Gort Na Mona 1-12-0-13 Derrynoose
By Kevin Herron
Gort Na Mona saw off the fierce challenge of Armagh Junior champions Derrynoose on score line of 1-12-0-13 to advance to the semi-final of the AIB Ulster Junior Hurling Championship.
Trailing by a point at the break, the Turf Lodge men turned it around in the second-half and Padraig Fryers goal was the difference between the sides after two hard fought contests in the past seven days.
It was Derrynoose who forced a replay thanks to points at the end of normal time and extra-time by Pete McKearney and Stephen Keenan respectively and the Armagh champions were quickest out of the blocks on home soil as scores from Paddy McGrane, Pete McKearney [free] and David McCreash saw them race into a 0-03-0-00 lead.
Patrick McCafferty, Martin Ward and Declan Hughes were all off target for Gort Na Mona in the early exchanges, but on seven minutes Dermot McVeigh made space and fired over his side’s opener. Paddy McCafferty converted a tenth minute free and a minute later he played the providers role in setting up Thomas McCafferty who popped the ball over to level at 0-03-0-03.
Midway through the half the Gort’s hit the front through corner-forward Darren Boyd; Boyd raced out in onto the loose ball ahead of his marker and fired over the bar and two minutes later Padraig McHugh landed a super point from wing-half back to hit his sides fifth in succession and give them a two-point lead.
Derrynoose were almost in for a goal between Boyd and McHugh’s points, David McCreash offloaded to Pauric McNaughton who saw his low drive bravely blocked by Christopher Devlin in the Gort’s corner-back.
McKearney converted a free just before the twenty minute mark in the half and it gave his side some confidence.
Stephen Keenan; who landed the decisive equaliser in last week’s contest, levelled the game again on 24 minutes as his shot squeezed inside the large posts and David McCreash gave his side the lead a minute later.
A well worked training ground move led to Derrynoose’s next score as Paddy Kelly opted to pick out Kevin McKenna from a free and McKenna’s shot sailed over the bar give his side a 0-07-0-05 lead with the interval looming.
With almost the last puck of the half, Patrick McCafferty hit his second point of the game from a converted free to leave just the minimum between the sides at the midway point, 0-07-0-06.
Gort Na Mona were back on terms within a minute of the restart thanks to goal keeper Connor McCann, who converted a free from midfield though Fintan Corvan peeled off his marker and fired over to restore Derrynoose’s lead.
Patrick McCafferty landed his third point of the afternoon and first from play to level the game at 0-08 apiece and just before the forty minute mark Darren Boyd gave his side the lead from the second time.
On 41 minutes the decisive moment arrived for Gort Na Mona as Captain Padraig McHugh picked out full-forward Padraig Fryers who flicked the ball past the advancing Terry McCann and into the Derrynoose net to make it 1-09-0-08 at Davitt Park.
Pete McKearney converted a 65’ and a free within a minute to cut Gort’s lead to two-points with 46 minutes on the clock, but Connor McCann converted a 65’ at the other end to leave goal between the sides with ten minutes remaining, 1-10-0-10.
McKearney [free] and Fryers traded scores for their sides and Gort’s insurance point arrived with over five minutes remaining as Connor McCann converted his third placed ball of the half.
Derrynoose needed a goal and quickly if they were going to force extra-time for a second successive Sunday, however they could only conjure two points through Pete McKearney [free] and Stephen Keenan as Gort Na Mona ran out 1-12-0-13 winners at full-time.
The Turf Lodge men advance to next Sundays semi-final of the AIB Ulster Junior Hurling Championship where they will meet Donegal Champions Setanta as they hope to replicate the success of last year’s Antrim and Ulster Champions Lámh Dhearg.
Gort Na Mona: C McCann (0-03f), C Devlin, G McKenna, C Connelly, P McHugh (0-01), M Rea, G Doyle, P McCafferty (0-03,0-02f), D Hughes, G Armstrong , M Ward, D McVeigh (0-01), T McCafferty (0-01), P Fryers (1-01), D Boyd (0-02). Subs: N Gibson for C Connelly (36 mins), S Doyle for G Armstrong (40 mins), T McGoran for T McCafferty (45 mins).
Derrynoose: T McCann, D McGrane, R Murray, P Quinn, S Leonard, P Kelly, T Lennon, P McKearney (0-06f), F Corvan (0-01), P McGrane (0-01), P Lennon, P McNaughton, S Keenan (0-02), D McCreash (0-02), K McKenna (0-01). Subs: A Fox for T Lennon (40 mins), L McGrane for K McKenna (55 mins), M Bowe for D McGrane (60+4 mins).
Referee: Tarlach Conway (Doire)