South Antrim GAA
ValueCabs Beringer Cup – preliminary round
Davitts 2-12-1-03 St Pauls
By Kevin Herron at Colaiste Feirste
Davitts were comfortable 2-12-1-03 winners over St Pauls in this evenings preliminary round of the ValueCabs Beringer Cup at Colaiste Feirste.
Goals either side of the break from Daniel Largey helped Davitts on their way – with Liam McLarnon claiming St Pauls goal from the spot.
It was the Shaws a Road side who hit the front two minutes in through a converted Niall McStravick free – Davitts responded from the same scenario through Aaron Slane and edged ahead on the fifth minute as Stephen Toner picked out Daniel Largey who shot over the bar to make it 0-02-0-01.
The Falls Road men increased their lead as Anthony Rowntree slipped in Largey whose shot crashed off the large post and over the bar.
St Pauls were almost in for a 7th minute goal as Niall Ward picked out Conall Finnegan who shot over the bar under pressure from Gearoid Cosgrove.
It would prove to be St Pauls final score of the half as Davitts seized control of the preliminary round clash.
Aaron Slane converted his second free of the half to restore his sides two-point lead, though at the other end; Liam McLarnon watched in frustration as his shot whistled inches wide of the target just before the midway point in the half.
Niall Hughes played a superb one-two with Aaron Slane and conjured up a fine point and on 16 minutes the opening goal arrived.
Aaron Slane switched the play to Anthony Rowntree who in turn slipped in Daniel Largey and Largey confidently rifled past Kiefer Toolan in the St Pauls goal to give Davitts a 1-05-0-02 lead.
Anthony Rowntree grabbed a deserved score to increase his sides lead six minutes later, Aaron Slane converted his third free and just before the interval Stephen Toner combined with Daniel Largey for a second time and the corner-forward added to his goal and two points to give his side a 1-08-0-02 lead at the break.
St Paul’s needed a lively start to the second-half and three minutes after the interval they were handed a lifeline as referee Mark McDonald spotted a push on Liam McLarnon and signalled for a penalty.
McLarnon took responsibility and rifled low to the corner of the net past Gearoid Cosgrove to reduce the deficit to six-points, 1-08-1-02.
The Shaws Road side failed to seize the momentum from McLarnon’s penalty however and on 37 minutes Davitts restored their nine-point lead – Anthony Rowntree slipped in Ryan Park whose shot was parried by Kiefar Toolan and the loose ball broke to Daniel Largey who shot to the net to give his side a 2-08-1-02 lead.
Things almost got worse for St Paul’s within a minute as substitute Alan Rainey burst through and his shot crashed off the underside of the crossbar and out to safety.
Frustration increased as McLarnon and Niall McStravick were both off target from placed balls and Davitts increased their lead instead through points from Rainey and midfielder Ryan Park to make it 2-10-1-02.
Daniel Largey almost claimed his third goal after a fine popped pass from Christopher Rafferty released the corner-forward, Largey saw his shot blocked but claimed a point from the follow-up effort.
St Pauls final score of the evening arrived five minutes from time as Liam McLarnon fed Niall Ward jnr for a point – the final say belonged to Davitts sharpshooter Aaron Slane who saved his best free of the evening until the end with an excellent effort that sailed over the bar to give his side a 2-12-1-03 win at the conclusion and set-up a quarter-final clash with St Malachy’s next Friday evening.
Davitts: G Cosgrove, C Harkin, P Maguire, T O’Neill, N Hughes (0-01), N McParland, J Lindsay, A Rowntree (0-01), R Park (0-01), C Rafferty, A Slane (0-04f), S Toner, D Largey (2-04), R McEvoy, P Arkerton. Subs: D Rainey (0-01) for R McEvoy (31 mins), A McLaughlin for R Park (48 mins).
St Pauls: K Toolan, A Kavanagh, K Gallagher, C Finnegan (0-01), C O’Hanlon, P Copland, D Martin, J Bowman, M Connolly, D Chapman, N Ward (0-01), N McStravick (0-01f), A Finnegan, L McLarnon (1-00f), P Magee. Subs: P Doyle for P Magee (19 mins), S Rooney for C Finnegan (36 mins).
Referee: Mark McDonald (St Galls).