Junior Football Championship (semi-final)
St Patrick’s Lisburn 0-13 St Agnes 1-05
Naomh Padraig Lisburn are through to the final of the Junior Football Championship and remain on course for the double when the division three pace setters finished strongly to see off the challenge of the Aggies under the lights at Woodlands on Friday evening.
Lisburn have impressed thus far in the 2018 season both in league and championship and although they were not given an easy passage in this semi-final assignment by the physical challenge offered by a well-organised St Agnes side they proved well up to the test crossing the line five points to the good.
The opening quarter proved quite defensive as Denvir Taggart opened account to see the Lisburn lads away in front and Mark Caldwell replied in kind at the 6th minute.
The Aggies were structured in a defensive formation although St Patrick’s did find a way through in the 10th minute as a lofted Eoin Fay delivery was fetched by Josh McMullan to transfer between the posts.
St Agnes were standing tall in the defensive to ensure a way to their posts was proving a tough course to navigate but after being thwarted in their efforts to make inroads on several occasions a foul on the incoming Ben McMullan saw Francis McMeel send the resultant free between the posts.
The Aggies were working overtime in their defensive efforts but finding problems on the counter but the Lisburn efforts was better organized in the main as Aaron McDonald and Jack McMullan led the way on the counter attack. Points apiece from Denvir Taggart and Declan Burns followed to ensure a 0-05 to 0-01 lead at the 25th minute.
The Lisburn side looked in control as the opening period neared conclusion but St Agnes were just about to hit back and when a well-directed David Quigley cross field delivery fell kindly for Ronan Carroll to dispatch to the back of the net, Kieran Mc Coy’s charges were back in the contest and just a point in arrears.
St Patrick’s made strong response after the ‘major’ blow and late points delivered in turn by Ben Mc Mullan, Francis Mc Meel and the hard grafting Eoin Fay saw them earn an 0-08 to 1-01 interval advantage.
St Agnes did alter formation in the second half and the introduction of Dan Crummie in the forward department was proving a positive development.
The new man was looking lively in a more attack focused Aggies but the Lisburn defensive unit were coping and continuing to hit on the counter.
Aaron Mc Donald, Mark Chennek, and the pace laden Eoin Fay led the way and points from the ever accurate Francis Mc Meel and Ben Mc Mullan saw them at 0-10 to 1-01 at the end of the third quarter.
The Lisburn lads looked in complete charge as the last quarter progressed but the Aggies were not about to lose focus and back to back points from the impressive, strong running Ronan Carroll saw them just a score in arrears.
Carroll was stationed as a corner forward, wearing thirteen but was occupying a free running role to effect and the St Agnes men were closing the gap as St Patrick’s were now reduced to a 0-10 to 1-04 lead and questions were being asked as their opponents seemed rejuvenated.
The next period was to prove end to end stuff as openings were created but spurned in turn as defenses reigned until a well-organised counter attack involving Jack Mc Mullan, Mark Chennek and Tiernan O’ Malley ended with Josh McMullan firing over.
McMullan had shaken off the close attentions of Diarmuid Kelly to fire between the posts and when Francis McMeel stepped forward to dispatch a 60th minute free kick over the bar the die seemed cast.
The Lisburn men had gone 0-12 to 1-04 ahead and looked in the calm waters of safety.
The Aggies returned fire as ‘injury time’ progressed but a close range free from Declan Crummie whizzed just over the crossbar when the replacement had goal in mind and the score was negated within a minute as the ever accurate Francis Mc Meel replied for St Patrick’s to send them through to the Junior Final where they will meet the winners of Glenravel and O’Donnell’s.
St Patrick’s Lisburn: Peter O’ Neill, Aaron Mc Donald, Thomas Burns, Jack Mc Mullan, Mark Chenneck, Tiernan O’ Malley, Eoin Fay (0-01), Mark Torbitt, Tomas Fay, Ben Mc Mullan (0-02), Declan Burns (0-01), Denvir Taggart (0-01), Conor Dixon (0-01), Josh Mc Mullan (0-02), Francis Mc Meel (0-05)
Patrick Saunders for C Dixon
Paul Law for T Fay
Martin Kennedy for D Burns
Peter Casey for P Saunders (black card)
Daniel Gartland for D Burns
St Agnes: Colm Carroll, Matthew Carland, Diarmuid Kelly, Cormac Flannery, Neil Gillespie, Michael Mc Killop, Fiontan Mc Bride, Conal Turley, Conor Mc Clean, David Quigley, Mark Caldwell (0-01), Conor Gilligan (0-01), Ronan Carroll (1-02), Cormac Mc Bride, James Halloran
Declan Crummie for J O’Halloran
Emmett O’ Hagen for M Caldwell (black card)
Patrick Caldwell for D Quigley
Referee Jarlath O’ Donnell (Con Magee’s)