No All-Ireland Title

4 February 2011 No Comments by The Northern Standard

AIB All-Ireland Junior hurling Club Championship Semi Final
Inniskeen’s dream of adding All Ireland glory to their Monaghan and Ulster titles lay in tatters on Sunday last after they were defeated by a stronger, more incisive John Lockes Kilkenny side in this hard hitting but hugely entertaining semi final that was played in bright if chilly conditions in Lakepoint Park, Mullingar on Sunday last.
Inniskeen though lost nothing in defeat and they played with their hearts on their sleeves and matched the Kilkenny men in practically every aspect of play but ultimately they lacked the penetration that John Lockes possessed in their attack.
Their full forward line of Ger Shelly, Simon Bourke and late replacement Jason Corcoran along with Owen McGrath simply possessed too much craft, understanding and experience and it was that foursome that propelled their side through to the All Ireland final.
Inniskeen to their credit tried everything they knew to curtail their influence and to some extent they did for certain periods but when they cut loose on occasions they were impossible to stop.
Inniskeen too had the added handicap that they were forced to re-shuffle their pack when Padraig Dowdall was unable to start at full back due to a hamstring injury that he picked up in a challenge game last weekend. PJ Boyle came in as a replacement with Alan Brooks moving to man the square and he had a real battle with Simon Bourke all through.
Seamus Loftus at centre back along with Paul Meegan on the wing repeatedly frustrated the opposition line while the battle in midfield was a feature of the game. If Inniskeen made John Lockes work hard in attack then the same can be said of their defence where Michael Roche at full back, Michael Gordon at right corner and John O’Neill at centre back repeatedly repelled Inniskeen attacks and always used the ball to good effect as they turned defence into attack.
That said though they had to be at their best to contain the hard working Kevin Boylan, Michael Lennon, Ronan Meegan and Martin Murphy in particular but mostly Inniskeen were forced to shoot from distance and not allowed to work the ball in close.
Inniskeen led twice however briefly in the early stages with the Kilkenny lads taking the lead for the first time in the 7th minute with a point by Simon Bourke.

Murphy opener
Martin Murphy opened the scoring in the first minute with Robert Jackman equalising two minute later.
John Lockes were looking for an equaliser after 4 minutes when Seamus Loftus converted a long range free but Inniskeen were not to lead again for the remainder of the game.
John Lockes increased the tempo at this stage and by the end of the opening quarter they had forged ahead by 1-5 to 0-2, Ger Shelly with the goal in the 11th minute with Simon Bourke nicking the two points.
Inniskeen fared somewhat better in the second quarter exchanging points twice, Simon Burke and TJ Byrne as well as Owen McGrath, free and Michael Lennon to still leave five points between them.
This was a good period for Inniskeen and they finished the half strongly with an unanswered brace from Martin Murphy and a Ronan Meegan free, although they also missed a couple of good chances as well to leave just three points between the sides at the break on a half time score, John Lockes 1-6, Inniskeen 0-6.
Full report in The Northern Standard

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