Carrickcruppen 1-13 Tullysaran 1-9
If Carrickcruppen’s rise hadn’t raised enough eyebrows, they certainly caught everyone’s attention with their display on Saturday night.
The young Camlough men played without fear. The likes of Keenan, Woods and Kelly are names we are going to get used to hearing.
The older, experienced heads had their say as well. Stephen Loughran finished with 0-2, won a penalty and caused plenty of issues for the Tullysaran defence.
Tullysaran made the brighter start in the slippery conditions of the Athletic Grounds. Eddie Mallon placing the ball in the net before the clock struck 60 seconds.
The unstoppable Eoin Woods nailed three first half points as the underdogs lead by one at the water break.
Gavin Conlon was proving a handful for the opposition’s defence, and his brace put The O’Connell’s club back ahead.
Tullysaran lost Ciaran Mullan and Adrian Conlon through injury during the opening quarter. Woods split scores from Eoghan Daly and Conlon as Tullysaran led 1-4 to 0-5 at the interval.
Stephen Loughran was bundled over after the restart and the referee signalled for a penalty. Tiernan Kelly made no mistake in slotting the ball into the bottom corner.
Kelly put his side ahead with a point mark. Swiftly splitting the posts while hoppling on an injured leg to ensure he got his shot away inside the permitted 15 seconds.
Daly, a real driving force for Tullysaran, tied the game before Cruppen got ahead again. 1-8 to 1-7 at the water break.
Four on the trot extended the lead to five as Ryan and Gavin Conlon put an end to the scoring spree.
Tullysaran then turned their attention to searching for a goal. The chance never came as the Cruppen defence, lead by the inspirational Adam Matthews stood strong.
Carrickcruppen had the final say on the scoreboard with a free. Richard Keenan’s celebratory roar signalling a point before the white flag was raised.
The Camlough men march on to the Intermediate showpiece and continue their fine winning form in 2021.
Carrickcruppen: Tiernan Kelly 1-2 (1pen, 2f), Richard Keenan 0-3 (3f), Eoin Woods 0-3, Stephen Loughran 0-2, Blaine Hughes 0-1 (1f), Tiarnan O’Hare 0-1, Paul McNally 0-1.
Tullysaran Scorers: Gavin Conlon 0-4 (2f), Eddie Mallon 1-0, Eoghan Daly 0-2, Brian Kelly 0-1, Ryan Conlon 0-1, Mark McKeever 0-1.
Culloville 1-15 Sarsfields 0-14
Culloville have been the most impressive side in the Intermediate Championship this season, and they carried that form into Sunday’s semi-final.
For the third game on the trot, they upset the odds to overturn the favourites and reach the 2021 decider.
Niall Rowland was the heartbeat for the underdogs, who were without the talisman Colm Watters for a third of the contest.
They also lost their captain to a black card inside the opening three minutes. But fought through the adversity to win the game.
Cathal Hatzer stood out in the absence of Watters, while Ryan Garvey and Dara Quinn caused endless issues for the Sarsfields defence.
And yet, the 1A league winners had enough possession to win the game. The struggled to find their rhythm and didn’t get the goal to bring them back into the game.
The High Moss men couldn’t get level in the second half as Culloville could also keep them at arm’s length.
The Blues burst out of the traps to lead 9-5, but Sarsfields fought back. A Paul McGeown brace (1 free) and a Niall Kerr point (free) closed the gap to the minimum by the break.
Niall Rowland’s net-burster opened the scoring for the second half as Kieran Hatzer’s men stretched their lead to six.
Sarsfields battled back with five on the bounce, but the introduction of Watters to the fray helped turn the tide.
Three scores from the star forward helped keep his side in front and it was fitting that Watters nailed the final score of the game.
The Athletic Grounds ‘hoodoo’ continues for Sarsfields, while Culloville now turn their attentions to a final showdown with Carrickcruppen.