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2009

Rynagh's have no answer to Walsh Island's power in Intermediate Football ChampionShip

The sun shines in O'Connor Park as Debbie Kennedy supporting Walsh Island against St Rynagh's in the Intermediate Football Championship. Picture: Jeff Harvey/HR Photo

WALSH Island may well have been dogged by squander-mania - they kicked 17 unsightly wides, but they still possessed far too much firepower for a St Rynagh's outfit that provided little resistance in a very one-sided Tullamore Court Hotel intermediate football championship semi-final at O'Connor Park on Saturday.
Tullamore Court Hotel IFC semi-final

Walsh Island 2-15 
St Rynagh's 0-5

Scorers:
Walsh Island: William Mulhall (1-4), Alan Mulhall (0-6, 0-2 frees & 0-1 '45), Gary Comerford (1-1), Brian Connor (0-1), Ross Connor (0-1), Ronan Murphy (0-1), Adrian Kelly (0-1).

St Rynagh's: Aidan Hanrahan (0-2), Fergus Shortt (0-1), Gary O'Connor (0-1 free) and Paudie Mulhare (0-1).

Wides: 
Walsh Island 17 (8 1st half); St Rynagh's 4 (3 1st half). 

Cards:
Yellow – (5): Ger Rafferty (17 mins), James Rafferty (18 mins), Gary Comerford (22 mins), Paudie Mulhare (37 mins), Ciaran Flannery (51 mins). Red – None

Alan Walsh reports

On the evidence of this performance, Walsh Island, after losing two IFC finals in recent years have the potential to make amends and secure a return to the senior ranks. They had a huge sixteen points to spare, 2-15 to 0-5, on this occasion but Doon will be an altogether different proposition in the final. In fact, if Walsh Island's shooting is as wayward again they could pay a very high price. 

Gerry Hickey's Walsh Island led 0-7 to 0-3 at half time and to be perfectly honest St Rynagh's, managed by Sonny Lynam, were rather fortunate to be so close. 

Walsh Island kicked eight opening half wides and Willie Mulhall spurned a gilt-edge goal chance as early as the 8th minute. Walsh Island looked somewhat hesitant in defence during the early exchanges and in the 13th minute Ian Duffy had to be a alert to save a toe-poke from St Rynagh's Neal Buckley and Gary O'Connor was also off target with a goal chance. 

The second half was one-way traffic. Brian and Ross Connor lorded the mid-field exchanges, providing the attack with a bountiful supply. Mulhall drove a 42nd minute shot straight at Rynagh's 'keeper Odhran McIntyre before Walsh Island finally rattled the twine five minutes later through Gary Comerford, 1-12 to 0-4. 

The Island added 1-3 before the finish with St Rynaghs' last point coming from the boot of sub Aidan Hanrahan who was their only scorer of the concluding half and that statistic in itself reflects just how abysmal St Rynagh's were on the evening. In '05 they defeated Walsh Island in the IFC final and after suffering relegation last year, one might have expected to them to be more competitive. 

Walsh Island's early defensive anxiety and 'shooting on sight' policy mean they've plenty to work on in the training ground. Willie Mulhall chalked up 1-4, all fine scores, but he could very easily have ended with 2-8 or 2-9 such was the amount of the ball that came his way. His shooting aside, Mulhall looked very sharp and the day his shooting success ratio improves, the opposition best watch out. Alan Mulhall and Gary Comerford also made positive contributions.

The teams were evenly matched early on and were tied at 0-2 each after ten minutes. Gary O'Connor (free) and Paudie Mulhare supplied the St Rynagh's scores with Willie Mulhall and Ronan Murphy on target for Walsh Island. 

Ross Connor put Walsh Island ahead with a 12th minute point and they didn't look back afterwards. A brace of points from Alan Mulhall made it 0-5 to 0-2 and Fergus Shortt kicked St Rynagh's third point following a short '45 by O'Connor. 

Gary Comerford and Alan Mulhall ('45) floated over late first half points and at the break it was 0-7 to 0-3.

The second half was a non-event as Walsh Island outscored their hapless opponents by 2-8 to 0-2.

WALSH ISLAND: Ian Duffy; James Gallagher, Clive Murphy, Rory Connolly; Matthew O'Connor, Thomas O'Connor (capt.), Colm Gavin; Brian Connor, Ross Connor; Adrian Kelly, Alan Mulhall, Ronan Murphy; Rory Connor, Gary Comerford, William Mulhall. Subs.: Joe Nolan for R Murphy (56 mins), Colm Mulhall for A Kelly (60 mins).

ST RYNAGH'S: Odhran McIntrye; Ivan Hanamy, James Rafferty, Tomas Flaherty (capt.); Noel Buckley, Ger Rafferty, Pat Camon; Fergus Shortt, Enda Corcoran; Gary Mahon, Paudie Mulhare, Gary O'Connor; Martin Grogan, Ciaran Flannery, Neal Buckley. Subs.: Timmy Gilmore for T Flaherty inj (26 mins), Aidan Hanrahan for M Grogan (34 mins), Pat McIntyre for E Corcoran (34 mins), Niall Flaherty for F Shortt (49 mins), Alan Corcoran for G O’Connor (54 mins).

REFEREE: John O'Reilly, Edenderry.

Match Report Published Date: 16 September 2009 on http://www.offalyexpress.ie
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