NSHC Borris-Ileigh 1-19 Lorrha 1-6
Borris-Ileigh’s third round clash with the Templederry Kenyons will give manager Michael Ferncombe a much better idea of where his fast-developing side stand in terms of their credentials to claim the McGrath Cup. In the opening round of games Borris-Ileigh proved far too strong for Borrisokane and even though Lorrha fought hard Pádraig Madden’s men struggled to ask Borris-Ileigh any serious questions.
William Maher and Ciarán Haugh performed admirably in this one-sided contest for Lorrha while Paddy Stapleton and Conor Kenny stood out for Borris-Ileigh. That said Dan McCormack was an obvious candidate for man of the match - McCormack was excellent throughout and really came into his own once moved the centre-forward.
Conor Kenny opened the Borris-Ileigh account with a superb effort in the second minute and although Lorrha responded with a Patrick Maher free two Conor Kenny frees and a Benny Harkin point helped their side into a 0-4 to 0-1 lead by the 13th minute.
Lorrha responded to the challenge in terrific fashion however and thanks to points from William Maher (two) and Patrick Maher managed to cut the deficit to a single point by the 22nd minute (0-4 to 0-5).
Borris-Ileigh were in enthusiastic mood however with Brendan Maher suggesting as much in the 20th minute when the inter-county star opted to go for goal from a 21-yard free - Lorrha ‘keeper Brian Hogan saved Maher’s effort and Benny Harkin’s follow-up.
A Conor Kenny free left two between the sides before Declan Maher sent Conor Kenny through on goal in the 25th minute, the Lorrha defence opted to pull down the Kildare man however and presented Borris-Ileigh with a penalty. Once more Brendan Maher went for goal, but Brian Hogan was equal to the effort. Points from Jody Harkin, Declan Maher, Conor Kenny and the highly-influential Dan McCormack helped Borris-Ileigh into a 0-10 to 0-4 interval lead - in all five points without reply.
A terrific individual effort from Dan McCormack and a neat Brendan Maher point immediately after the break stretched the Borris-Ileigh lead before Patrick Maher belted home a 21-yard free and gave the Lorrha faithful something to shout about in the 35th minute - 1-4 to 0-12.
Borris-Ileigh responded to that affront in efficient fashion with points from Conor Kenny (a classy operator this lad), Benny Harkin and another Kenny free cancelling out Maher’s goal in pretty emphatic terms.
With fifteen minutes to play a Michael O’Meara point left seven between them (1-5 to 0-15), but Borris-Ileigh were far from finished.
Conor Kenny smacked over an absolute beauty in the 48th minute, Kenny then set up David O’Connor for his side’s 17th point before a Kenny free extended their advantage to ten with nine minutes to play.
Goalkeeper Jack Bourke made a comfortable save when Lorrha’s Patrick Maher opted to go for goal from a 21-yard free in the 53rd minute before Ciarán Haugh landed a superb right-handed point from play.
In injury time Brendan Maher fied over a ’65 to re-claim Borris-Ileigh’s ten-point lead before opting to go for goal from a 21-yard free in the 63rd minute. Maher had been denied by Brian Hogan twice in the opening half, but not on this occasion - Maher smashed his shot into the top left-hand corner.
Borris-Ileigh: Jack Bourke, Martin Treacy, Philip Maher, Seán Maher, Martin Maher, Paddy Stapleton, Séamus Burke, Seán McCormack, Jody Harkin (0-1), Dan McCormack (0-2), Brendan Maher (1-2, 1-0 free, 0-1 ’65), William Donnelly, Benny Harkin (0-2), Conor Kenny (0-10, 0-6 frees), Declan Maher (0-1). Subs: (29th) David O’Connor (0-1) for William Donnelly, (42nd) Vincent Stapleton for Jody Harkin.
Lorrha: Brian Hogan, Seán O’Meara, Dónal Kennedy, Graham Houlihan, Ciarán Haugh (0-1), Jamie Lewis, Tadhg Nevin, Patrick Maher (1-2, 1-1 frees), Enda Moran, Michael Cleary, William Maher (0-2), Barry Moran, David Fogarty, Ronan O’Meara, Michael O’Meara (0-1). Subs: (35th) Ciarán Duggan for David Fogarty, (41st) James Dunne for Barry Moran, (47th) Christopher Fogarty for Enda Moran, (58th) Jack Maher for William Maher.
Referee: Tommy Ryan (Kildangan).