Multyfarnham book place in championship decider

Multyfarnham can look forward to a trip to Croke Park following an absorbing AIB All Ireland Junior Championship semi-final win over Lahardane at Dr Hyde Park last Saturday.

The Westmeath and Leinster champions shaded a thrilling encounter by 1-14 to 2-9 against the John Maughan managed outfit from Mayo.

A first half James Maughan goal ensured Lahardane led by 1-5 to 0-6 at the interval, but Multy responded after the restart. Emmet Feerick bagged an important goal for Multy, who edged four points clear, before Cormac Reilly netted a major for Lahardane. But Multy stayed composed in the closing stages with brilliant points from Daniel Loughrey and Ciaran Madden proving to be the decisive scores.

"There was so much emotion, it was up, it was down," jubilant Multyfarnham manager Louis Ennis commented in an interview with Midlands Sport 103. "We thought we were gone, we got a lucky goal to get back into it again, and we drove on. We thought we had it won nearly, they came to get a great goal and a point. It is down to one thing: character. The character these boys have been showing all year, the effort they have been putting in. We were in trouble in other games before, but they never gave up. That came out in bucket loads, all I can do is take my hat off to each and everyone of those boys out there. They never stopped trying."

Ennis was encouraged by the manner in which his team battled throughout a frenetic match.

"We knew it would be difficult after the two month break," Ennis stated. "It would be unlikely that either team would come out hitting the ground running. We had a lot of ball around the middle third, we moved it quick enough. It broke down then around the half forward line or somewhere closer to the goals, maybe overdoing it when the ball was wet early on. They are a good team and they attacked us hard, we struggled at times, but we kept grinding.

"We went in two points down and the belief that is in this team. We had a difficult game in the county final, we had a difficult game in Wexford when we looked to be gone. The belief that gives showed those lads never, ever give up, we can turn games, and that is what happened. I know we got a lucky enough goal to get back into it, but I thought we drove on brilliantly then. Our leaders were phenomenal. I thought Andy McGinley at midfield was unbelievable as he has been all year."

Now Multy can prepare for a game at GAA headquarters on Saturday, February 3, against Knocknagree.

"I think it is brilliant, I was here myself and lost a semi-final, it can be awfully disappointing," Ennis said. "We are delighted, we are going to Croke Park to win it, not just for the experience. We have a quick turnaround. We are thrilled to be there."

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