Emo 2-17 Ballyboughal (Dublin) 3-14
Leinster Club IFC Quarter-final
It was cold, wet and windy in Emo this afternoon but the home club and Dublin side Ballyboughal played out a classic in the quarter-final of the Leinster club intermediate football championship, one that finally ended with Paul Lawlor landing an equalising free two minutes into injury time in extra time.
They’ll meet in Dublin in the replay – possibly mid week – with a semi-final against Meath champions Curragha awaiting the winners next weekend.
It was a really good game from start to finish, with momentum shifting on numerous occasions before Lawlor’s late free ensured they’d have to battle all over again.
Emo made a great start, racing into a 1-2 to 0-1 lead early on, the goal coming from a Lawlor penalty after Finbar Crowley had been fouled, the points from Niall Wheeler and Darren Strong.
WATCH: Paul Lawlor’s late equalising free here
Strong would go on to kick eight points in total – six of them from play, one a ’45 – in a exhibition of shooting in tough conditions.
A Ciaran Wynne free pulled one back for the Dublin representatives but Strong and Lawlor added frees to go five up and it could have been more but for a string of wides.
Yet the Dubs soon got going. Excellent centre back Cormac Flynn came up to get their first from play and then Richie Downey – wearing Number 8 but operating at full-forward – cracked home a brilliant goal. Tony Roone and Wynne added points and suddenly Emo were behind.
A lovely point from David Gorman levelled things up and then the same player put a lovely pass through to Finbar Crowley who fired hard and low past David Downey. Yet another Ciaran Wynne free and a second Richie Downey goal helped Ballyboughal to a 2-6 to 2-5 lead at half time.
Emo got the second half off to a great start, scoring four points in as many minutes – two from Strong and one each from Lawlor and Nigely Murphy, Murphy’s effort after he had forced a brilliant turnover.
That had Emo three up again but Ballyboughal were level when Ben Callinan’s shot for a point dropped into the net. Gerry Seaver pointed a free and Ballyboughal were back in the lead with 38 minutes on the clock.
Indeed Seaver would go on to have a big impact from that moment on. Having endured a frustrating first half, the former Dublin U-21 showed his class over the remainder of the game and two more frees had Ballyboughal three clear.
Yet Emo hit the next four – two frees from Evan Costello and two more from Strong to take the lead again with eight minutes remaining.
Emo wouldn’t score again in normal time however and a Seaver free forced extra time with it finishing Emo 2-13 Ballyboughal 3-10 after 60 minutes.
Lawlor and Strong (’45) added points in the first period of extra time but Seaver and Wynne hit back and the sides were still level as they changed ends again.
Strong’s eighth point of the day pushed Emo ahead but Ballyboughal got two in row, both from Seaver, the first a free, the second a wonderful effort from play to nudge them into the lead.
The late red-carding of corner-forward Ben Callinan didn’t seem to make much of a difference but Emo got one last chance when a defender was penalised for overcarrying and then brought forward for dissent. It meant it brought it into scoring range and Lawlor launched a wonderful kick that duly dropped over the bar.
There was no time for any more action and it would have been hard to see either side lose.
Let’s hope the replay is half as entertaining.
SCORERS – Emo: Darren Strong 0-8 (one free, one ’45), Paul Lawlor 1-4 (1-0 penalty, 0-3 frees), Finbar Crowley 1-0, Evan Costello 0-2 (both frees), Niall Wheeler 0-1, Nigel Murphy 0-1, David Gorman 0-1. Ballyboughal: Gerry Seaver 0-7 (four frees), Richie Downey 2-0, Ben Callinan 1-1, Ciaran Wynne 0-3 (two frees), Cormac Flynn 0-1, Tony Rooney 0-1, Jonathan Rooney 0-1
EMO: David Whelan; Paddy Dunne, James O’Rourke, Brian Gorman; Padraig Kirwan, Shane Murphy, Liam Crowley; Niall Wheeler, Darren Strong; Cian Langford, Finbar Crowley, Nigel Murphy; David Gorman, Paul Lawlor, Evan Costello. Subs: Mark Carney for Kirwan (half-time), Dylan Lalor for Langford (injured – 44 mins), Brian Galvin for B Gorman (54 mins), Ian Fennelly for Wheeler (76 mins)
BALLYBOUGHAL: David Downey; Ciaran McGinley, Niall McGelligot, Willie Cooney; Tony Rooney, Cormac Flynn, Jonathan Rooney; Richie Downey, Cathal Flynn; Ciaran Wynne, John Rogers, Greg Rooney; Jack Ryan, Gerry Seaver, Ben Callinan. Subs: Jamie Flynn for Rogers (Black Card – 30 mins), Matthew Farrell for Ryan (52 mins)
REFEREE: Chris Dwyer (Offaly)