Saturday November 28th, Freshford at 2.30pm
Referee : Eamonn Mansfield
O’Loughlin Gaels 4-15 to Emeralds 0-9
Considering the amount of rainfall during the hours leading up to the throw-in the Freshford venue was in good condition for this encounter. A decent crowd gathered to witness this one and with O’Loughlins having the wind advantage in the first half they were the ones looking to get the early lead. It was Emeralds who started the better though going two points clear on four minutes with points from Brian Webster and James Kenny following a livelier start than their opponents. One minute later however and O’Loughlin Gaels found the net through full forward Shane Parsons who enjoyed his new role in attack for much of the day. O’Loughlin Gaels picked up the pace somewhat now but couldn’t capitalise on their dominance and it was Urlingford’s full forward Conor Martin who registered the next score to equalise the game. More pressure from an eager looking O’Loughlins attack yielded a free that Sean Bolger dropped short. It should have been dealt with by the Emeralds defender but the cold conditions saw it bounce from the defenders hand harmlessly into the net. But for this fortune however O’Loughlins would not have been taking their three point half time advantage to the dressing room. Emeralds were the more threatening thanks to the efforts of Conor Martin and Brian Troy and had their chances, but would hit eight wides in that first half spell. Half time score O’Loughlin Gaels 2-4 to 0-7 Emeralds GAA.
O’Loughlin Gaels came out in the second half in a much more business like mood. Sean Bolger tacked the first three points within a six minute spell before Conor Martin returned with the first of only two overs for the Emeralds men in the second 30mins. Two points from placed balls in the second half would be Emeralds tally and was never going to be enough to advance to the next round. A strong defence was the platform for which O’Loughlins could launch assault after assault and it rewarded them with two more goals before the game was ended. A second from Shane Parsons who capitalised on a difficult dropping ball from the hardworking Sean Bolger. Bolger made a winding run from midfield and lobbed the ball between goal keeper and defender and Parsons pounced onto the ensuing confusion. O’Loughlins kept tapping over the scores when the opportunities arose including a fine point for Ross Butler who linked well with David Burke at midfield. It was a good performance by the city lads who finished well and looked hungry for the ball for much of the day. There was a healthy spread of scorers with four of the starting forwards and both midfielders finding the target, which will please the O’Loughlin Gaels management. Substitutes Danny Bolger and Ben Leydon also found their range including a well finished goal by Leydon on 53mins, the St. Johns side fourth, to make sure of the tie. O’Loughlin Gaels advance now to the Northern Final when they will face Lisdowney GAA.
O’Loughlin Gaels: G Kelly, P Denieffe, H Lawlor, T Gleeson, G Bryan, P Deegan, J Lawlor, D Burke (0-2), R Butler (0-1), D O’Connor (0-1)r, J. Lenihan, S Bolger (1-8, 5f), P Byrne, S Parsons (2-0), C Loy (0-1). D Bolger (0-1), L Brannigan, B Leydon(1-1), T Wallace