GAA Football

Treanor sends Burren into final - but St Mary's count cost of Kerr injury

Burren's Ryan Magill attempts to close down Clonduff's Barry O'Hagan during last night's Down SFC semi-final. Picture by Philip Walsh
Neil Loughran at Pairc Esler

Morgan Fuels Down SFC semi-final: St Mary’s, Burren 0-9 Clonduff 0-8

DAD ‘Shorty’ would have been proud of the calm head Ryan Treanor displayed as his late score edged Burren into a final showdown with Kilcoo – although the St Mary’s look likely to be without star forward Liam Kerr for the decider.

The Down ace was forced out of the action just before half-time after a shoulder from Clonduff’s Stephen McConville left Kerr in pain on the ground, with boss Jim McCorry admitting they face a waiting game to see if he will be available for that November 7 showdown with the Magpies.

“Obviously we have to get him medically assessed,” said McCorry, who will renew acquaintances with his former club, having led Kilcoo to three titles in-a-row between 2012 and 2014.

“I thought it was high to the head, so we have to get him assessed for concussion as well. We’ll get him checked out and see how he is.

“The linesman was two yards away, the referee was five yards away. It’s up to them to call things like that, but they didn’t see it as anything more than ordinary play.”

Despite that loss, Burren remained resolute as a fairly turgid second half unfolded, with the ball skidding about and bouncing off arms, chests and legs as neither side was able to take any kind of grip on the game.

They had looked in control early on in the game, moving into a three point lead thanks to scores from Kerr, full-forward Kevin McKernan and a free from Donal O’Hare, who was starting his first game of this championship campaign.

Patrick Branagan was black carded in the lead up to that third point, and at that stage Ciaran McBride’s men were really struggling to establish a foothold in the game.

Key forward Barry O’Hagan was faced with two opponents any time he got onto the ball but was still managing to spread panic when in possession, and his score moments after Arthur McConville’s free narrowed the gap to one.

With Kerr replaced by David McEntee, Burren got their noses in front at the break thanks to a late O’Hare free after McKernan had been felled by Charlie Carr.

Yet at times in the second half it had the feel of a game nobody wanted to win, with balls kicked away and possession coughed up too easily, although there was also some superb last-ditch defending on both sides.

Barry O’Hagan was starting to find his groove as he cut in from the left before stroking over to tie it up once again at 0-6 apiece, before brother Darren did his best impression of his younger sibling with virtually the same score to edge the Yellas ahead for the first time.

Unfortunately for Clonduff, that was as good as it got. Burren hit straight back through a Danny Magill free before Patrick O’Hagan and O’Hare exchanged points to leave it all square, until Treanor’s late intervention started the St Mary’s celebrations.

Brought off the bench for the last quarter, Odhran Murdock found Treanor in space after one minute of added time had been signalled. With extra-time looming, he took the mark around 30 metres from goal.

There was no margin for error, and Treanor confidently sent the ball between the posts to secure a second last-gasp victory in-a-row after their dramatic quarter-final win over Mayobridge – and McCorry was delighted for his match-winner.

“Ryan had a horrible year, he went over on his ankle in one of our in-house games,” said the former Armagh assistant boss.

“He was out for such a long time he needed to get some surgery on it, and he’s really only back about four weeks, which is why he hasn’t been playing. But he’s been really going well in training, he’s a quality player.

“It was a pressure kick. For him, that’s his bread and butter distance, but when you consider it’s eight each, virtually the last kick of the ball, we’re delighted he was there to put that over.”

Burren: C Burns; P Fegan, S Fegan; G McGovern; P McCarthy, C McGovern, R Magill, R McGrath; M McKay, O Murdock; C Foy (0-1), D Magill (0-1), L Kerr (0-1); K McKernan (0-2), D O’Hare (0-3, 0-2 frees). Subs: D McEntee for Kerr (28), R Treanor (0-1, mark) for McGrath (45), A McAvoy for C McGovern (45), P Poland for McKernan (60+1)

Clonduff: P Gribben; L Brannigan, C Carr; A Carr; T McEvoy, J O’Hagan, J Gribben, D O’Hagan (0-1); R Carr (0-1, free), T Close (0-1); P O’Hagan (0-1), P Branagan, S McConville; B O’Hagan (0-3, 0-1 free), A McConville (0-1, free). Subs: E Brown for McEvoy (25), R Branagan for S McConville (47), P Lively for A McConville (47), R Lively for J O’Hagan (57)

Black card: P Branagan (10-20)

Yellow card: T McEvoy (12)

Referee: A Sharvin (Bright)

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GAA Football