Owen Roes set up showdown with Blackwatertown men

Paul O'Neill claims the ball for Brackaville ahead of Seamus Cooney. INTT4712-724DCA
Paul O'Neill claims the ball for Brackaville ahead of Seamus Cooney. INTT4712-724DCA

It was all too easy for Brackaville on Sunday as they strolled into the Ulster final following the ruthless destruction of a poor Laragh United side to set up a meeting with Armagh champions An Port Mor in a couple of weeks time, writes Seamus Donnelly.

The Owen Roes were superior in almost every department as Kieran Holland’s side dominated the Cavan champions from start to finish.

Brackaville’s midfield in particular was excellent with captain Cahir McGuinness and young Rian McHugh lording the centre field area, while Sean McNally was involved in almost everything while the game was in the balance.

In attack, every Brackaville player got on the scoresheet from play while their defence was at it’s stingy best as they restricted Laragh to just a goal and three points over the course of the sixty minutes.

Brackaville got off to a flying start taking the lead in the opening minute of the half with Joe Rafferty on target in the opening minute.

Rafferty’s point came after some slick hands from Owen Roes corner forward Che O’Donnell after some great movement from the young attacker.

The Owen Roes extended their lead five minutes in with Ciaran Gervin on target this time after some patient build up play for his side.

Brackaville were dominating the middle third of the field with their half forward line picking up plenty of breaking ball and distributing it into a lively inside forward line.

Both teams were guilty of some poor shooting with a number of Laragh wides helping keep Brackaville in the lead.

Brackaville themselves missed some simple chances, Joe Rafferty dropping a 14 metre free onto the crossbar proving particularly notable.

A Sean Corr free did help extend the gap to three points before the Cavan men registered their first point of the afternoon with a sublimely hit Patrick Rudden free from underneath the stand into the O’Duffy Terrace goals.

Brackaville responded almost immediately Sean McNally on target this time, his finish coming after a slip from Che O’Donnell saw his shot blocked, but only into McNally’s path.

Laragh needed a goal to stay in touch and they duly got it 21 minutes in when Rudden’s shot dropped into the square before being turned into the net by full forward Conal O’Donohoe.

The goal for the Cavan side could have unsettled Brackaville but it didn’t as they hit back straight away through a Joe Rafferty free.

The Owen Roes extended their lead to three by the half time whistle with Ciaran Gervin on target from play and then Sean Corr slotting over a free to leave the score at the break 0-7 to 1-1.

Brackaville almost had the ideal start to the second half as Corr’s goal chance was saved by Laragh goalkeeper Martin Smith.

The Owen Roes didn’t have to wait long to get themselves off their half time mark with Sean McNally and Corr combined for McNally to kick a point when a goal looked like a distinct possibility.

Corr was on target himself after thirty seven minutes with a 35 metre free comfortably converted as Tyrone champions stretched their lead.

Laragh did have a rare foray upfield ten minutes into the half when centre half back Seamus Cooney fired a shot at the legs of Brackaville keeper Damien O’Neill.

The Cavan men did sustain the pressure for a brief period as Enda Cullivan’s effort came back off the post falling at the feet of Conal O’Donohoe in the small square.

O’Donohoe swung a leg at the ball but put it up and over the bar much to the relief of the Owen Roes faithful.

Brackaville responded immediately with Paddy Gervin finding himself in acres of room to point from 30 metres, before Che O’Donnell added another to his side’s total with an impressive run and finish from distance as the Owen Roes eased themselves out of sight.

Even the Brackaville substitutes were getting in on the action, Cahir McGuinness picking out sub Ciaran Currie in a sea of space, before he swung over a fantastic effort from under the Gerry Arthurs Stand.

The Owen Roes scored four more points without reply as Paddy Gervin twice, Sean Corr and Martin Gervin all added to their total as Laragh effectively threw in the towel.

Laragh did get a late point from O’Donohoe but it did no more than dress the scoreboard as Brackaville’s thoughts turned to the clash with An Port Mor in a couple of weeks’ time.