All County U16B Football league final
Lamh Dhearg 1-02-2-07 St Ergnat’s Moneyglass
By Kevin Herron at Musgrave Park
Photographs: Bert Trowlen
Moneyglass lifted the all-county U-16 B title at Musgrave Park this afternoon after a strong opening half saw them out score Lamh Dhearg 2-05-1-00.
Goals from Shay Madden and Seanie McIntosh – either side of Daire McArdle’s strike had Ergnat’s in the box seat.
Lamh Dhearg were second best in the opening half but came out swinging in the second-half though Moneyglass kept the back door closed -converted frees from Conor Smyth saw him level the second-half scoring but ultimately St Ergnat’s were deserving victors over the course of the sixty minutes.
Both sides began the game nervously as Kieran Fay-Kelly and Conor Smyth shot wide for Lamh Dhearg and Aidan McErlain shot inches past the post at the other end.
The breakthrough arrived after six-minutes at a rain swept Musgrave Park as Tiernan Murray converted a free and McErlain atoned for his earlier miss with an excellent score to double his sides lead.
With eight minutes on the clock Moneyglass hit the opening goal of the encounter – Ergnat’s turned over Aodh Tumelty’s kick-out and the ball was threaded into the path of midfielder Shay Madden who confidently rifled low to the net to give his side a 1-02-0-00 lead.
Daire Cunningham saw his shot gathered by Rory Gribbon in the St Ergnat’s goal and Kieran Fay-Kelly saw his free drift wide as the Hannahstown sides frustrating start continued.
Moneyglass on the other hand were brimming with confidence and increased their lead through a point from goal scorer Madden, a converted Tyler Cassidy free and follow-up point from the corner-forward to increase his sides lead to eight midway through the opening half, 1-05-0-00.
Lamh Dhearg finally broke through the St Ergnat’s defence with six minutes of the first-half remaining – Ciaran. Boyd looked as though he was about to try his luck but opted for a lay-off to Daire Cunningham who spotted Daire McArdle unmarked at the back post and McArdle tucked the ball to the net to give his side a lifeline.
It was a short lived lifeline however as St Ergnat’s restored their eight point lead at the interval – a superb pass inside from Aidan McErlain was turned home by Seanie McIntosh to put his side 2-05-1-00 ahead at the break.
Scores were at a premium in the second period – Lamh Dhearg opened the second half scoring through a converted Conor Smyth free, after Conor O’Kane and Tiernan Murray both passed up scoring opportunities for St Ergnat’s.
Tyler Cassidy responded with his third point of the afternoon and it took almost a quarter of an hour before the next score arrived.
In that time Lamh Dhearg pushed heavily for a route back into the game – Kieran Fay-Kelly bore down on goal but saw his venomous drive palmed away to safety.
Conor Smyth almost doubled his tally for the day but watched his shot drop inches wide of the post – Michael Braniff and captain Daire Cunningham were also knocking at the door but couldn’t find a way past a well- oiled Moneyglass defensive unit.
Seanie McIntosh ended a fourteen minutes scoreless period with a fine point to end his sides second half scoring – Conor Smyth responded with a second converted free which proved to be the final score of the game and at the conclusion it was St Ergnat’s who celebrated all-county success which was presented by Terry Reilly from the Antrim county board.
Lamh Dhearg: A Tumelty, T McKenna, F Mervyn, C Rogan, N McGarry, D Murray, L Clarke, A McCloskey, C Smyth (0-02f), D Cunningham, K Fay-Kelly, D McArdle (1-00), C Goss, M Braniff, C Boyd.
St Ergnat’s: R Gribbon, J Totten, H O’Donnell, J Jennings, J Logan, T Murray (0-01f), J McCormick, S Madden (1-01), F Duffin, R Duffin, C O’Kane, T McCormick, S McIntosh (1-01), A McErlain (0-01), T Cassidy (0-03, 0-01f).
Referee: Paul Burns ( St Comgalls).