Nothing to separate sides in thrilling intermediate semi-final

David Lennon of Williamstown takes evasie action to avoid the tackle of Colm Ó Braonáin of Oileáin Árann. Photos: Joe O'Shaughnessy.
David Lennon of Williamstown takes evasie action to avoid the tackle of Colm Ó Braonáin of Oileáin Árann. Photos: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Williamstown 0-12

Oileáin Árann 0-12

It might be a cliché these days to say that neither side deserved to lose a game but few spectators in Pearse Stadium last Sunday afternoon would have come up with a different sentiment. Williamstown and Oileáin Árann served up just over an hour of tense and thrilling football and that they will have to do it all over again on Sunday is no bad thing.

The gap between the sides never grew to more than three points and while Williamstown looked to have done enough to earn a place in the county final when they notched five points in a row in the final quarter, Oileáin Árann came up with two points in added time to salvage a draw.

The crucial score came two and a half minutes into added time and while Williamstown were unhappy with the awarding of the free, it was no ‘gimme’ for Oileáin Árann’s Eoghan Póil but he was as reliable as usual, nailing the 35m effort into the breeze.

Playing with the aid of the wind in the first half, it was Oileáin Árann who predictably made the quicker start to the game and points from Máirtín Gill and Tyler Ó Flaithearta had them 0-2 to 0-0 ahead after five minutes. David Keegan pulled on back for Williamstown but another long-range effort from Ó Flaithearta put two between the sides again soon after.

Predictably given the conditions, Williamstown were finding it more difficult to create chances but Garry Kelly was making the most of any opportunities that came their way, converting two frees to leave the sides level, 0-3 each, at the quarter hour mark.

Eoghan Póil soon matched Kelly’s efforts, however, firing over two placed balls, before Cillian Ó Conghaile hit a lovely score from the left wing to Oileáin Árann three points ahead with 10 minutes remaining in the first half.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.