Cortoon and St Michael’s crash out of the championship

Cortoon Shamrocks, who reached the 2008 county final, and St Michael’s who are the current Connacht intermediate champions, both suffered sickening defeats last weekend that sees them out of the race to get their hands on the Frank Fox Cup for this season.

Joining them in the early shower department are Killanin, Kilkerrin/Clonberne, and NUIG.

The draw for the last 16 of the championship takes place on Monday night in Lough George, but the names of those five teams will not be in the hat.

Cortoon, who were beaten by Caltra in the first round, only managed to score 1-6 in that game, and they were again unable to register a championship winning tally.

Usually unless teams can register in excess of 11 or 12 points in a championship game, they will have to do well defensively to avoid suffering a defeat.

Cortoon struggled to get enough scores on the board and they paid the price for that failing once again against Annaghdown.

Frankie Burke, and Mattias and Niall Coleman did most of the scoring damage for Annaghdown with Burke’s goaled penalty the crucial score in the tie.

Galway city side St Michael’s will be aghast that they allowed Nicky Joyce to score a goal. His goal came with only a few minutes left on the clock which ensured a Killererin victory in a game St Michael’s looked like winning.

Lining out at full-forward, Joyce ended his evening with 1-03 (2fs ) and his goal was badly needed by the Barnadearg men to secure their safe passage to the last 16.

Their manager Gerry Daly will be pleased to have taken another step on the championship road, but with impressive corner forward Michael Boyle and big midfielder Tom Hughes due to go to the USA for the rest of the summer this week, he will have to find a few new players for the next round.

Killererin do not look the force of old when they did splendidly to collect a few county titles, but in men like Tomas Fahy, Declan Kelly, Michael Keane, Padraig Joyce, Nicky Joyce, and Alan Keane, they have the core of a team that on their day will be hard beaten.

Alan Keane, who had a fine game between the sticks, also “lofted” two 45s to help out in the scoring stakes. Any man who can score a 45 with ease is a great asset to a team and Mick O’Dwyer and Wicklow would have been delighted to have a player of his calibre to do so last Sunday against Westmeath.

Pat Regan’s men badly missed the driving force of the injured Eddie Hoare at midfield, and while Greg Rogan gave a terrific display in the middle of the park, his influence was missed in the forward division.

At club level, no team can afford to be down one or two of their best players and a fully fit Eddie Hoare could have made the crucial difference for Michael’s.

Claregalway did very well to beat NUIG last Sunday in Pearse Stadium. The students were down a few of their top 15, but that was not Pat McCartan’s fault, and he will be delighted to have bounced back from their earlier defeat against Milltown.

Danny Cummins was their scoring ace again and he notched 1-03 from play. He was aided in the scoring department by county goalkeeper Adrian Faherty, who hit 0-3 (2fs ) from midfield, and Martin Kelly who hit 0-4 (3fs ). It was also good to see Barry Cullinane back catching a few kick-outs, and his power and ball winning ability were key factors in their advance.

With Fiachra Breathnach and Damien Dunleavy both injured, county manager Liam Sammon will be pleased to see Cullinane back in the thick of the action.

In the other games from last weekend, Barna snatched a one-point win over Killanin on a score-line of 0-12 to 1-8. County minor Patrick Sweeney had a goal effort well saved by Martin Mannion in injury time to secure the victory for Pat Fallon’s charges. They must improve over the coming weeks if they are to reach the quarter-finals, but with so many club players heading to the USA for the summer and some clubs struggling to hit any real form, anything is possible.

In Menlough St Brendan’s beat a weakened Kilkerrin/Clonberne by 2-11 to 0-16.

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