The best game of the weekend by far was the enthralling encounter of Caltra and an improved Tuam Stars. The game had everything and provided superb entertainment.
Indeed some of the saves from Tuam’s Paul Doherty in particular and Caltra’s Kevin Kilroy were well worth the trip to the game.
Doherty’s double save in the first half was outstanding, and when he got to the flicked second effort from Matt Killilea, the entire attendance gasped first in amazement, and then applauded his brilliance. It was the greatest piece of individual skill from the four quarter-finals.
However the big difference between the sides was the leadership shown by a magnificent Declan Meehan at centre back and his brother Michael, who shot 1-05 (0-2fs ) from full-forward.
Others who would have impressed their manager Tommy Newell were the tight marking Brian Kilroy, Paul Gately, who made some vital interceptions, John Galvin, who won a lot of primary possession, and Shane Hogan and Michael Kelly who ended with five points between them from play.
Caltra have a lot of very experienced men and when the going got tough it was most of them who showed the grit and cuteness to bring the green ship into safe dock.
Tuam pushed them all the way, and Michael Hogan caught some great ball in the first half. Injuries did not help their cause and the decision to put Conor Doherty to wing-back for the injured David Connern really upset their balance.
Tuam would have lost by more only for Doherty’s excellence on the night and it was unfortunate that young county minor John Ross Bodkin saw his last-minute free go wide. Nobody would have objected to a replay. Indeed Bodkin was one of their best forwards and shot five points.
Caltra will face neighbours Mountbellew in the semi-final and they will know that they have to curb Joe Bergin if they are to advance. Bergin is in scintillating form for his club and he is the catalyst for their run that sees them in with a realistic chance of reaching the 2009 county final.
Semi-final draws: Senior, Salthill-Knocnacarra v Corofin; Mountbellew-Moylough v Caltra;
Intermediate, Dunmore McHales V St James; Leitir Mor v Oughterard
Games will be played on the weekend Sep 12/13.