It may not have been a classic but the delicately poised nature of last Sunday’s GWP Intermediate Championship quarter-final in Drumshanbo’s made for an absorbing encounter that was very much in the balance until Edward McTiernan struck for the game’s only goal three minutes from time to help secure Drumkeerin’s passage to the semi-final.
By Philip Rooney
IFC Quarter Final
Much of the talk in the build-up to the match revolved around whether or not Eslin’s Conor Beirne would play, having suffered a broken hand only a few weeks ago. As the teams took to the field, it was evident Beirne was togged out but the sight of him on the substitutes bench rather than at full-forward must have been a welcome sight for Drumkeerin.
In terms of edge of the seat excitement, it was only in the final few minutes that the game burst into life but that was not due to a lack of effort. What the game may have lacked in terms of free flowing football it made up for in physicality and honest endeavour.
Unfortunately, honest endeavour isn’t enough to put scores on the board and the first half proved to be particularly low scoring. After 10 minutes of play Eslin held a slender advantage after Cormac Duignan’s free and a fine point from Mark Beirne cancelled out a Richard McTiernan free for Drumkeerin.
Tomas Beirne was the driving force for Eslin, his ability to win clean possession and drive with real power was something the Drumkeerin midfielders found very difficult to contend with but Stephen Feeney had an excellent game, marshalling the Drumkeerin defence and ensuring clear cut scoring opportunities were at a premium.
The game was 17 minutes old before another score was registered with Edward McTiernan’s pointed free restoring parity. There was to be nothing to separate the sides as the first half came to a close with both sides registering one further point apiece before the interval with Eamon Stenson on target for Eslin before Richard McTiernan converted to leave the sides level at 0-3 apiece.
To read the full story see this week’s Leitrim Observer.