ValueCabs Beringer Cup
St John’s 2-18-2-09 St Brigid’s (AET)
By Kevin Herron from Colaiste Feirste
St John’s advanced to the semi-final of the ValueCabs Beringer Cup after a 2-18-2-09 win over St Brigid’s in a keenly contested quarter-final at Colaiste Feirste on Wednesday evening.
The Whiterock men were in driving seat and looked to be in control – until Peter Henvey rifled home from the spot and then added a second goal with little over five minutes remaining to give St Brigid’s the lead for the first time.
St John’s would regain the lead by injury-time, though a converted free from Shane Boyle ensured extra-time. Darragh McCallin effectively sealed victory for his side within the first five minutes – rifling to the net twice as his side ran out nine-point winners.
The Johnnies were quickest out of the blocks and back to back points from Aidan McMahon inside the first three minutes had the Whiterock side in the ascendancy.
By the tenth minute St John’s were 0-03-0-00 to the good after Shea Shannon popped the ball to Darragh McCallin who shot between the posts.
Sean Wilson then conjured up a fine score from an acute angle shortly after – St Brigid’s eventually responded midway through the opening half as Shane Boyle’s shot sailed high between the posts.
With little action in front of his goal in the opening twenty minutes, St John’s goalkeeper Matthew Leydon decided to join the attack and looked as though he was about to extend his sides lead – his effort was blocked though and Shea Shannon fed Donal Moran who ensured the Leydon’s adventure into the attack was not in vein.
Darragh McCallin doubled his account for the half after a neat pass from Ryan Pedan though St Brigid’s hit back with only their second score of the half through Gerard Henvey as the Musgrave Park men appeared to be trouble, trailing 0-06-0-02 at the break.
St John’s increased their lead through a Donal Moran point three minutes after the restart – but within two minutes St Brigid’s had a route back into the game.
Peter Henvey slipped in Gerard Henvey who picked out Conor Lenoard, Leonard pulled the trigger and saw his shot blocked – though referee Joe Sloan felt it was by a foot and signalled for a penalty.
Peter Henvey claimed responsibility and his staggered run-up deceived Matthew Leydon as Henvey rifled low to the bottom corner to put two-points between the sides, 0-07-1-02.
Donal Moran converted a free in response – though St Brigid’s substitutes Niall George fed John McGuckian who fired accurately between the posts to make it a two-point game once more.
Shane Boyle claimed his second point of the game to reduce the deficit to the minimum – St John’s should have put five between the sides midway through the second-half.
Within sixty seconds of converting a second successive free; Donal Moran bore down on goal, but was denied by St Brigid’s shot stopper Stephen Morrissey – the move was kept alive and Darragh McCallin popped the ball over the bar for his third point of the evening to stretch his sides lead, 0-10-1-04.
Peter Henvey popped the ball over the bar in response and with six minutes remaining the St Brigid’s number eight rifled to the net to edge his side ahead for the first time, 2-05-0-10.
St John’s refused to panic though and levelled through a converted Darragh McCallin free and regained the lead sixty seconds later through Ryan Pedan.
The Johnnies failed to see the game out however and a late free gave Shane Boyle the chance to force extra-time – Boyle obliged and shot over the bar from the resulting kick to ensure an extra twenty minutes of play at Colaiste Feirste as the sides were tied 2-06-0-12 at the conclusion.
St John’s seized control of the game inside the first five minutes of the first period of extra-time. Darragh McCallin rifled past Stephen Morrissey inside the first two minutes and within three minutes Sean Wilson slipped McCallin through for a well taken second to move their side 2-12-2-06 in front.
Gerard Henvey combined with Luke McKeever to conjure up a response to McCallin’s quick-fire double.
The sides traded further points through McCallin and Shane Boyle – but at the midway point in extra-time St John’s were 2-14-2-08 ahead with Oisin Donnelly firing between the posts with the last action of the first period.
Ruairi Galbraith increased St John’s lead midway through the second period and Donal Moran then shot between the posts – there was a hint of comedy about what happened next as the floodlights went off at the Beechmount venue and it appeared as though the action had ended. But the final minutes were played out as light was restored and St John’s added two points to St Brigid’s one as the Whiterock side progressed to the last four with a 2-18-2-09 win.
In Wednesday evenings other ValueCabs Beringer Cup quarter-final it was McDermott Cup winners St Galls who were the first team to advance to the last four – courtesy of a 3-11-0-05 win over St Agnes’.
St John’s: M Leydon, B Moore, C Hanna, A McMahon (0-02), O Donnelly (0-01), J Garland, C Morgan, B McFall, R Pedan (0-01), S Wilson (0-01), D McCallin (2-05, 0-01f), S Shannon, D Moran (0-05, 0-02f), R Galbraith (0-01). Subs: E Grieve for B Moore (31 mins).
St Brigid’s: S Morrissey, J Herbert, M Donnelly, R Daly, J McKeever, A Brennan, P Finnegan, P Henvey (2-02, 1-00f), E McKeever, G Henvey (0-01), C Lenoard, L McKeever, R Gallon, S Boyle (0-03, 0-01f), B McMahon. Subs: N George for E McKeever (23 mins), C Moan for J Herrbert (31 mins), John McGuckian (0-01) for L McKeever (43 mins).
Referee: Joe Sloan (O’Donnell’s)