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All Britain Junior Club Championship Semi Final   06/11/2017

'McDermotts March On To All Britain Junior Club Championship Final'


All Britain Semi-Final, Sunday 5th November, 

McGovern Park, Ruislip

Sean McDermotts (Warwickshire) 2-11

Thomas McCurtains (London) 1-12


After a tense 60 minutes, in which both teams had periods of dominance, Sean McDermotts eventually secured a deserved 2 point victory and a coveted spot in the All Britain Junior Club Championship Final in a nail biting clash in Ruislip.

The opening quarter was a tight affair in which both teams traded points with Thomas McCurtains corner forward Niall Coffey, looking in fine form, kicking 3 well taken points while Sean McDermotts responded with accurate scoring from full forwards Anthony Moriarty and Joe Owens followed by a fantastic, long distance effort by corner back Mikey Pyne.

McDermotts began to exert some dominance with their accurate, long range kick passing, meaning the sweeper McCurtains had deployed in front of the back 3 was having little influence on the game. A Cianan Folan point was followed up by 2 Conal Dowling goals in as many minutes, the first due to pressure placed on McCurtains goalkeeper Conor Mulrennan under the high ball and the 2nd after some high pressing and a turnover to win the ball quickly after McCurtains opted for a short kick out.

With Sean McDermotts leading 2-4 to 0-3, both sides kicked a couple of brilliant opportunities wide of the posts. After some fine individual play, Niall Coffey nearly pulled a goal back for McCurtains but could only add a point to the scoreboard. Full forward Conor Murphy quickly followed this up for his first point of the day and added his second 5 minutes later but only after 2 well taken points by the Birmingham side.

The teams went in at half time with the two McDermotts' goals separating them at 2-6 to 0-6. Some pushing and shoving between the teams while going down the tunnel at half time pointed towards a McCurtains team determined not to go down without a fight.

Both sides picked up early yellow cards in the second half with McCurtains looking a different animal with a renewed energy about them. They proceeded to kick 3 hard fought points with no reply during the opening 15 of the 2nd half. Both sides then brought on fresh legs with McDermotts seeking to recapture their first half form and McCurtains hoping to continue reducing the difference between the sides. The final quarter of the game promised to be a tight affair.

A well taken free and a long distance point from play for McCurtains were sandwiched between 2 well worked McDermott points by wing forwards Cianan Folan and Caolan McAleer. Niall Gilbride, kicking against the wind, sent a scintillating 45 soaring over the bar which was followed by substitute Declan Staunton's composed kicking from 25 yards, meaning the London side trailed by 5 going into the final few minutes.

With one minute of normal time remaining, McCurtains gave themselves a glimmer of hope with a well worked goal after some dogged tackling from their forward line to ensure a tense climax to the game. With only 2 points separating the teams, the referee indicated a minimum of 5 minutes of injury time to be played at which point McDermotts proceeded to marginally miss 2 long distance frees.

With 3 minutes of injury time to go, the London side converted a free from 20 yards out to reduce the deficit to a solitary point. However, McDermotts won the resultant kick out and quickly broke up the pitch and extended their lead back to 2 points. Thomas McCurtains fought their hardest and had time for 2 further opportunities however they were unable to convert either. McDermotts won possession from their own goal kick and proceeded to professionally see out the remainder of the game through clever ball retention.

Upon the referee's final whistle, a ferocious roar of delight erupted from the large contingent of travelling support, who had been vocal in their encouragement of the Sean McDermotts' players throughout the game.

In a highly enjoyable and tense game, the Warwickshire champions were able to claim a hard fought victory to set up a mouth-watering All Britain Final clash against Scottish Champions Dunedin Connolly's.

Man of the Match: Conal Dowling

Sean McDermotts; M.Felgate, E.Culliney, K.O'Brien, M.Pyne 0-1 ('41 for M.McMahon), L.Gilbride, N.Gilbride 0-1, M.Mannion, A.Willis, R.Bennett, C.Folan 0-1, P.O'Neill, C.McAleer 0-3 (1f) ('55 for D.Staunton 0-1) , A.Moriarty 0-2 ('45 for B.Fallon), C.Dowling 2-1 , J.Owens 0-1

Thomas McCurtains; C.Mulrennan, P.O'Shea, C.Smyth, R.Ellis, J.Winters, K.Delahunty, T.Lynngh, P.O'Neill, T.Clarke, M.O'Leary ('47 for #21), G.Flynn ('37 for #17 1-1) , S.Quinn, N.Coffey 0-8(3f), C.Murphy 0-2, P.Halligan 0-1 (1f).





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