U21s Exit in Quarter-Final

It’s a clichandamp;eacute;, but goals win matches and this was very much the case in Ballinasloe last Saturday. Pearses as they did last weekend against Oranmore-Maree had the better start of the two teams and were 0-6 to 0-3 in front by the 21st minute, with all the Pearses scores coming from frees by Colm Raftery. Killimordaly’s scores also from placed balls, from the equally accurate Brian Burke.
However Killimordaly struck for a goal from play on the 22nd minute to undo Pearses’ early momentum and tagged on two points to turn the game on it’s head. Raftery hit a Pearses’ point to reduce Killimordaly’s lead to 1, but disaster struck when Killimordaly raided down the right wing again and despite a brilliant initial save by Finbarr Healy in the Pearses goal, they finished the rebound to the net, leaving the half-time score at 2-6 to 0-7.
The start of the second half was evenly contested, it was 2-8 to 0-8 by the 10th minute again Raftery again for Pearses. Killimordaly struck the next two points to move 8 in front before Pearses’ only scorer at that stage Colm Raftery was red carded for a second yellow card. Any chance of a Pearses revival was further eliminated by another Killimordaly goal, stretching the gap to 10 points.
To their credit Pearses’ battled hard to restore respectability to the Scoreboard. Enda Cunniffe was unlucky not to find the net from a 21 yard free, firing over the bar. Another 21 yard free, this time struck by Ronan Bellew, now operating at centre-forward, found the net. Then Killimordaly rattled off 4 points in quick succession. Bellew and Hennelly hit back with 2 more points, before Killimordaly responded with 2 of their own to leave the final score 3-15 to 1-11.
Pearses never recovered from the concession of the two goals in the second quarter and once Killimordaly got their noses in front it was always going to be hard to wrestle back control. Only a handful of this team are over-age for the U21 grade next year, so this years experience will stand to them. Killimordaly advance to the semi-finals, where they now look like they could be strong favourites to win the competition.
Pearses: F Healy; R Skehill, D Skehill, T Broderick; J Lally, R Bellew (1-1), B Egan; E Cunniffe (0-1), C Raftery (0-8); D Kelly, K Beckett, R Lally; G Hennelly (0-1), P Moore, G Lally.

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