GAA Smith Monumentals Intermediate Championship

Cullen strikes late with vital goal


Leitrim Sport


Leitrim Sport


Cullen strikes late with vital goal

Aughnasheelin gave their hopes of survival in the Smith Monumentals IFC a massive boost when they shocked hosts Ballinaglera in beautiful summer weather at idyllic St Hugh's Park in Ballinaglera.

Ballinaglera looked the livelier and fitter side early on but crucially, it was Aughnasheelin who finished strongest with a goal from Conor Cullen sealing a famous win. The victory gives Aughnasheelin huge hope of avoiding a relegation battle with games against Bornacoola (tonight Wednesday) and Eslin on Saturday.

It means Ballinaglera have a huge game against Drumkeeran next Saturday evening as four teams are level on two points in a dramatic battle to qualify for the quarter-finals.

The game started at a blistering pace in very hot conditions with Conor Cullen opening the scoring for Aughnasheelin, Wayne Reynolds quickly replying from the kickout. Seamus McMorrow then set up Seamus McGovern for a good point as a strong Ballinaglera were dominating down the middle.

Gavin Sammon and Conor Cullen combined but put a good chance wide but they did tie the scores when Conor Cullen was fouled and Niall Mulvanerty fired over and the visitors took the lead when Fintan Fitzpatrick converted a free.

Ballinaglera pushed up the field with some great play from Seamie McMorrow, Wayne Reynolds were descending on goal but great defending from Brian Boyle, Paul Earley Damien Gilheaney kept the ball out but Ballinaglera won a free which was put over by Seamie McGovern.

Ballinaglera added two more points Seamie McMorrow but Aughnasheelin hit back when Paul Earley turned over the ball and won a free, sent quick to Conor Cullen who slotted the ball over the bar.

Aughnasheelin came under pressure from Seamie McMorrow, Padraig Cornyn and Seamus McGovern and Aaron McCawley but McMorrow put the ball wide. The play was end to end, Ballinaglera scrambling a goal chance clear and going straight down the field for McMorrow to point.

A McMorrow free just before halftime was converted to leave the home side two points up at halftime, 0-6 to 0-4. The rip roaring pace of the game continued in the second half, Fintan Fitzpatrick pointing after he himself was fouled.

Ballinaglera responded with a Seamie McMorrow point after good work from Enda Maguire and Ryan Crawford but Aughnasheelin kept in touch with another Fitzpatrick free.

With the game tit for tat, Ballinaglera were on the scoreboard again with a great point from the boot of Seamie McMorrow. Aughnasheelin had a goal from a hop ball but shot went inches wide.

Fitzpatrick and Enda Maguire swapped points as Ballinaglera kept the two point gap but Niall Mulvanerty was on target to reduce the gap. Damien Gilheaney got another and Aughnasheelin drew level when Fitzpatrick tied the scores.

Aughnasheelin had their tails up at this stage and great defensive work from Paul Earley got the ball to Damien Gilheaney who gave it to Gavin Sammon. With Conor Cullen charging in full steam, Gilheaney found him with the pass and Cullen made no mistake with a dramatic goal.

Aughnasheelin struck again when Sammon popped the ball over for a lovely point and all a shellshocked Ballinaglera could manage in reply was a Seamie McMorrow point.


Scorers: Seamie McMorrow 0-7; Seamus McGovern 0-2; Enda Maguire, Wayne Reynolds 0-1 each

Team: Conor O’Brien, Ryan Crawford, Brendan McGourty, James McDowell, Thomas Cornyn, Padraig Clarke, Padraig Cornyn, Enda Maguire (0-1), John Crawford, Seamie McMorrow (0-7), Ciarán Cornyn, Patrick McGrail, Wayne Reynolds (0-1), Seamus McGovern (0-2), Aaron McCawley. Subs Michael Crawford, Gerard Clarke, Barry Maguire


Scorers: Fintan Fitzpatrick 0-5, 4f; Conor Cullen 1-2; Niall Mulvanerty 0-2, 1f; Damien Gilheaney & Gavin Sammon 0-1 each

Team: Martin McHugh, Brian Boyle, Wayne Gilgunn, Richie McManus, Paul Earley, Damien Gilheaney, Christy McNulty, Cormac Sammon, Brendan Mulvey, Niall Mulvanerty, Fintan Fitzpatrick, Conor Cullen, Niall Gallagher, Gavin Sammon, Paddy Sammon. Subs Dean Flanagan.

Referee Mark McCloskey