By Seamus Hayes
St Joseph’s 1-8
Beaten finalists for the last two years, St Joseph’s are out of the 2013 title race after suffering a three-point defeat at Hennessy Park in Miltown on Saturday evening.
Extra time was required before Lissycasey emerged as winners on a day when a strong closing 10 minutes in normal time saw the Doora-Barefield outfit wipe out a five-point lead.
There were plenty of talking points in a game that produced a penalty for each side and a sending-off for the losers, all of which had a key part in the game, as did the introduction of teenager Oisín Hanrahan by Lissycasey near the end of the third quarter.
He kicked two excellent points and was fouled for the penalty, which led to the team’s goal.
St Joseph’s were awarded a penalty in the 22nd minute but Joe Hayes produced a fine save from Cathal O’Sullivan. Lissycasey’s penalty came at the mid-point of the second half and Martin Moran expertly found the corner of the net, sending the experienced Declan O’Keeffe the wrong way.
Ten minutes earlier, St Joseph’s were reduced to 14 men when substitute Philip Ryan, on the pitch just four minutes, was shown a straight red card following an off-the-ball incident that left Matt O’Shea needing attention.
According to St Joseph’s manager Mark Raftery, his charges “weren’t scoring when we were dominating” while he also noted their penalty miss “didn’t help”.
He was scathing in his criticism of the choice of venue for the fixture. “Why are Doora-Barefield and Lissycasey in Miltown this evening and there is nobody playing in Cusack Park? Why is the county board bringing us out here when headquarters is sitting there? Is the Park or Clarecastle not halfway between us? The quicker the footballers stand up in this county and take control of their own situation instead of living off the scraps of the county board hurling table, we will be a lot better off,” he said.
Lissycasey manager, Barry Donnelly, said his charges “should have kicked more points in the first half and that did catch us in the second half. However, we showed great character. We kept the ball and kicked good points in extra time. We set out at the start of the year to make the quarter finals and we are there now”, he said.
The winners started well and points from Matt Kilroy and Enda Finnucane (two frees) had them three clear with just four minutes played. A further three went by before David O’Brien opened St Joseph’s account. Conor Finnucane replied for Lissycasey and then 18 scoreless minutes followed during which Lissycasey, in particular, missed some great chances. At half-time it was 0-5 to 0-2 in favour of the winners.
St Joseph’s, now with wind advantage, made changes early in the second half but Lissycasey scored first through Niall Kelly.
Two excellent points from Ivor Whyte gave St Joseph’s hope but the sending off of substitute Ryan followed and this was a blow.
Martin Moran’s penalty at the turn of the final quarter was followed by a Niall Kelly free, which put Lissycasey six clear. From here to the end of normal time St Joseph’s had the better of matters and following points from Whyte and Cathal Duggan (free) and a goal from Christy O’Brien, the margin was down to the minimum with five minutes to play.
A good score from Sean Hayes had Lissycasey two clear but St Joseph’s refused to yield and Ivor Whyte landed his fourth of the half in the fourth minute of injury time to send the match to extra-time with the sides at 1-8 each.
The momentum looked to be with St Joseph’s at this stage but Lissycasey regained their composure. The first period produced just one score, a Niall Kelly point after a great move involving a number of players. They continued to hold the edge in the second period and a brace of points from Hanrahan sealed their passage to the quarter-finals on a day when Martin O’Connor was outstanding in a strong defence. Sean Hayes, Enda Finnucane, Matt Kilroy and Oisín Hanrahan also made important contributions.
Kevin Dilleen’s absence due to injury was a big blow to St Joseph’s, for whom Martin Brooks, Steven Collins, Sean Flynn and, especially, Ivor Whyte did well.
Lissycasey: Joe Hayes; Martin Moran, Gerry Moran, Martin O’Connor; Cathal Hill, Cathal Doohan, Sean Hayes; Enda Finnucane, Matt O’Shea; Alan Nagle, Danny Clohessy, Francis Hayes; Niall Kelly, Matt Kilroy, Conor Finnucane.
Subs: Oisín Hanrahan for Nagle (43 minutes); Paul Nagle for Kilroy (inj. 55 minutes); Oisín Talty for Clohessy (67 minutes) Derek McMahon for C. Finnucane (74 minutes) and Dermot Nagle for E Finnucane (78 minutes).
Scorers: Niall Kelly (0-3, 2f); Martin Moran (1-0, penalty); Enda Finnucane (frees) Matt Kilroy, Oisín Hanrahan (0-2) each; Conor Finnucane, Sean Hayes (0-1) each.
Frees for: 37; Wides: 6; 45s: 1.
Bookings: Enda Finucane (17 minutes), Alan Nagle (19 minutes), Paul Nagle (66 minutes).
St Joseph’s: Declan O’Keeffe; Paudie Nugent, Martin Brooks, Steven Collins; Declan Malone, Sean Flynn, Ger Fannin; Alan O’Neill, Mark Hallinan; Christy O’Brien, Ivor Whyte, Eoin Hanrahan; David O’Brien, Cathal O’Sullivan, Cathal Duggan.
Subs: Luke Brannock for C O’Brien (inj, 15 minutes), Kevin Frehill for Hanrahan (36 minutes), Davy Conroy for Brannock (36 minutes), Eoin Hanrahan for Hallinan (for extra time), Adrian Fleming for Conroy (suspended), Hallinan for Duggan (inj, 71 minutes), Conor O’Brien for Hallinan (79 minutes).
Scorers: Ivor Whyte (0-4), Christy O’Brien (1-1), Cathal Duggan (0-3, 2f).
Frees for: 38; Wides: 4.
Bookings: Martin Brooks (26 minutes), Steven Collins (41 minutes), Ivor Whyte (50 minutes).
Sent off: Philip Ryan, (41 minutes).
Referee: Michael Talty, Kilmurry-Ibrickane.