Laois Intermediate Football Relegation Final
Timahoe have intermediate football to look forward to next year after they overcame Annanough in a hard-fought contest in Crettyard on Saturday evening.
In what was, for the most part, a closely fought game, Timahoe made the brighter start, lost the initiative to an Annanough comeback, but turned in a strong second half to claim a three-point win.
The winners had been playing into a stiff breeze in the first half, but actually made much the better start.
In hindsight for Annanough, that was a key passage of the game, as they failed to score in the opening quarter despite having the elements in their favour.
Timahoe opened the scoring thanks to a Colm Dunne free, with Ruairi O’Connor adding a point from play moments later.
Brendan Quigley then curled one over from the right wing to push Timahoe three clear, as Annanough really struggled to bring any degree of fluency to their game.
Timahoe were in bonus territory given how easily they were creatying chances into the breeze, and Ruairi O’Connor clipped over two more before the water break to see them lead 0-5 to 0-0.
Annanough needed that chance to reset and they took advantage of it, holding Timahoe scoreless from there to half-time while taking the lead themselves. That run started with a good point from Damien McCaul, and he added a free moments later.
Things quickly got better, as they overturned Timahoe possession 35 yards from goal and sent Elliott Scully clear, as he raced through to thump the ball past Eoin Culleton.
McCaul landed two more frees before the interval, and that saw Annanough lead 1-4 to 0-5 at the break, although given the wind they really should have been further ahead.
Annanough started the second half brightly, scoring a goal through Elliott Scully which was ruled out for square ball, although Damien McCaul and Killian Horgan added points to open up a four point gap.
Sadly for them, that would be their last score for 24 minutes, as Timahoe took over. They hit nine points without reply, starting with a brace from Ruairi O’Connor.
Martin Bergin then fisted over from the edge of the area and O’Connor then landed an incredible free from way out on the left wing to level the game. He then won a mark to put them ahead, and Brendan Quigley (mark), Sean Ramsbottom (two frees) and Mark O’Connell all raised white flags to put them in pole position.
Credit to Annanough, they launched a late comeback, getting to within three, but Donal Miller’s late shot for goal from a 14 yard free missed the target, and Timahoe hung on for the win.
Scorers: Ruairí O'Connor 0-7 (0-3 frees, 0-1 mark), Sean Ramsbottom 0-2 (frees), Brendan Quigley 0-2 (0-1 mark), Joe O'Connor 0-1, Mark O'Connell 0-1, Colm Dunne 0-1 (free), Martin Bergin 0-1, Robbie Foyle 0-1.
Team: Eoin Culleton; Joe Foyle, Andy Daly, James Whelehan; James O’Connor, Sean Daly, Conor Whelehan; Sean Ramsbotton, Damien O’Connor; Michael Kennedy, Joe O’Connor, Mark O’Connell; Ruairí O’Connor, Brendan Quigley, Colm Dunne. Subs: Martin Bergin for C Whelehan (28-30+3 mins), Martin Bergin for Foyle (half-time), Robbie Foyle for Dunne (49 mins), Colm Lalor for O'Connell (61 mins).
Scorers: Damien McCaul 0-6 (0-5 frees), Elliott Scully 1-1, Killian Horgan 0-3 (0-2 frees)
Team: Conor Hanley; Marty Stapleton, Rory Stapleton, Marcus Shortall; Ronan Stapleton, John Scully, Conor Donlon; Donal Miller, Shane Stapleton; Simon Shortall, Killian Horgan, Johnny Fennelly; Damien McCaul, Robert Kinsella, Elliott Scully. Subs: Darren Maher for R Stapleton (half time), James Miller for E Scully (blood sub, 40-43 mins), James Miller for Kinsella (52 mins), Seamus Stapleton for Shane Stapleton (52 mins), Colin Miller for Donlon (59 mins)
REFEREE: Michael Tarpey (Kilcavan)