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Loughrea defeat Craughwell to book quarter final spot for the tenth year in a row!

posted 15 Jul 2013, 01:25 by Unknown user
By Gearoid Loughnane

Loughrea      1:16

Craughwell   0:13


Loughrea recorded their second championship victory over Craughwell this season and in doing so booked their passage into the county quarter finals for amazingly, their tenth year in a row. This is a superb achievement by the club and special mention to the select band of players who were on board for all of those years.  You could argue that this victory sums up Loughrea over the last ten years in that it was rarely flashy but extremely effective. The only time throughout the game that Loughrea were behind was in the opening minute when Niall Healy, who missed the sides’ previous meeting through injury, opened the scoring with a fine point from play. Paul Hoban then drew a fine save from Craughwell custodian Aidan Ryan only for Johnny Maher to double on the rebound, putting it over the bar to tie the game in the second minute. Captain Gavin Keary and corner forward Johnny O’Loughlin then struck points for Loughrea before Niall Healy scored his second point from play for his side. Johnny Coen and Paul Hoban then pushed the favourites further in front before Mark Horan and Cathal Greaney responded for Craughwell leaving the score at 0:05 to 0:04 after the opening ten minutes. The next score was to prove vital as Loughrea struck for the only goal of the game. Johnny O’Loughlin gathered possession and played a lovely one-two with Paul Hoban, before whipping the ball past Ryan to put his team four to the good. Craughwell, despite already being out of contention for the quarter finals, were playing for pride, and with Healy accurate with three frees stayed in touch. Jamie Ryan and Coen again, pointed for Loughrea in the opening 30 minutes before Brian Dolan finished the half’s scoring with a well struck point leaving his side just two points in arrears at the break.

Paul Hoban, the Galway u21 captain this year, opened the second half scoring with a fine point before Healy pointed his fourth free of the evening to keep things interesting. Loughrea then put the foot the floor and scored the next three points through Coen, and two from Johnny Maher, one from a free. Incidentally that free, in the fourteenth minute of the second half, was the first score-able free Loughrea were awarded with all their scores before this coming from open play. Niall Healy was now single handily keeping his side in the game and he was responsible for the next two points, both from play. Shane Dolan did chip in with a point but this was cancelled out by a Neil Keary point to leave three between the sides again. Loughrea when needed however, always seemed to have the answers and stretched their lead with fine points from substitute Emmet Mahony, the industrious Hoban and a long range Sean Sweeney free. Again Healy responded for the outsiders but the last word went to Johnny Maher who fired over in the last minute before referee Kevin Egan called a halt to proceedings. And so Loughrea march on the quarter finals again after topping Group C with Craughwell out of the running for the Tom Callanan cup for another year. Loughrea are joined in the quarter finals by Castlegar, Portumna, St. Thomas’s, Turloughmore, Ardrahan, Pearses and Beagh and it will be an open draw to decide their next opponents. On the day Loughrea did what they had to do, in a professional manner and after five championship games remain unbeaten and have conceded just two goals. With some big names failing to get past the group stages the opportunity is there for Loughrea to have a big say in this year’s championship and nobody will be too eager to draw them in the quarter finals. Best for Loughrea on the day were Nigel Murray, Damien McClearn, Brian Mahony, Johnny Coen, Johnny Maher and Paul Hoban. Craughwell had decent displays by Aidan Ryan, Adrian Cullinane, Mark Horan and Fergal Healy but their over reliance on Niall Healy for scores proved their downfall.

Loughrea team: Nigel Murray, Tom Regan, Damien McClearn, Eoin Mahony, Brian Mahony, Sean Sweeney, Stephen Creaven, Gavin Keary, Johnny Coen, Johnny Maher, Paul Hoban, Neil Keary, Jamie Ryan, Tom Hoban, Johnny O’Loughlin.

Substitutions: Peter Quinn for Stephen Creaven, Emmet Mahony for Tom Hoban.

Craughwell team: Aidan Ryan, John Greaney, Ian Daniels, Mark Monaghan, John Ryan, Adrian Cullinane, Paul Cannon, Mark Horan, Cathal Greaney, Shane Dolan, Dermot Ryan, Brian Dolan, Niall Healy, Kealan Greene, Fergal Healy.

Loughrea scorers: Johnny Maher (0:04, 1F), Johnny O’Loughlin, (1:01), Johnny Coen (0:03), Paul Hoban ( 0:03), Gavin Keary (0:01), Jamie Ryan (0:01), Neil Keary (0:01), Emmet Mahony (0:01), Sean Sweeney (0:01, 1F),

Craughwell scorers: Niall Keary (0:09, 4F’s), Mark Horan, (0:01), Cathal Greaney (0:01), Brian Dolan (0:01), Shane Dolan (0:01),

Referee Kevin Egan