St Michael’s earn quarter-final berth

St Michael’s 1-9

Caherlistrane 0-10

St Michael's recorded a hard-earned victory over Caherlistrane in an entertaining Claregalway Hotel IFC 'backdoor' qualifier in Tuam Stadium last Saturday evening. Eight weeks ago, these sides met in a first round tie that the city side edged after extra-time, thanks to late a Eddie Hoare goal. This clash was to have a similar outcome as a strike from the Galway senior panellist ultimately proved decisive.

Caherlistrane, unbeaten in league action this season, began brightly and by the 20th minute lead by 0-6 to 0-1. Tactically, Caherlistrane deployed a two-man full-forward line of Eanna O'Connor and Eric Monahan as Mike Conroy, selected at full-forward, operated as a third midfielder. The pace and movement of both O'Connor and Monahan was central to Caherlistrane's opening quarter dominance. JJ Greaney was also prominent and he struck the half's best score, a right footed effort from 30 metres while under pressure from St Michael's defenders. The city side had started sluggishly, but three unanswered frees from Eddie Hoare (two ) and Greg Rogan reduced the deficit to two points at the break, a margin that slightly flattered St Michael's.

Aided by wind advantage, St Michael's upped their performance levels considerably in the second half. Former Galway U21 Greg Rogan was at the heart of their resurgence with some spectacular fielding. Within five minutes, Pat Regan's men had wiped out the deficit and forged ahead following scores from Hoare, Rogan and midfielder Patrick Regan. The lively Eanna O'Connell, who had the upper hand in his duel with Alan Glynn, responded for Caherlistrane.

The game's only goal arrived on the three-quarter mark as Mike Hoctor pounced on a Caherlistrane defensive error before releasing Eddie Hoare to blast past the helpless Cathal Keane. The game looked up for Caherlistrane who had been outscored 1-6 to 0-1 in the preceding 25 minutes. However, it was a credit to their battling qualities that they restored parity with scores from Enda Heneghan and a brace from Eric Monahan. It was now anyone's game. With five minutes remaining, Greg Rogan put St Michael's ahead with a pressure free. Caherlistrane's best efforts to force extra-time proved to be in vain and Eddie Hoare sealed the victory with a point deep in injury-time.

On a day when Caherlistrane can count themselves unfortunate not to at least have brought the match to extra-time, Pat Madden, JJ Greaney, Eanna O'Connell and Eric Monahan performed best. James Ruane, Greg Rogan, Eddie Hoare and Mike Hoctor excelled for the winners, who now advance to the championship quarter-final.

St Michael's: R Hannon; F Duggan, A Glynn, D Walsh; C McClafferty, J Ruane, K Sheridan; E Hoare (1-5, 0-4f ), P Regan (0-1 ); C Clancy, G Rogan (0-3, 0-2f ), M Hoctor; C Stewart, F Daly, H McClafferty. Subs: T Curran for H McClafferty (55 mins ).

Caherlistrane: C Keane; P Cunningham, T Monahan, B Keane; S Bohan, P Madden, T Monahan; L O'Brien, D Byrne; E Heneghan (0-2, 0-1f ), G Keane, JJ Greaney (0-2 ); E O'Connor (0-2 ), M Conroy, E Monahan (0-4, 0-3f ).

Referee: N Dempsey.


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