Photographs: Bert Trowlen
Report: Geordie McGuckin
Ciaran Doherty & Co Accountants Under-16 (A) League semi-final
St James Alder grove 3-11 Erin’s Own Cardin 0-07
St. James’ Aldergrove will start the forthcoming Ciaran Doherty & Co South West league final as firm favourites following this 13 point win over Cargin last night in Crumlin. The Aldergrove side struck with three early goals to leave their opponents a mountain to climb and while the visitors never gave up they were well beaten in the end.
The Crumlin lads had opened account less than a minute into proceedings as Conleth O’ Toole Palmed a precision based Glen Dunham cross to the back of the net and although the Cargin boys raised five unanswered white flags in reply to nip ahead back to back majors at the other end ensured the home side were back in front at the end of the opening quarter.
The clock had not registered a minute when, after making strong approach on the right hand side Glen Dunham’s cross opened the way for Conleth O’ Toole to finish to the net.
An excellent start for the Crumlin lads on their own patch but Cargin were soon to find their feet and the Toome lads were off the mark in the 3rd minute when Benen Kelly slotted a 35 meter free kick between the posts.
They were back alongside their hosts as PJ Quinn, aided by a good Eunan Quinn delivery split the posts and early replacement Shay McCusker’s intervention sent Peter John McAleese away to add another.
The visitors certainly had found their feet and continued to put their hosts under pressure with good return in the early stages as Peter John McAleese’s 12th minute pointed free and another from Conor Kelly following a strong approach saw them 0-05 to 1-00 ahead and looking good in the process.
The Aldergrove lads who had entered the fray as firm favourites were to regain advantage by the 14th minute as the impressive Rory O’ Neill converted a penalty and when center forward Aaron O’ Connor seized on a loose delivery to return to the back of the net they were at 3-00 to 0-05.
The Toome side were rocked by those early goals and struggled to regain composure as further white flags raised in turn by Rory O’ Neill and Eoin Magee saw the home side at 3-02 to 0-05 ahead.
The Erin’s Own boys returned to the positive again in the latter stages of the half and indeed may well have celebrated a couple of major scores of their own but Lady Luck was not on their side.
Paudie McLaughlin made impressive approach and was just off target with his finish which whizzed past the post and the woodwork came to the aid of the home side as PJ Quinn’s goal bound effort rebounded off an upright.
A Tom Shivers point proved Cargin’s only reward for a period in which they had dominance and when Rory O’ Neill raised an injury time white Aldergrove had earned a 3-03 to 0-06 interval advantage.
Cargin needed a good start to the second half and better return from chances created if they were to entertain aspirations on the under-16 title but in the event it was to be Aldergrove who were to hit the sod running.
A 31st minute Rory O’ Neill point added to the Aldergrove lead and with the Cargin lads looking less than confident they found themselves punished for unforced errors as Ryan McCarthy delivered back to back points.
A Peter John McAleese point punished an indiscretion on the advancing Paudie McLaughlin to breathe life back into the Cargin lads and they returned to the offensive again for a time.
Chances were created with the stout defensive efforts of Odhran Molloy and Shay Mc Cusker paying dividends but although chances arrived the Toome lads just could not find the target and several chances came and went unrewarded as the wide tally increased.
Aldergrove had no such problems when they attacked with the sterling efforts of Aaron O’ Connor, Logan Henry, David Aiken, and Eoin Hamill leading the charge.
Back to back Glen Dunham points followed and the die was cast as the home side had raced into a seven point lead.
Cargin tried to rally but St. James’ were on top and dominating the last phase with late points from Conleth O’ Toole and Rory O’ Neill (2) ushering Aldergrove over the winning line and on the way to the under-16 final at 3-11 to 0-07.
St. James will now renew acquaintances with All Saints Ballymena who were less than impressive in their win over Tir na nOg in the other semi-final in Ballymena and after hitting 8 goals against the Ballymena side last week in the league, will start as firm favourites.
Aldergrove: Rory McBrian in, Conor Ferguson, David Aiken, Lee McCusker, Eoin Gough, Logan Fleming, Eoin Magee (0-01), Eoin Hamill, Emmett Ervine, Conleth O’ Toole (1-01), Aaron O’ Connor (1-00), Glen Dunham (0-020, Michael Blayney, Ryan McCarthy (0-02), Rory O’ Neill (1-05)
Aiden Ervine for E Gough
Cargin: Conor Johnston, Conan Johnston, Odhran Molloy, Dermot Mc Peake, Conan Kennedy, Paudie Mc Laughlin, Malachi Johnston, Eunan Quinn, Conor Kelly (0-01), Tom Shivers (0-01),Benen Kelly (0-01), Shane Gribbin< Sean og O’ Neill, Peter J Mc Aleese (0-02), PJ Quinn (0-02)
Shay Mc Cusker for Conan Johnston
Shea Laverty for S Gribbin
Cahir Donnelly for C Kelly
Sean Gribbin for T Shivers
Cahir O’ Boyle for Conor Johnston
Referee: Sean McAtamney (Tir na nOg)