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Seniors Battle Past Maguiresbridge in Championship Quarter Final
Aug. 30, 2015
INTERMEDIATE QUARTER FINAL: Belcoo 2-7 v 1-7 Maguiresbridge
It was far from pretty but Belcoo got over the line to book a place in the Intermediate Championship Semi Final following a tough encounter with Maguiresbridge on Sunday evening. The O’Rahilly’s secured a 2-7 to 1-7 victory and will meet Irvinestown in the last four on weekend of 12th/13th September.
Belcoo trailed for the most of this tie before a scoring burst in the final ten minutes from time seen them eek out the victory. Maguiresbridge though pressed hard at the death for a goal although the winners defence and goalkeeper Patrick Sweeney kept them at bay.
In opening half scores were hard to come by and at the interval Maguiresbridge would hold a 0-4 to 0-3 lead, three of these coming from frees with David Teague on target twice from placed balls while Matthew Teague notched from play and a free.
Christopher Leonard getting his hands on the ball early in the first half. PIC: Tim Flaherty
Belcoo were laboured going forward and were finding a compact Maguiresbridge defence hard to breakdown, Matthew McAloon would land a fine effort from the left wing before Ciaran Flaherty strode forward unchallenged some 60yards to fire over an excellent effort with the outside of the boot.
With the last play of the half Jonathan Feeley worked hard to strug off his marker and land a third Belcoo point which cut the deficit to one point.
The second half would prove to be a much livelier affair. Inside five minutes both sides had found the net. Belcoo would move into the lead when some patient build up play down the right wing yielded their goal, James McGrath floating the ball into the penalty area with Paul McGrath rising highest to fist the ball to the net.
Paul McGrath fisting Belcoo's first goal to the net early in the 2nd half. PIC: Tim Flaherty
Maguiresbridge response was immediate, they would work the ball well down the field before a lofted ball into the square broke kindly for Matthew Teague to drill into the bottom right corner. They would tag on a point before Jonathan Feeley again done well to find a half yard and fire over via the inside of the right point, one still separated the sides.
The contest would continue to ebb and flow, Belcoo we beginning to turn things in their favour as primary possession was won and held, James Stewart, Brian Cox, James McGrath and Ciaran Flaherty seeing alot of the ball.
Two down at 1-6 to 1-4, Matthew McAloon would register a excellent point from the right while captain Christopher Leonard clipped over an equaliser with eight minutes remaining.
Matthew McAloon takes on Stephen Brannigan before pointing in the second half. PIC: Tim Flaherty
Belcoo would hit the front for the second time in the game as they registered goal number two, a high ball into the square was flicked down by Paul McGrath into the arms of Matthew McAloon and the young forward fired a driven shot past Tarlach Russell. This would prove to be the telling score.
In the next attack Paul McGrath would gather another high ball from Seamus Conlon before firing over as Belcoo pushed into a four point lead as the tie began to spill away from Maguiresbridge. Andrew Breslin would put three between the sides while at the other end Jonathan Feeley was dragged to the ground in the penalty area, it looked a stonewall penalty, nothing was given.
Over the final few minutes and the three plus that was added Belcoo needed goalkeeper Patrick Sweeney to come to the rescue twice while James Stewart also took a ball off the goal-line as Maguiresbridge pumped ball into the square looking a goal to level.
They failed to register the must needed score and Belcoo would triumph in the end by a three point margin, McAloon's goal proving the winning score.
Team: Patrick Sweeney, Ryan Leonard, Niall Leonard, Gavin Leonard, James Stewart, Ciaran Flaherty (0-1), Paul McGrath (1-1), Niall McGovern, Christopher Leonard (0-1), James McGrath, Brian Cox, John Carrigan, Aaron Dolan, Jonathan Feeley (0-2), Matthew McAloon (1-2). Subs Used: Seamus Conlon, Declan Leonard.
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