A fine individual display in the second-half from Ambrose Doran along with three astute half-time substitutions proved decisive as Graiguecullen came from three points down at the interval to claim a one point win over Emo in glorious sunshine on Wednesday.
ACFL Division 1
Doran kicked five points in the second-half alone and cut the Emo defence to shreds. The introduction of Brian Maguire in midfield shifted the balance in favour of Graiguecullen while Danny Alsybury added much need pace into the attack.
The result ended Emo’s hopes of reaching the semi-finals and they were left to rue a number of missed chances in the first-half.
They made the dream start to the game with a goal inside the opening minute from Paddy Lawlor who had the simple task of tapping the ball into the back of the net after Glenn Brophy’s initial shot had been well saved by Patrick Scully.
Graiguecullen hit back with points from Ambrose Doran and James Doogue but with eight minutes on the clock Emo went back into a two point lead when Chris Gleeson slotted the ball over the black spot.
With Graiguecullen kicking a large number of wides at the other end, Emo had chances to build their lead but Paul Lawlor was denied a goal by a great save from Patrick Scully while another goalbound shot from Conor Lawlor was blocked.
Shane Murphy did eventually increase the lead with a fine individual point after 20 minutes. After 17 minutes without a score, Graiguecullen eventually added to their total when Mark Doogue curled over a ‘45 but Paul Lawlor responded with a free for Emo to leave them 1-3 to 0-3 ahead.
Emo extended their lead straight after the restart with another Paul Lawlor point but they wouldn’t score again for 17 minutes.
The first Graiguecullen point of six unanswered came from Mark Doogue from a ‘45 and from the 40th to the 43rd minutes, Ambrose Doran hit three in a row to move his side level. Danny Alsybury edged Graiguecullen in front for the first time while Doran added his fourth point of the half a minute later.
Emo came back into the game in the closing ten minutes and were back within one courtesy of a free from Paul Lawlor. Doran responded for Graiguecullen but with five minutes to go Emo were back within one thanks to an accurate free from Paul Lawlor.
In the closing minutes Emo had the chances to snatch a draw which at least would have given them the chance of reaching the semi-finals but they kicked two late wides while another shot dropped into the grateful arms of Patrick Scully.
Scorers: Emo: Paul Lawlor 0-4 (0-3f); Paddy Lawlor 1-0; Shane Murphy 0-1; Chris Gleeson 0-1. Graiguecullen: Ambrose Doran 0-6 (0-1f); Mark Doogue 0-2 ‘45; James Doogue 0-1; Danny Alsybury 0-1
Emo: Gerry McGill; Paddy Dunne, Michael Dowling, Robert Wilkinson; Nigel Murphy, Paul Kirwin, Davy Gorman; Mark Kearney, Paul Lawlor; Rory Meredith, Glenn Brophy, Shane Murphy; Chris Gleeson, Conor Lawlor, Paddy Lawlor. Subs: Darren Brophy for Conor Lawlor (41mins), Conor Lawlor for Chris Gleeson (58mins), Padraig Booth for Paddy Dunne (58mins)
Graiguecullen: Patrick Scully; Stephen Alsybury, Shane Aylward, Wayne Humphries; James Bolton, Bobby Doyle, Jamie Malone; Shane O’Neill, James Doogue; Luke Alsybury, Lee Murphy, Colin Doran; Ian Fleming, Ambrose Doran, Mark Doogue. Subs: Brian Maguire for James Doogue (HT), Danny Alsybury for Luke Alsybury (HT), Brian McDermott for Wayne Humphries (HT), Bobby Doogue for Jamie Malone (58mins)
Referee: Maurice Deegan