Gort 0-13 Pearses 1-5

For many this game was supposed to be a walk in the park for the reigning County Champions Gort. Pearses will probably look back at this as an opportunity lost. Both teams had some bad wides, with Pearses hitting 13 over the hour, as well as a penalty saved. As in the Carnmore game, Pearses hit the ground running and Tomandamp;aacute;s Flannery had the ball in the net after just 3 minutes.
Indeed Pearses went on to control the opening quarter. Emmett Ward, at centre-forward, was back to his best after the long injury layoff and was causing the Gort defence problems. However, Pearses had some bad misses in this period in contrast to Gort, who were more economical with their chances. Richie Cummins, freetaker Gerry Quinn and Lally keeping the scoreboard ticking over. Gort were sending high ball in the direction of full-forward Mullins, but he was getting little change off a tight marking Tomandamp;aacute;s Kenny at full-back. In the 25th minute Flannery was pulled down in the Gort square, for a penalty. Donnellan hit it, but it was saved well on the line by Gort keeper Peter Cummins. The teams retired at half-time, with Pearses trailing by 2 points: 0-8 to 1-3. The game was finely balanced.
The second half was a tight struggle, with Gort now also racking up their wides tally. Freetaker Quinn missing 3 very scoreable frees in the course of the half. Jimmy Gelston, having a fine game in the middle of the park, hit a sweet sideline cut between the posts midway through the half. The Pearses back line were on top form, but they just couldn’t translate their hard work into scores at the other end. Emmett Ward hit a fine point and as the game entered the final minutes, the margin between the sides was still just 3 points.
Greg Lally, Ger O’Donoghue and Richie Cummins added to Gort’s wide tally. Pearses were awarded a 21 yard free. Donnellan, now operating at centre-forward, struck it. Again he was denied by the Gort defence. Gort were awarded 21 yard free at the other end, for what was judged to have been a foul on Cummins. Referee, Moran, brought it forward when the decision was disputed. Aidan Harte, now on free taking duties, sent it over the bar to stretch the Gort lead to 4 and when, in injury time, the lead was stretched to 5, the result was in no doubt.
Pearses can take positives from the game. The performances of the back line, Gelston at midfield and Emmett Ward up front. A Quarter-Final spot is still up for grabs and with the biggest test of Group A behind them Pearses can look ahead to what look like two very interesting encounters with Tommy Larkins and Moycullen.

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