Moneygall go through to the next round of the County Championship following their win over Upperchurch in Templemore last week.
Although they held the lead for almost the entire game, the outcome could have been different but for some poor Upperchurch shooting at the start of the second half. In fairness, the Moneygall defence was so tight that Upperchurch were left with little option but to try for points under pressure but with little success. Ger Ryan, Sean Ryan and Eoin Troy had massive games for Moneygall followed closely by Philip Fanning, Brendan Toohey and Pajo Troy. Up front, Paddy Fanning made a big impression but Ger Kirwan stole the show with a fine personal tally of five points from play.
Upperchurch will be disappointed that they couldn’t break down the resolute Moneygall defence but were guilty of some very wayward shooting with eight wides in the second half alone. Matt Ryan moved to the corner replacing Lennie Purcell and had a reasonable hour while the half back line of Andy Kinane, James Barry and John Ryan were pretty solid throughout. Paul Ryan and Colm Ryan offered most threat in attack while Padraig Greene came into the game more in the second half. Owen Shortt tried hard and raised a green flag but was thwarted at almost every turn by the teak tough Ger Ryan in the corner.
Just 15 seconds had elapsed when Colm Ryan opened the scoring with a point for Upperchurch. Eamon McCormack replied within a minute and Ger Kirwan opened his account with a brace of points in the 6th and 7th minutes to give Moneygall a two point lead. Moneygall led by 0-4 to 0-2 after ten minutes but a Paul Ryan free and a couple of points from Colm Ryan turned the tide in favour of Upperchurch after nineteen minutes. Two minutes later the in-form Ger Kirwan fed a beautiful low ball into Paddy Fanning who smashed an unstoppable shot past Ciaran Shortt in the Upperchurch goal. Moneygall kicked on and added six unanswered points in a productive five minute period between the 23rd and 28th to lead by 1-10 to 0-5. However an uncharacteristic defensive lapse saw Owen Shortt take advantage of a poor clearance to bring Upperchurch back in touch with a goal on the stroke of half time. Willie Greene and James Barry exchanged points from placed balls to leave the score at 1-11 to 1-6 at the interval.
Although Paddy Fanning had the first point for Moneygall on the resumption, Upperchurch had clawed half the six point lead back by the 39th minute through Paul Ryan and James Barry frees and a Padraig Greene point from the right wing. It was in this third quarter that Upperchurch were most wasteful and saw two shots come back off the post in addition to four or five wides. They did however marginally outscore Moneygall in this period and had reduced the deficit to two points, 1-13 to 1-11, with nine minutes remaining. Moneygall woke up and took control with a Willie Greene free in the 23rd minute followed closely by an inevitable Kirwan point. Conor Ryan got on the score sheet with two fine points in the 25th minute to increase the lead to six points, 1-17 to 1-11. But Upperchurch weren’t giving up without a fight and Seamus Armstrong reacted quickest to a Ciaran Quinlan save, smashing home a goal on the volley from close range to reduce the gap to three points with two minutes remaining. Moneygall held their nerve, however, and a final Willie Greene free sealed the win.
Moneygall: Ciaran Quinlan, Ger Ryan, Sean Ryan, Eoin Troy, Phil Fanning, Brendan Toohey, Pajo Troy (0-1, 0-21 free); Michael Bergin, Eamon McCormack (0-1); Willie Greene (0-6, 0-5 frees), Conor Ryan (0-2), Jody Troy (0-1); Eoin Ryan (0-1), Paddy Fanning (1-1), Ger Kirwan (0-5). Subs: Stephen Maher for Bergin.
Upperchurch Drombane: Ciaran Shortt, Padraig Stapleton, Jack Ryan, Matt Ryan; Andy Kinane, James Barry (0-3, 0-2 frees, 0-1 ‘65), John Ryan; Ailbe O’Donoghue, L.J. Ryan; Paul Ryan (0-3, 0-3 frees), Colm Ryan (0-4), Padraig Greene (0-1); Colm Stapleton, Michael Ryan, Owen Shortt (1-0). Subs: Seamus Armstrong (1-0) for O’Donoghue (HT), Sean Harty (NR) and Matthew Greene (NR) for Colm Stapleton and Owen Shortt (54).
Referee: Fergal Horgan.