Under-21 B Football Championship (semi-final)
St Ergnat’s Moneyglass 4-06 All Saint’s Ballymena 0-09
A 53rdminute goal from corner-back Peter McCormick, his second of the game ensured that Moneyglass claimed a place in the under-21 B championship final at the expense of a wasteful All Saint’s at wet and windy Crumlin on Saturday afternoon.
McCormick having grabbed a ‘major’ in the opening period followed suit late in the game as he joined in a well organised counter attack at a time when the Ballymena side were threatening a comeback, to perform the coup de grace.
Little separated the sides in the opening exchanges and they were tied at 0-02 apiece at the end of the opening quarter.
A stiff breeze which carried unrelenting rain swept across the artificial surface from the outset and on a slippery pitch positive finishing was proving a problem for both sides.
AllSaint’s took the lead in the 3rd minute as Brendan McDonnell raised a white flag with mid-fielder Michael McLaughlin replying in kind at the other end within a minute.
Shea O’ Brian followed with a 6th minute pointed free to see the Ballymena boys nip ahead again and when a Ben Hamill reply was quick to follow in a lively opening phase the shivering attendance probably anticipated more of the same to follow.
AllSaint’s, having started the semi-final positively had the better of the chances in the early exchanges but their finishing let them down time after time.
The Ballymena side’s bye ball tally increased as the opening quarter reached conclusion and when another approach was halted with the intervention of the Moneyglass full back Sean Kelly he was quick to initiate a counter strike which concluded with a 16th minute goal.
The approach started by the full-back was passed through the hands of Tiernan Duffin, and Jack McCoy before being transferred to over-lapping corner-back Peter McCormick who fired to the back of the net.
Moneyglass had nipped into a 2-02 to 0-02 advantage but back came the Ballymena boys as Matthew Downey’s intervention at the back opened the way for the hard working Brendan McDonnell to grab a point.
The corner man, who was to put in an excellent shift was unerring with his finish from the left side but despite making back to back approaches in the next couple of minutes both opportunities were wasted.
Moneyglass were proving much more efficient in their finishing and such was underlined in their next attack as Jack McCoy raised a flag from out on the left in the 24th minute before Conal Prenter followed quickly with another to put some more daylight between the sides.
TheSt Ergnat’s lads were certainly on the march as the short whistle approached and another Jack McCoy point emanating from a Sean Kelly interception and a Michael McLaughlin assist saw them move 2-05 to 0-03 ahead.
In contrast to their opponents, All Saints had a number of openings in the latter stages but finishing was proving a problem and despite good approach play their best efforts came to nothing as the bye ball tally mounted and at the half way mark Moneyglass led by eight points
The second half commenced with the rain missing from the blustery breeze and with a couple of early scores from All Saints as the hard grafting Brendan Mc Donnell and Shea O’ Brien reduced the deficit.
Moneyglass made addition to their tally in the 37th minute as Patrick McCormick made progress on the right hand side to finish in style but the All Saint’s lads were quick to reply. A foul on Brendan McDonnell opened the way for Shea O’ Brien to dispatch the 35 metre award directly between the posts and the lead had been reduced to six once more.
As play entered the last quarter Moneyglass looked in control but All Saints began to dominate possession at this stage and a 45th minute point from Brendan McDonnell served notice that the Ballymena side were still not out of it.
Unfortunatelytheir finishing continued to let them down and they were struck another devastating blow when Eamon Kelly and Michael McLaughlin combined to place Dermot McErlain in the clear and the latter rounded his marker to plant the leather in the back of the net and put his side eight in front.
All Saints kept plugging away however and a good build up culminated in a Shea O’Brien point to get them going again. They continued to press and their build up play was impressive enough but it wasn’t being matched by their finishing.
Moneyglass keeper Gary Murray was called on to make a couple of saves in the latter stages and when Peter McCormick was on hand to finish a smart counter attack to the net at the other end it was all over.
All Saint’s fought to the end but a 30th minute Shea O’ Brien point was all they could muster and St. Ergnat’s were good value in the end for their 4-06 to 0-09 win and will meet the winners of Monday night’s other semi-final between Glenravel and Lamh Dhearg in the final.
Moneyglass:Gary Murray, Dermot Scullion, Sean Kelly, Peter McCormick (2-00), Pat Mc Cormick 0-1, Paul Tohill, Eamon Kelly, Tiernan Duffin, Michael Mc Laughlin (0-01), Jack Mc Coy (0-02), Ronan Graham, Ben Hamill (0-01), Gavin Murray, Conal Prenter (0-01), Dermot McErlean (2-00).
Enda Duffin for D Mc Erlean
Michael Martin for Dermot Scullion
All Saint’s: Emmett McAllister, Matthew Downey, Padraig Magill, Conor O’Neill, Kavan Keenan, Rhys O’Mullan, Anthony Mc Avoy, Luke O’ Rawe (0-01), Jim McDonnell, Conor O’ Rawe, Shea O’ Brien (0-04), Brendan Mc Donnell (0-04), Connell Lemon
Ciaran O’Boyle for Conor O’Rawe
Eoin Walsh for Kavan Keenan
RayMc Kenna for M Downey