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SENIORS WIN CHAMPIONSHIP OPENER
Jul. 28, 2013
SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIP: Belcoo 1-12 v 0-12 Lisnaskea
Belcoo advanced beyond their first Championship outing for the first time since 2004 having beaten last years finalists Lisnaskea in Brewster Park on Sunday afternoon. The O'Rahilly's came out of top of a tight tussle with three points to spare in a 1-12 to 0-12 victory.
A Paul McGrath goal on 33minutes proved the telling score in what was a somewhat controversial second period as half time substitute Ian Corrigan picked up two yellow cards but wasn't dismissed by referee Enda McBrien while a number of scuffles broke out in the final few minutes of the contest which sees Belcoo setup a quarter final clash with Erne Gaels on Saturday 17th August in Kinawley at 7pm.
In the early exchanges Belcoo opened the scoring through Stephen Maguire but Daniel Kille responded with a fine point from distance before Aidy Little pointed after good work from John Woods and Sean Keenan arrowed over from distance to send the Emmetts 0-3 to 0-1 up by the 9th minute.
With Stephen Carters sweeping in front of the Belcoo full forward line the O'Rahilly's were unable to kick long and after a neat move Stephen Maguire was fouled and he converted the free to reduce the deficit to one.
Jonathan Feeley takes on Stephen Carters during the first half in Brewster Park PIC: Tim Flaherty
From here, Lisnaskea took a firm grip on proceedings and hit the next three points to lead 0-6 to 0-2 after 18minutes. Kille began the scoring with another superb long range effort before wing back Aidy Little joined another attack late to slot over his second point of the game. Kille was again on target for his side before Belcoo got to grips with their opponents.
Jonathan Feeley burst in from the left wing to fist over a point and although John Woods went close after a mazy run and shot across goal Belcoo were beginning to take command. Paul McGrath broke from wing back and after a one two with Shane McCabe he offloaded possession to Ciaran Flaherty for a simple score.
Brian Cox then raced through the heart of the Lisnaskea defence after good work from John Carrigan to slot over a left footed score and there was now just one between them. Belcoo's fightback was halted momentarily as Daniel Kille knocked over an impressive free from the left wing but by the interval it was a draw game.
Jonathan Feeley again drove in to fist a second point while Kieran Leonard finished a slick passing move with an easy score as the half ended 0-7 a piece.
The second half was only on three minutes old when Belcoo struck a telling blow, Shane McCabe's sublime diagonal free kick found Paul McGrath run from deep and without having to break stride he coolly collected and tucked the ball low into the corner past Darren Graham. Within a minute the same pair combined again as McGrath slotted over a neat point and with it Belcoo blistering start had them 1-8 to 0-7 ahead.
Lisnaskea would chip away at the lead and they managed the next three points from deadballs to bring just the minimum between the sides again. Kille tapped over a close range free before he converted a 45 and added another free.
The Belcoo Management watch on intently during the second half PIC: Tim Flaherty
It was getting extremely tense as both sets of supporters got behind their sides, Ciaran Flaherty ended a 10minute scoreless spell with a good point in the 44thminute and with both managers making changes the game began to open up.
Lisnaskea missed some good opportunities to close the gap but it was Belcoo who would register the next score. A very patience move where the O'Rahilly's retained possession for a long period ended with Kieran Leonard chipping over a point for 1-10 to 0-10 with just 10minutes remaining.
Daniel Kille would register another free six minutes from time and two minutes later Ryan O'Keefe cut Belcoo's lead to one point.
Brian Cox carries the ball out of defence late in the game for Belcoo PIC: Tim Flaherty
In the final minute of normal time a loose ball in the Lisnaskea goalmouth broke to Ciaran Flaherty to slot over. Ian Corrigan would pick up a booking for preventing a quick kick out and having already received a yellow for a sliding tackle earlier in the half he should have been off but for whatever reason the referee failed to twig the double booking of Corrigan who remained on the field to see out the added time.
Although only two minutes of added time were signaled Belcoo got their last point some 6minutes into stoppage time after a strong run from Brian Cox seen him fouled and Feeley converted the close range free.
Added time was prolonged due to a number of tangles off the ball involving numerous players for which several received yellow cards.
With the final kick of the contest Daniel Kille had to go for goal with a 21m free which Belcoo thwarted and with it the full time whistle blew to the delight of the men in blue who had eventually recorded a Championship victory after a number of failed attempts in recent seasons.
All smiles at the end as Belcoo secure a first championship win in a long time PIC: Tim Flaherty
Its back to league action on Wednesday as Belcoo travel to neighbours Devenish with an 8pm throw in while Lisnaskea host St. Pat's.
Team: James McGrath, Shain Gallagher, Niall Leonard, Gavin Leonard, Paul McGrath (1-1), Eoin Leonard, Declan Leonard, Patrick Burns, Brian Cox (0-1), John Carrigan, Ciaran Flaherty (0-3), Kieran Leonard (0-2), Jonathan Feeley (0-3, 1f), Stephen Maguire (0-2, 1f), Shane McCabe. Subs: Ian Corrigan, Barry McGovern, Stephen Maguire, Ronan Ferguson, Aaron Dolan.
Lisnaskea: Darren Graham, Ryan Smyth, Shane O'Hara, Owen Mooney, Stephen Phair, John Woods, Aidy Little (0-2), Niall McElroy, Kevin Mohan, Niall Oates, Stephen Carters, Mark Little, Daniel Kille (0-8, 5f, 45), Sean Keenan (0-1), Shane Ingram. Subs Greg O'Donnell, Ryan O'Keefe (0-1), Garbhan McManus.
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