Killererin will face Mícheál Breathnach’s in a quarter-final championship replay next Saturday in Pearse Stadium (6.15pm ) and the 2010 county final winners are fortunate to have another crack at reaching the last four.
Going into the last quarter on Sunday at Pearse Stadium, on a shocking day for any field sport, it was Mícheál Breathnach’s who looked much more likely to be facing Salthill in the county semi-final in a few weeks’ time.
They led by 1-9 to 0-9 with 15 minutes to go, courtesy of a Peadar Óg Ó Griofa goal, and another point or two at that stage would have seen them in the last four. Instead they did not raise another flag for the remainder of the contest.
However Killererin are always hard to beat. Some of the men in their ranks have four county senior championship medals collected since 1999, so they know how to dig out a result, and once again they were able to call on their vast reservoir of experience and rattled over three points without reply when the game was in the balance.
Shane Hughes, Nicky Joyce (free ) and Mícheál Boyle (45 ) were the trio who hit the late scores for Stephen Flaherty’s team and bought them at least one more ride on the 2012 championship merry-go-round.
There was still time for a potential late winner at that juncture and having scored three on the trot, there was a feeling that Killererin might kick-on. However it was Seán Ó Domhnaill’s men who upped the tempo and created the last few opportunities.
Ironically it was three of their better players on the day who scorned those chances – with Peadar Óg Ó Griofa, who had hit 1-6 (2fs ) at that stage, Peadar Ó Cionnaith, who always looked dangerous, and impressive centre-back Séamus Ó Maoileoin, all missing from scorable positions, ensuring the game ended in stalemate, 0-12 to 1-9.
Both sides will need to improve in certain areas this Saturday evening. Killererin will expect to get more scoring return from their most experienced forward Padraig Joyce, who only notched one point. They also have the option of recalling experienced goalkeeper Alan Keane and they will know that they will have to shake any lethargy from their bones if they hope to beat an improving young side.
The Mícheál Breathnach management team of Ó Domhnaill, Gearóid Denvir and Cóil Ó Finneadha will hope their players have not missed the boat for what would be a historic senior semi-final place. They have good quality players dotted all over the side and, in Ó Gríofa, they have one of the most potent forwards in the county.
If he and the likes of Fionntáin Ó Curraoin, Pádraig Tim Ó Conghaile, Peadar Ó Cionnaith, Cian Ó Griallais, team captain Seán Denvir and Ó Maoileoin at centre-back, can just raise their performances a few more notches and for a longer period of time, they will not be too far away from a win.
They will also need a few more forwards to chip in with a few scores as only three players hit the target the last day. Their efforts last weekend would have given them confidence and belief and they will know that if they had they shown a little more composure in the final minutes last Sunday, they would be it the semi-finals now.
Mícheál Breathnachs: E Ó Coisdealbha, K Ó Donnchú, PT Ó Conghaile, B Ó Conghaile; C Ó Griallais, S Ó Maoileoin, A Ó Finneadha; T Ó Conghaile, F Ó Curraoin; S Ó Conaire, S Ó Finneadha, S Denvir; S Ó Finneadha (0-1 ), P Ó Cionnaith (0-2, (1f ) ), P Óg Ó Griofa (1-6, 0-2 fs ). Subs used. F Ó Béarra, E Ó Griallais, C Ó Cuiv, Conghaile.
Killererin: A Fahy; M Treacy, D Kelly, I Reddington; D Flaherty, D Mannion, T Fahy; T Joyce, T Hughes; A Nolan, N Joyce (0-6, four frees ), J Keane (0-1 ); S Hughes (0-2 ), P Joyce (0-1 ), M Boyle (0-2, both 45s ). Sub used. M Keane.