A two point win and a place in the semi-finals of this year’s GWP Intermediate Championship is all that will have concerned Glenfarne/Kiltyclogher supporters after last Sunday afternoon’s meeting with Ballinaglera in Leitrim Village but they will know only too well that if they are to progress any further in the competition they will have to improve considerably.
For the majority of the game Glenfarne/Kiltyclogher were the better side but in the final five minutes Ballinaglera brought an intensity to the encounter that had previously been missing from their performance and if they had played like that from the start of the match, the final outcome could have been very different.
From a Glenfarne/Kiltyclogher point of view there were several noteworthy performances from the likes of Niall and Diarmuid Clancy but the stand out player on the pitch was wing back Ronan McGowan who tackled with intensity and always seemed to be available to offer assistance to his team mates.
The dramatic conclusion to the game was in contrast to much of the game which was riddled with mistakes and lacked an intensity that would normally be associated with a championship quarter final. Both sides were guilty of basic errors all over the pitch but over the course of the game Glenfarne/Kiltyclogher were the better side and deservedly take their place in the quarter final against last year’s beaten finalists Gortletteragh.
The game began brightly with Ballinaglera taking an early lead after Rory McPartland, John Crawford and Fergal Wynne combined to create an opportunity for Enda McGuire which he duly slotted between the uprights.
Unfortunately that bright start was not a sign of things to come and the game was 13 minutes old before another score was registered as James Murray’s free levelled matters.
As the half progressed Glenfarne/Kiltyclogher were looking more dangerous when attacking, particularly when Niall Clancy was afforded the space to run at the heart of the Ballinaglera defence.
With 10 minutes of the half remaining Glenfarne/Kiltyclogher took the lead for the first time when Rory McPartland and three minutes later the lead was extended when James Murray pointed.
With just a minute of the half remaining Ballinaglera struck for their second point of the game and it proved to be an excellent team finished by Fergal Wynne.
Moments later when James Murray converted a free to give Glenfarne/Kiltyclogher a 0-4 to 0-2 lead at the interval.
The second half began in an encouraging manner as Ballinaglera struck for the first score of the half straight from the throw-in but the Glenfarne/Kiltyclogher players were obviously told their performance needed to be improved and they began to take the game to their opponents.
Points in quick succession from Michael McGuire and Patrick Kilkenny put an end to the wayward shooting as Glenfarne/Kilty extended their lead to three points and such was the pressure they were applying at this stage of the game they should have opened up a more convincing lead but a further 10 minutes passed before Michael McGuire pointed to put four between the sides.
In such a tight encounter a lead of four points with just 12 minutes remaining appeared as though it should be enough to see Glenfarne/Kiltyclogher progress and when Diarmuid Clancy converted a free five minutes from the end the thought of Ballinaglera staging a comeback seemed highly unlikely.
Those final five minutes were dominated entirely by Ballinaglera who went from being a team looking to go down fighting to a side who suddenly believed they could achieve a victory that minutes earlier had seemed highly unlikely.
Enda McGuire’s point was quickly followed by a Seamie McMorrow score after he was found by Fergal Wynne and with just a minute of normal time remaining the deficit was reduced to two points when Wynne converted a free.
Ultimately there was to be no heroic comeback as Enda McGuire’s 45 that flew wide proved to be the last chance of the game and Glenfarne/Kiltyclogher advanced to the semi-final where they will face a highly fancied Gortletteragh team.
Daragh Keaney, Stephen Sweeney, Ciaran Clancy, Conor O’Rourke, Ronan McGowan, Sean McLoughlin, John Sheerin, Niall Clancy, Dermot O’Rourke, Diarmuid Clancy (0-1), Michael McGuire (0-2), Patrick Kilkenny (0-2), Padraig Sweeney, Enda Gallagher, James Murray (0-3).
Patrick McGrael, Kieran Feeney, Shane Mulvey, John Crawford, Philip McGourty, Brendan McGourty, Padraig Cornyn, Damian McGourty, Hugh Gilmartin, Tomas Cornyn, Enda McGuire (0-3), Rory McPartland, Anton McGourty, Seamie McMorrow (0-1), Fergal Wynne (0-2). Sub: Gerard Clarke for T. Cornyn (60 mins)
Referee: Gerry Gallogly