirne; Alan Canning, Niall Quinn, Ciaran McGovern; Frank Reynolds, Mickey Lohan, Mark Creegan (0-1). Subs: Mel Clancy for Canning (39 mins), Kevin Reynolds for McGuire (57 mins).