An Cheathru Rua 4:14 – St Michael’s 1:3
AN Cheathrú Rua recorded an emphatic win over last year’s beaten finalists St. Michael’s in a one-sided contest at Pearse Stadium on Sunday.
Oisin Ó Gríofa (2-5) put in a magnificent man of the match performance to consign the city club to the relegation dogfight and put the men from Connemara into the third round with an emphatic 20 point victory.
St. Michael’s came into the game having a number of absentees; most notably the suspended back pairing of Alan Glynn and Jamie Downes and forwards Eamonn O’Donnell and Damien Connaughton who have taken their talents stateside for the summer.
On the other side, An Cheathrú Rua were given a welcome boost with backs Peadar Ó Conghaile and Iarlaith Ó Conchubhair, along with forwards Stiofan Ó Brian and Padraic Ó Loidean all passing late fitness tests.
On this their first ever meeting in the senior championship, it didn’t take long for the game to spring into life and it did with a bang.
With 30 seconds on the clock, referee Martin Flaherty showed a straight red to An Cheathrú Rua’s Stiofan Ó Brian after a dangerously high challenge on Michael’s Brian Madden in the middle of the field.
This setback didn’t seem to deter An Cheathrú Rua who got the first score when wing forward Ciliin De Paor found Antaine Ó Conghaile who fired over after four minutes.
The first goal of the game then came for An Cheathrú Rua when midfielder Michael Ó Brian found Oisin Ó Gríofa with a searching pass who then put Maitiu Ó Domhnaill through on goal and he fired the ball into the top right hand corner giving Blaine Sheridan no chance.
On nine minutes the difference was five points, corner forward Oisin Ó Gríofa with his first score of the game from 50 yards after Michaels’ Peter Ruane was penalised for travelling.
The lead was out to seven points when Antaine Ó Conghaile found Colm De Butlier who struck over from the left 20 yards out before Ciliin De Paor converted a free after being fouled.
Ó Domhnaill got himself on the scoresheet for a second time when another St. Michael’ kick out was intercepted by An Cheathrú Rua before Ó Conghaile found his man for another point.
Just when it looked like things couldn’t get any worse for the city side, on 14 minutes Ó Brian found De Paor with a monstrous free kick over the top of full back David Cunnane before rifling past Sheridan and into the back of the net.
St. Michael’s got their first score of the game midway through the first half when centre forward Greg Rogan struck over a free after being hauled down.
Ó Domhnaill got his second point of the evening on 25 minutes when Padraic Ó Loideain found his man to strike over from 30 yards to give 14-man An Cheathrú Rua plenty of breathing space going into the break with an 11 point lead.
For a complete match report see this week’s Tribune, download the Digital Edition here or get the Connacht Tribune app from iTunes or Google Play