Clontibret And Magheracloone Must Meet Again

15 October 2010 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Last weekend, Pairc Grattan managed to morph into a conspiracy theorist’s dreamscape. 10-10-’10. 1-10 to 1-10.

What will the deities conjure up for the replay this coming Sunday?

Clontibret and Magheracloone’s fabled resourcefulness saw both of them bend but not break over the course of a stamina-sapping tussle.

This weekend, something has to give in what we can confidently predict will be another blood and thunder clash.

As most pundits predicted, a familiar tale unfolded last weekend in Inniskeen’s temple of a ground. Stalemate ruled the roost.

“Before the game I felt that a draw was a good bet and had said as much to a few fellas during the week,” Magheracloone chairman Bernard Freeman confirmed.

“I thought a draw looked on the cards from quite a distance out and, to be honest, I’d say a draw was a fair enough result.”

The notion that a sharing of the spoils is something Solomon himself would have ordained isn’t something Clontibret chairman Colm Gormley begins to counter.

Gormley says relief was one of the stand-out emotions which washed over the Good Ship O’Neills at the end of the game:

“We were relieved that the game was over and we were still in the hunt for the Mick Duffy Cup.

“We realised at the final whistle that we were going to get another crack at it and that we were going to have time to address what didn’t go right for us and how we could improve for the next day.”

That said, Gormley confesses that frustration vied with relief as Clontibret’s most powerful emotion last Sunday evening.

The angst of not having done the deal when the opportunity presented itself will seek to eat into Clontibret’s psyche this week.

“We had the chances (to win it) even though they had five or six wides in the second half before we had our penalty saved and Vinny (Corey) hit the post.

“Four or five of our shots at goal fell short too and if any one of them had gone over, it might have been a different story, but finishing is all part of the story so we’ve nobody to blame but ourselves.”

So while almost everything up front turned to gold for Clontibret in their semi-final joust with Castleblayney, things of a rusty colour were more to the fore last Sunday, it seemed.

For Magheracloone, most of their golden moments came in the opening 20 minutes when the Mitchells ruled the roost in the vital diamond area of the field.

Clontibret’s success in bagging a goal (Fergal Mone) just before the break which allowed the defending champions to go in 1-7 to 0-7 in front at the break was “a useful leg-up”, according to Gormely, but nothing more.

“I don’t think the goal was all that vital for us; it certainly wasn’t ever going to be the score that would win it for us.

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