Northern Switchgear Senior Football Championship
St Teresa’s 3-12-1-06 Glenavy
By Kevin Herron at the Bear Pit
St Teresa’s made light work of disposing of recently relegated Glenavy with a comfortable 3-12-1-06 win at the Bear Pit on Saturday afternoon.
Stephen Carey hit the opening goal of the game midway through the first-half – by which point Glenavy had failed to register their opening score. Owen Gallagher, Malachi Doherty and Ciaran Loney would eventually respond before the half was out but St Teresa’s were 1-07-0-03 to the good.
Philip Maguire rifled home the Super T’s second goal but Alex Gallagher responded for Glenavy within sixty seconds – the Chapel Hill club fared slightly better in the second half hour but would concede a third goal to Conor McCann before the afternoon was out as St Teresa’s booked their place in the Quarter-final and a clash against St John’s.
St Teresa’s went into Saturday afternoons encounter as overwhelming favourites against a Glenavy side whose relegation back to Division Two was confirmed after defeat at the hands of St Enda’s last Wednesday evening.
Colin Toal’s side were deeply depleted with a raft of regulars unavailable and their luck wasn’t about to change in the opening exchanges as St Teresa’s quickly set about seizing control of proceedings.
Anton Taylor landed a fine point inside the first sixty seconds and Niall McCann doubled his sides lead after receiving a neat pass from Liam Gault.
Alex Gallagher and Michael McCourt were both off target for Glenavy in the early stages and St Teresa’s continued to pick their visitors off with the ever reliable Philip Maguire landing a fine point to put his side three to the good.
John Mallon increased St Teresa’s lead courtesy of a converted free and midway through the opening half St Teresa’s found the net – Mallon was involved as he slipped in midfielder Stephen Carey who confidently burst forward and rifled past Fergal Green to give his side a 1-04-0-00 lead.
A second goal almost presented itself within sixty seconds – Eoin Gault picked out namesake Liam who unselfishly palmed the ball to the unmarked Conor McCann, but with the keeper to beat McCann saw his fisted attempt go over rather than under the bar.
With the game 17 minutes old, Glenavy finally registered their first score – Thomas Gallagher burst down the left channel and pulled the ball across where Owen Gallagher was waiting to punch over the bar.
Mallon converted his second free of the half in response though Glenavy had finally found their rhythm and gradually settled into the game -their second point arrived through Malachi Doherty after a pass off the shoulder from Ciaran Loney.
A third converted John Mallon free ended St Teresa’s first-half scoring – though the Super T’s were forced into some late defending. A quick move through the hands saw Charlie Gallagher pick out namesake Thomas who in turn found full-back Patrick whose shot was parried well by St Teresa’s goalkeeper Anthony Varndell.
They had to instead settle for a point from Ciaran Loney but had a mountain to climb at the break – trailing 1-07-0-03.
Anton Taylor increased St Teresa’s lead with back to back converted frees within the first eight minutes of the restart and on the 40th minute the Super T’s had the ball in the net for the second time.
Philip Maguire played an excellent one-two with Anton Taylor before confidently bearing down on goal and firing into the roof of the net.
Anton Taylor then added his third point of the half as his side led 2-10-0-03– however within sixty seconds of Taylor’s point Glenavy hit back with a goal.
Alex Gallagher was causing the St Teresa’s a few problems and on 41 minutes his low scuffed shot wrong footed Anthony Varndell and hit the net to make it 2-10-1-03.
Fergal Green needed to be alert to turn away Conor McCann’s driven shot from Anton Taylor’s square pass just before the midway point in the second-half – Glenavy hit their fourth point of the afternoon and it was the Gallagher’s who combined once more as Patrick picked out Alex whose shot sailed accurately between the posts.
St Teresa’s final two points of the contest fell to Liam Gault and Anton Taylor (free) – while Malachi Doherty added Glenavy’s fifth of the afternoon from a similar scenario.
A minute from time Conor McCann rubbed further salt in the wounds as the corner-forward’s low drive couldn’t be diverted away from danger by the covering Glenavy defenders on the line and St Teresa’s were now 3-12-1-05 to the good.
Malachi Doherty landed a fantastic point on the stroke of full-time – however in the grand scheme of things it mattered little as St Teresa’s ran out 3-12-1-06 at the conclusion and claimed their first senior championship win under the guidance of Sean McGoldrick, Cathal McEvoy and Conor McCann Snr.
The Super T’s reward for victory is a quarter-final derby meeting with St John’s – bringing back memories of a famous quarter-final win over the same opponents at Rossa Park back in 2014.
St Teresa’s: A Varndell, C Mallon, D McCann, R Mallon, N McCann (0-01), E Gault, J Mallon (0-03, 0-02f), P McCaffrey, S Carey (1-00), C McGoldrick, P McGoldrick, L Gault (0-01), A Taylor (0-04, 0-03f), P Maguire (1-01), C McCann (1-01). Subs: M Mallon for L Gault (52 mins), S Maguire for L McCann (54 mins), E Connelly for S Carey (56 mins).
Glenavy: F Green, M Nelson, P Gallgher, R Philips, M Hamill, C Hamill, N Scullion, P Treanor (0-01), M Doherty (0-03), O Gallagher (0-01), M McCourt, A Gallagher (1-01), C Gallagher, T Gallagher.
Referee: Darren McKeown (St Galls)