Oisín CLG Glenariffe 2-10 Naomh Éanna 3-19
By Liam Tunney@UnitUpdates
A fearsome Naomh Éanna scoring display, led by the imperious John McGoldrick, ended Glenariffe’s interest in the Andersonstown Social Club Antrim IHC this afternoon at St Paul’s.
McGoldrick may have been at the forefront of the Hightown attack with 0-08, but he was joined on the score sheet by no less than nine of his team-mates in a quite incredible spread of scorers. Oisín’s on the other hand relied mostly on the individual brilliance of Alex O’Boyle who ended the game with 1-03 to his name.
Terence McNaughton’s side played with the aid of a strong breeze in the first half, a breeze that extended McGoldrick’s already lengthy range and the Division 2 champions built up a healthy lead in the opening half and despite the Glens side battling back well in the second half, the Glengormley men always had an answer and were comfortable in the end.
McGoldrick had opened the scoring with a brace of points, one from either 45m line, before Alex O’Boyle hit back with a brace of his own to leave matters all square after 9 minutes.
With Oisín’s struggling to clear the ball in the face of a brisk breeze, Naomh Éanna capitalised with a Ruairí Donaghy point before they hit the first major of the day, Philly Curran poking home at the second opportunity after Seanan McToal had uncharacteristically spilled a high ball in his own box.
Glenariffe hit back straight away however as Alex O’Boyle swept home the sliotar following a surging Dan McKillop run through the heart of the St Enda’s defence.
Affronted by the concession of the goal, Naomh Éanna rattled off four points in as many minutes as Manus Mullan, Eddie O’Connor and a further McGoldrick brace opened up a six-point deficit.
An Alex O’Boyle free temporarily lifted the siege but a further three-point burst from McGoldrick (2) and an on-the-run finish from Joe Maskey followed as the Hightown side tightened their grip on the game.
O’Boyle and McGoldrick traded frees in first half stoppage time to leave the North coast side eight points adrift at the short whistle.
Oisín’s full back Randal McDonnell opened the second period with a huge free from inside his own 45m line and the score sparked a period of Glenariffe dominance as Naomh Éanna adjusted to playing into the breeze.
However, the Glens men could not make their purple patch count and hit three costly wides before McGoldrick split the posts up the other end. Dan McKillop again raised faint hopes of a comeback with a strong run and point down the left flank, but in the 41st minute the game was ended as a contest.
Tenacity from Killian Jennings ensured a wayward ball stayed in play along the end line and he recycled it back to Eddie O’Connor. O’Connor sent a pass zipping crossfield into the hand of Matthew O’Hare who applied the finish and sealed the win.
In the following minute, O’Boyle saw a 21m free saved on the line, the forward going low in a desperate effort to haul his side back into the game, but Naomh Éanna worked the sliotar back up the field for Killian Jennings to hit his side’s third goal of the afternoon.
Now trailing by fourteen points, Glenariffe were awarded a penalty. Alex O’Boyle wriggled free of his man and was upended unceremoniously by goalkeeper Martin Curran in the six-yard box. A shaken O’Boyle then watched in frustration as his strike was turned away by Curran for a 65 that Randal McDonnell converted.
Oisín’s did manage a goal in the 46th minute, Paul McDonnell letting fly from 30 yards and watching his effort find Curran’s net via an outstretched Naomh Éanna hurl and when Seamus McDonnell plucked the sliotar from the sky to point there was a murmur of hope from the assembled Oisín’s support.
Eddie O’Connor did his best to quell the optimism by taking a short ball to point for Naomh Éanna only for O’Boyle to fire over a free in response, before Fermanagh’s Ryan Bogue traded minors with Paul McDonnell.
That would prove to be Oisín’s final score as McNaughton’s men saw out the final minutes of the second half much like they had the first, a host of late scores from Joe Maskey, an Eddie O’Connor brace and a neat point from substitute Ruairí Crummey.
A thoroughly impressive performance from Naomh Éanna in this Semi-Final without really being forced into top gear. They played in bursts and managed the game well, maintaining the established gap between the sides.
They’ll now turn their attention to a final with Carey Faughs, having watched the other Semi-Final’s action from their perch on the St Paul’s balcony.
Oisín CLG: Seanan McToal, Michael Haughey, Randal McDonnell (0-01f, 0-01 – 65), Kieran McKendry, Shane O’Connor, Michael Gettens, Daniel Haughey, Caolan O’Connor, Aaron Cosgrove, Thomas Quinn, Conor McAllister, Dan McKillop (0-01), Conor Patterson (0-01), Paul McDonnell (1-01), Alex O’Boyle (1-00, 0-03f).
Subs: Seamus McDonnell (0-01) for Conor Patterson 22’, Alex McDonnell for Thomas Quinn 45’, Patrick Burns for Aaron Cosgrove 46’, Oliver Kearney for Conor McAllister 56’.
Naomh Éanna: Martin Curran, Niall O’Connor, Rian Gillan, Ruairí Diamond, Cormac Ross, Mark Donaghy, Joe Maskey (0-02), Ryan Bogue (0-01), Ruairí Donaghy (0-02), Philly Curran (1-00), Manus Mullan (0-01), Eddie O’Connor (0-03), John McGoldrick (0-01, 0-07f), Matthew O’Hare (1-00), Killian Jennings (1-00).
Subs: Ruairí Crummey (0-01) for Killian Jennings 57’.
Referee: Darren McKeown (Naomh Gall)