As it usually does this fixture drew a large crowd to Frank Sheehy Park to witness these great rivals do battle in round 3 of the Junior Premier Championship on Saturday evening last.
Within a minute both sides had raised the green flag with Finuge’s John McCarthy cancelling out the excellent Niall Collins’ solo finish at the graveyard end of the ground. Shane Conway and Darragh Shanahan followed up with two good points before Sam Tarrant helped settle things down for the home side with a free. Paul Galvin fired over a free for Finuge from close range three minutes later to put two points between the sides again and it was around this time that Listowel really began to get a foothold on the game with Ger McCarthy and Darragh Leahy turning over some important breaks in the fullback line while Niall Collins and Darren Halpin were getting on plenty of ball out around the middle.
A Sam Tarrant free in between two classy Noel Kennelly points put Emmets two in front when all of a sudden the game really came alive with some big, but fair hits going in on both ends of the field. Shane Conway fired over his second score of the evening before Collins and Galvin traded blows and we all knew at this early stage there would not be much between these two teams when all is said and done. Pat Corridan and Gerald Lovett were trying to push Finuge on and were picking up some good breaks from Joe Joe Grimes’ aerial battle with John McCarthy. Sam Tarrant and Paul Galvin traded frees before Emmets pulled off the move of the half with Bryan Sweeney, Collins and Eddie Browne all involved in teeing up young Lorcan Moloney who calmly slotted the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the net giving Finuge keeper Killian Fitzgerald no chance. It was Finuge that finished the stronger however as a point from play from Darragh Shanahan and two free’s from Pat Corridan left the sides all square at the break, 2-06 to 1-09.
The second half was a huge battle as both teams were giving there all in order to get the result. The excellent David Keane who was a torn in the Finuge defence from the outset fired over a quick brace to put Emmets two in front before Paul Galvin made no mistake from a close range free. Keane got his third of the game six minutes later from his own placd effort to keep Listowel in the lead. The home side were definitely on top at this point but for some poor decision making in front of goal could have the game wrapped up and a Jason Wallace point kept Finuge in it. Niall Collins who was instrumental throughout again pushed Listowel two points up with a brilliant score from the outside of his boot but Finuge would not go away. A Pat Corridan free and a last gasp score from Cillian Fitzmaurice brought the game to a draw and overall might just have been a fair result.
Finuge must now face Na Gaeil in the deciding fixture of the group while Emmets contest the relegation decider against Annascaul with match details TBC. Best for Emmets were Keith Hughes who pulled off some very good saves and Niall Collins who gave an exhibition at midfield, while Ger McCarthy, Darragh Leahy and Daragh Broderick all did well in defence. David Keane, Lorcan Moloney and Noel Kennelly all showed very well up front while Darren Halpin and Bryan Sweeney played a lot of ball also.
Final Score: Emmets 2-10 Finuge 1-13
Emmets: K Hughes, D Leahy, G Tarrant, G McCarthy, E Browne, J Barry, C Keane, JJ Grimes, N Collins 1-02, S Tarrant 0-03, B Sweeney, D Halpin, L Moloney 1-0, N Kennelly 0-02, D Keane 0-03
Subs used: D Broderick, Jack Wall, Jack Hartnett