Intermediate Football Championship
St Ergnat’s, Moneyglass 2-19 Dunloy, Cuchullains 1-15
Brendan McTaggart reports from Páirc Uí Cheallaigh, Portglenone
Two goals from Conaill Prenter and a man of the match performance from Colm Duffin ensured St Ergnat’s lived up to their pre-match billing as favourites. The Moneyglass side saw off the challenge of Dunloy with seven points to spare at the end of a hugely entertaining hour of football that would make for a statisticians dream.
12. The number of minutes it took Moneyglass to score 2-6 in the first half in a purple patch that effectively won them the game. The Cuchullains managed just one point in the same time.
13. The number of minutes between Dunloy scores in the first half as Moneyglass made their way to a seven point half time lead.
9. The magic number for Colm Duffin. Nine shots on goal, nine white flags raised and just three frees.
3. The number of minutes between the two majors scored by Conaill Prenter in the first half and the number of wides Moneyglass hit over the 60 minutes. Efficient.
It was a hugely efficient and at times, breath-taking performance from the St Ergnat’s men in the first half. They attacked at speed, with precision and with devastating results. The Cuchullains made a bright start and after Seán Elliott’s ninth minute goal, they held a three point lead.
Moneyglass and Colm Duffin had different ideas however. The speed of Jack McCoy and Peter McCormick coming from deep while Dermot McErlain and Conaill Prenter wreaked havoc. They went for the jugular and turned a three point deficit into a nine point lead just before half time.
Dunloy were much better after the restart with Keelan Molloy excellent throughout. The dual star finished with five points beside his name on the list of scorers while Conal Cunning’s four points all came from frees. Midway through the second half they had cut the Moneyglass lead to three points and raised hopes of performing a Lazarus like recovery in Páirc Uí Cheallaigh but Moneyglass didn’t panic. With Colm Duffin, Patrick McCormick and substitute Kevin Marron instrumental, Moneyglass sealed progression with a hugely impressive performance.
This one took a while to get on fire and the first score didn’t come until the fourth minute, a Colm Duffin free putting Moneyglass ahead before Conor McKinley restored parity with a fine score from the right hand side. The first major came three minutes later with the Elliott brothers combining with devastating effect. Nigel passing to Seán who used his blistering pace to speed past the would be Moneyglass challenges before finding the bottom corner of Mark Carey’s net.
St Ergnat’s replied with a brace of white flags from Colm Duffin and while Coby Cunning’s first free of the match restored the Dunloy two point lead, Moneyglass and Conaill Prenter took over. Jimmy McMeel lead the break before finding Paul Tohill. The Moneyglass man passed square to the charging Prenter and his palmed the ball to the back of Sean Doherty’s net in the 13th minute.
Sean Kelly left his sweeping duties to split the uprights shortly after and Moneyglass were making the most of their superiority, scoring their second major in the 16th minute. Dermot McErlain with the break through the Dunloy defence and passing to Prenter who timed his run to perfection once again before palming the ball to the net.
Colm Duffin and Conor Boyd split the posts to put seven between the sides in the 18th minute. A devastating turnaround that had the Cuchullains reeling. Kevin Marron’s first of the match in the 22nd minute made it 2-6 in 12 minutes and giving the St Ergnat’s men control of the tie.
The Cuchullains finished the half well with Keelan Molloy and Cunning (free) reducing the St Ergnat’s lead to seven points at the short whistle.
Half time: Moneyglass 2-8 Dunloy 1-4
The Cuchullains needed a fast start to the second half and when Molloy and Aaron Crawford split the posts with barely two minutes after the restart, it was four points unanswered. It could have been more had Crawford spotted the run of Gillan in the middle but he settled for a fisted point to maintain the Cuchullains push.
Colm Duffin scored Moneyglass’ first of the second half with his sixth white flag and fifth from play settled his side into the tie once again and despite the constant pressure from the Cuchullains, Moneyglass used their pace to break with Colm Duffin, McErlain, Patrick McCormick and McCoy all influential.
Gillan and Molloy fired over in response to a brace from Colm Duffin (one free) and Paul Tohill but Dunloy began to turn the screw in their favour. Seán Elliott and Molloy splitting the uprights before McErlain fired over his first of the match. A brace of frees from Gillan and Cunning got Dunloy firing again and reignited hopes of making a dramatic comeback with three points separating the sides after 15 minutes of the second half.
Moneyglass were making the most of the gaps appearing in the Dunloy defence however with Marron (two) and Duffin taking the St Ergnat’s lead to six once again. Gillan and Cunning frees was the Dunloy response but they were going to need goals and the Moneyglass defence wasn’t yielding any space for the Cuchullains to reap from while they continued to counter with the desired effect.
Colm Duffin’s ninth point of the night was followed by white flags from Patrick McCormick and McCoy and while McKinley’s shot was deflected over in injury time, Moneyglass and McCormick had the final say, splitting the uprights in the fifth minute of time added on to give St Ergnat’s a seven point win and book a meeting with neighbours Tír na nÓg in the quarter-final.
Moneyglass: Mark Carey; Sean Kelly, Tiarnan Duffin, Peter McCormick; jack McCoy, Conor Boyd, Eamon Kelly; Colm Duffin, Dermot McErlain; Jimmy McMeel, Paul Tohill, Patrick McCormick; Conaill Prenter, Seanchann Duffin, Gavin Murray.
Subs: Kevin Marron for S Duffin (11); Jervis Weir for C Boyd (49); Liam Brady for D McErlain (59).
Scorers: Colm Duffin 0-9 (3 f’s); Conaill Prenter 2-00; Kevin Marron 0-3; Patrick McCormick 0-2; Dermot McErlain 0-1; Sean Kelly 0-1; Jack McCoy 0-1; Conor Boyd 0-1; Paul Tohill 0-1.
Dunloy: Sean Doherty; Conor Kinsella, Karl O’Kane, Aaron Crawford; Cathaoir McGuigan, Gabriel McTaggart, Callum Scullion; Keelan Molloy, Conor McKinley; Nigel Elliott, Karl Fitzpatrick, Shane Dooey; Seán Elliott, Caolan Gillan, Conal Cunning.
Subs: Ryan McGarry for G McTaggart (19); Kevin McAllister for K Fitzpatrick (30); Jamie McFerran for C Scullion (36); Aidy Scullion for K O’Kane (43); Anthony Smith for C Gillan (60).
Scorers: Keelan Molloy 0-5; Conal Cunning 0-4 (4 f’s); Seán Elliott 1-1; Conor McKinley 0-2; Caolan Gillan 0-2 (2 f’s); Aaron Crawford 0-1
Referee: Karol Doherty (Rasharkin)