CARRICKMACROSS REACH SEMI-FINALS

3 November 2011 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Carrickmacross 0-11
Kildress 0-8
JOHN GRAHAM reports
Carrickmacross staged a strong final quarter to book their place in the semi-final of the Ulster club intermediate football championship at the expense of 14 man Kildress in a game that was played in somewhat blustery conditions in Omagh on Sunday afternoon last. Kildress were reduced to 14 players some 10 minutes into the second half following an incident involving a number of players from both sides and that was the turning point of the match as Kildress never effectively recovered from this setback and were pinned in their own half for much of the remainder of the match.
Carrickmacross who had been playing second fiddle to the Tyrone champions now seized the initiative and capitalised very effectively by using the extra man to good effect and they went on to hit 8 points without reply from the 14th minute of the second-half until the final whistle which came with two minutes of stoppage time played. Carrickmacross started promisingly enough and in fact registered the opening score but Kildress gradually came to terms and once they hit the front for the first time in the 12th minute they had Carrickmacross under pressure, winning most of the breaking ball around midfield and not allowing Carrickmacross any time on the ball with the result that Carrickmacross were held scoreless from the seventeenth minute of the first half until the fourteenth minute of the second half by which stage they trailed by four points and things were looking ominous.
Carrickmacross were forced to make two changes before the start with Neil McEnaney replaced by Cillian Cromwell and Sean Downey replaced by Eoin Sherry. In the latter stages Downey was introduced to telling effect and helped generate the late resurgence that saw Carrickmacross over the line. Kildress likewise had to make late changes one of which saw county minor star Matthew Heagney replaced before the start but he too came on as a substitute and helped Kildress establish a strong foothold until the sending-off of Peter Hagan some 10 minutes into the second-half derailed their efforts. At the end of a scrappy first half Kildress had established a three points lead and had begun to consolidate in the early stages of the second half with two unanswered points in the opening eight minutes but once they were reduced numerically the roof fell in and as Kildress struggled so Carrickmacross grew in strength with Stephen Gollogly orchestrating and Andrew Callan finding the range with a few excellent strikes especially from frees. At one stage it looked as if Kildress might fight back to force extra time Carrickmacross defended in numbers and Kildress could simply find no way through.

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