Con Magee’s 3-17 Davitt’s 1-9
Two years ago Con Magee’s Glenravel won the Junior B championship and that momentum took them straight through the Junior A and into Ulster.
Last Sunday saw Davitt’s crowned Antrim Junior B champions, but there was very little chance that they would emulate the Glenravel club when they met in the opening round of the Junior A in Rasharkin.
The Glensmen were sharper to every ball and led from Martin Scullion’s opening point until the final whistle – apart from a 60 seconds’ spell around the 12th minute when Stephen McGivern’s long ball was blocked down by the Glenravel defence into the path of Rory McAvoy who forced it home for a 1-3 to 0-5 lead.
However Scullion immediately levelled with a point and Jonathon Fyfe fired over two points before he passed through to Scullion who picked out Neil “Vic” McCann with a beautiful cross-field pass and the veteran side-stepped his marker to fire to the net.
From that point on they were able to dictate the match and wrapped the victory up inside 30 seconds around the three quarter mark. McCann registered his second goal when his free from 60 metres came off a defender’s camán and ended the corner of the net.
From the poc out, Barry McCann went on a run before lobbing over the top and Martin Scullion slid in to hit the back of the net. That made it 3-14 to 1-8 and, despite failing to score during the last 12 minutes, they were home and dry.
Davitt’s had a few decent performances, Stephen McGivern a huge presence at midfield, Canice Mooney accurate from placed balls and Thomas Maguire and Michael Rowntree sound in defence, but they lacked the overall teamwork of the Con Magee’s men for whom Brian O’Neill and Cormac Scullion turned a lot of ball at half-back. Their two youngest forwards Jonathon Fyfe and Conor Carey showed for every ball and the older heads, Martin Scullion and Neil McCann, used their experience to keep the scoreboard moving.
Scullion opened the scoring with an early point and, although, Stephen McGivern responded with an excellent long range score, Glenravel moved into a 0-5 to 0-3 lead at the end of the opening quarter with two frees from Vic McCann.
Then came the four minute spell that delivered goals for each side, but a 1-8 to 1-3 lead for the Glensmen and they moved that to 1-10 to 1-5 at the interval with McCann on 1-4 and Jonathon Fyfe 0-3, while Canice Mooney and McGivern had claimed a pair of points each for the city side.
Scoring was quick-fire at the start of the second half with six points shared in the opening seven minutes, Mooney claiming two more for Davitt’s and Declan Traynor opening his account with two for Glenravel.
Neil McCann had added a point from a free before the two Glenravel goals inside 30 seconds killed off the game and it petered to a finish with McCann (2) and Traynor their only scorers in the final quarter while Mooney brought his tally to five, all from frees.
Con Magee’s : Chris McCann, Sean Burns, Shanlee Kerr, Steven Atcheson, Brian O’Neill, Declan McBride, Cormac Scullion, David Higgins 0-1, Padge O’Neill, Barry McCann, Conor Carey, Martin Scullion 1-2, Neil McCann 2-7, 1-6 frees, Declan Traynor 0-3, Jonathon Fyfe 0-4.
Subs : Fred Scullion for C Carey (46), Caolan Mullan for J Fyfe (50), Willie Hughes for D Higgins (55), Michael McDonnell for S Burns (56), Ronan McCann for N McCann (56).
Davitt’s Sean McIlhatton, Gearód Cosgrove, Michael Rowntree, Eugene Gallagher, Jay Close, Thomas Maguire, Gary Nelson, Anthony Rowntree, Stephen McGivern 0-3, Colm McKee 0-1, Canice Mooney 0-5 frees, Alan Rainey, Christopher Gallagher, Thomas Toland, Rory McAvoy 1-0.
Subs : Aaron Slane for C Gallagher (ht), Sean Prenter for R McAvoy (47), Gary Bergin for T Toland (51)
Referee: Paul O’Neill (Creggan)