All news

Grange grab the goals to book IFC Quarter Final spot at Naomh Eoin's expense

Stephen Bambrick
September 9, 2023

Carlow IFC Group 2 Round 3

Grange 2-15

Naomh Eoin 0-11

The maths in the 2nd game of the double-header was a little handier to figure out: a win for either, and a quarter-final with Ballinabranna is the reward; a draw, and the Myshall men would advance.

To the action itself and it soon became apparent that both forward lines had speed in abundance if used.

Grange started like a train with the flying Alan Fleming fouled twice in the opening minutes for John Murphy to punish both indiscretions. Naomh Eoin soon got their house in order going forward with Cathal Tracey, after a run, and then Adam Kenny from a free, leveling matters in the 3rd minute.

Shane Cormican ticks the box for being a lively corner forward; Grange's no. 15 nailing the lead score in the 7th minute before the first decisive gap came in the scoring stakes. A Grange attack that seemed to be faltering on the Naomh Eoin 21 saw Ned Pender net when the chance seemed to have gone begging, making it 1-3 to 0-2 with just 8 mins on the clock.

Spurred on to react, Naomh Eoin did. James Smithers from a John Michael Nolan through ball, Adam Kenny from a free, and another from a well-given advantage had it back to a one-point game midway through the half, 1-3 to 0-5.

The aforementioned Alan Fleming neatly kicked his first of the night in the 21st min. Then, on 25 mins, Seamus Hegarty put Cathal Tracey's goal-bound effort out for a 45. Two steps back, and John Michael effortlessly puts it over. The remainder of the half saw John Murphy with another 2 for his collection and Adam Kenny replying in between after Smithers made another searing run. Halftime left the Killerig men 1-6 to 0-7 to the good.

Murphy continued the 2nd half where he left off the 1st, a free converted before Patrick Hickey finished a good team move, and from the resultant kickout, he hit yet another. Ned Pender also getting a point to add to his earlier goal at this stage, Grange now on top with Naomh Eoin surviving on scraps.

Adam Kenny from a free, with Tracey being fouled, made it 1-10 to 0-8 on 37 minutes, offering hope. A scoreless 6 mins or so elapsed before the knockout blow was delivered. Fleming on the terrace 45 spotted the hard-running Fionn Murphy with a threaded pass, and his offload to Cormican deserved a good finish.

The no. 15 gave Andy O Brien no chance, as good a team move with vision, awareness, and a finish to match you'd care to see making it 2-10 to 0-8 and Grange were on their way with little over 15 mins left on the clock.

Naomh Eoin, as they always do, stayed going till the end. Cathal Tracey and Adam Kenny combining with Kenny hitting their last 3 points from frees mixed in with a pair of John Murphy frees. Grange added 3 more in added time via Cormican, Fleming (from a fine Tom Dillon burst forward), and finally Ned Pender to leave a 2-15 to 0-11 victory for Grange. Ballinabranna awaits in the quarter-finals, while Naomh Eoin meets Kilbride in the IFC relegation battle.

Grange: Seamus Hegarty, John Doyle, Tom Kealy, James Hickey, Tom Dillon, Cillian Murphy, Henry Hegarty, Cathal Bailey, Fionn Murphy, Alan Fleming (0-2), Patrick Hickey (0-2), Ned Pender (1-2), Morris Walsh, John Murphy (0-7, 0-6f), Shane Cormican (1-2).

Subs - Emre Yilmaz, Kieran Pender, Davy Moran.

Naomh Eoin: Andrew O Brien, Diarmaid Deacon, Martin Doyle, James O Hara, Gerard Kavanagh, Michael Kavanagh, Tadhg Daly, JM Nolan (0-1, 45), Diego Dunne, Ciaran Abbey, Adam Kenny (0-8, 0-6f), Gavin Ruschitzko, James Smithers (0-1), Martin Clowry, Cathal Tracey (0-1).

Subs - Jamie Behan, Philip Smithers, Tommy Nolan.

Referee - Marion Hayden