A much-improved second half performance by Tracton ensured they booked their place in the Johnny’s Return South East JAFC final by virtue of a hard earned win over Shamrocks at Brinny last night.
There can sometimes be one play that can change the direction of a game and it happened in the opening minute of the second half.
Shamrocks after putting in a battling first half performance trailed 1-4 to 0-6 at the break but when the energetic Joe Shanahan broke through the Tracton defence 20 seconds into the restart his shot crashed off the crossbar.
From that play Shamrocks never regained their rhythm as their more balanced opponents kicked the crucial points at will.
In the opening five minutes Tracton looked as if they were going to put up a cricket score on their opponents when they surged into a five-point lead.
Joe Kingston kicked their opening point and when a sweeping three man move was clinically finished to the back of the net by Mick O’Sullivan Shamrocks looked all at sea.
A Kieran Lynch point followed but suddenly Tracton lost their way and failed to score for the next 20 minutes.
Shamrocks full forward Brian Sweeeney was starved of any sort of possession but they stillmanaged to kick five points despite trailing by the minimum at the break.
After Shanahan’s terrific effort coming off the crossbar Shamrocks completely lost their shape as Tracton kicked stunning points.
Mick O’Sullivan produced three consecutive white flags that finally broke the hearts of thebrave Shamrocks challenge.
When Shamrocks look back on this game they will know that they failed to get quality ball to their two marksmen Shanahan and Sweeney when they badly needed scores.
The men from Minane Bridge after a tough season on the hurling front can now look forward to a football final against the winners of Ballinhassig and Courcey Rovers.
Scorers for Tracton: M O’Sullivan 1-3, J Kingston 0-4 (0-2f), R Walsh 0-2,K Lynch, K Corrigan, G Kingston (0-1 each)
Shamrocks: J Shanahan 0-4 (0-2f), P Brady, B Mulqueen, A McCarthy, B Sweeney, M O’Neill (0-1 each).
Tracton: E O’Callaghan; S O’Sullivan, S Jagoe, C McGuinness; G Kingston, M Brady, M O’Sullivan; D O’Callaghan, K Corrigan; B Lynch, K Lynch, R Walsh; J Flynn, R Cronin, J Kingston.
Subs: J Noonan for J Flynn (30), D Sheehan for R Cronin (h-t), J Lyons for B Lynch (36).
Shamrocks: F O’Neill; J Tuohy, S O’Reilly, C Kidney; M O’Neill, B Mulqueen, M Prout; A McCarthy, S McGarry; C Cafferkey, S Keane, P Brady; S O’Neill, B Sweeney, J Shanahan.
Subs: S Andrews for C McGuinness (36), B Cusack for C Cafferkey (40).
Referee: B Coniry (Crosshaven).