REPORT/PHOTOS: Ardfert Shock All-Ireland Champs St Mary’s

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Mike O’Halloran watched the 2015 All-Ireland Intermediate champs Ardfert knock this year’s winners out of this year’s competition…

Ardfert 2-15

St Mary’s 1-16

At half-time in this Intermediate Championship tie, nobody gave Ardfert a chance of winning as they trailed by a point 1-6 to 1-7.

Shane Griffin had forced the ball to the net for Ardfert on 18 minutes to make the score 1-5 to 1-1. Ardfert were playing with a pretty stiff wind and one felt that they needed to go in at half-time at least six or seven points up.

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The Ardfert panel before the match against St Mary’s.

Denis Daly and John Egan exchanged points, Egan’s point came on 23 minutes and that was to be Ardfert’s last score of the first half.

St Mary’s scored five points to leave the half-time score 1-6 to 1-7.

St Mary’s had the aid of the wind in the second half and Sean Cournane had a point within minutes but John Egan, who was the stand out player on the pitch, had two points for Ardfert both from frees to level matters 1-8 each.

Then Dan Daly and Sean Cournane put St Mary’s two up but again John Egan was at the end of a movement and punched to the net on nine minutes 2-8 to 1-10 now.

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The St Mary’s panel before the match against Ardfert.

Ardfert had another goal chance when Shane Griffin was wide from close in when it seemed easier to score.

Eoghan Courtney and Aiden Walsh exchanged points, on 41 minutes and the score stood at 2-9 to 1-11. Four minutes later Aiden Walsh had another point but the other Courtney, Iarla, had a massive reply for Ardfert before Bryan Sheehan curled over a free.

Twenty-three minutes into the second-half, Egan was fouled he pointed the free himself.

Anthony Cournane and Paul O’Donoghue had a point each for Mary’s as did Denis Daly to leave the score on 28 minutes Ardfert 2-12 St Mary’s 1-16.

That was the end of the scoring for the boys from the south, as Ardfert went on to score three more points – two from Egan and one from Daithi Griffin.

Ardfert probably produced the upset of the weekend with their defeat of the All Ireland champions. They were not going well in the County League but the return of Darren Dineen, Brandon Barrett, Fionan Mackessy and John Egan was surely a boost for them.

Fionan Mackessy was awesome at midfield and did a super job on the great Bryan Sheehan, but the man of the day was John Egan who was playing his first football game of the year.

Ardfert played without their captain Mike Moloney – who got married earlier – and Daniel Collins. Stephen Wallace was effusive in his praise of the St Mary’s club for accommodating the moving of the game from 6.30pm to 3pm to facilitate Ardfert.

Ardfert: Nicholas Leen; Trevor Wallace, Rory Horgan, Stephen Leen; Eoghan Courtney, Darren Dineen, Iarla Courtney; Fiona Mackessy, Kevin Shanahan; David Griffin, Darren Wallace, Brandon Barrett; Shane Griffin, Cian Hussey, John Egan.
St Mary’s; 1. Austin Constable 2. Ian Casey 3. Brian Curran 4. Darragh O’Sullivan 5. Daniel O’Sullivan 6. Conor O’Shea 7. Conor Quirke 8. Bryan Sheehan 9. Denis Daly 10. Aiden Walsh (C) 11. Niall O”Driscoll 12. Paul O’Donoghue 13. Sean Cournane 14. Daniel Daly 15. Anthony Cournane.

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