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Aghagallon 2-13 Gort na Móna 0-8
Report and pics by Eamon Shanks
The final score of 2:13 to 0:08 suggests a comfortable win for St Marys and that was the case as the hosts scored their two goals in a blistering opening five minutes.
Gort na Mona got off to a great start, Darren Boyd opened the scoring with a trade mark point and the hosts had a half chance to extend that when a loose ball beat the home defence but net minder Luke Mulholland was alert to made a save with his feet.
However the game was effectively settled as the hosts hit two quick goals. The first was a fantastic solo effort from Eunan Walsh, as he collected the ball, space opened up in front of him and he kept moving forward and when he found himself in shooting distance, he unleashed an unstoppable shot. The second came when his midfield partner Jack Lenehan went on a similar run, this time he picked out a pass to Ruairi Mc Cann who persevered and got his shot away leaving Thomas Mc Caff rooted helplessly as the ball rippled the side netting.
Nially Melany scored the next point but Mc Cann got another to cancel that out and by the time Brendan Tolan signalled for the water break the visitors were left with a mountain to climb and when play resumed it wasn’t made any easier.
Shane Russell, Ryan O Neill, and three from Gareth Magee all score points to leave the half time score 2:05 to 0:02. The Belfast side’s best chance was thwarted by a great double save by Luke Mulholland, denying Padriagh Mc Hugh, initially from close range as the big forward flicked on a long ball and Mulholland recovered well to block the follow up shot. The only blot for the home side was losing Shane Russell to a red card following a verbal exchange with the referee.
As with the first half, the visitors got the opening score, again it was Boyd, this time from a free. Then Ruairi Mc Cann demonstrated how the mark should be taken catching cleanly and signalling his intention before calmly slotting over the bar.
At this stage Darryl Mc Alernon was bossing the game, winning a lot of possession to keep driving the young Aghagallon team on. Eunan Walsh got another point and Ryan O Neill capped a great performance with one from play and a well taken free from wide on the right-hand side.
As both sides emptied the benches Gort na Mona enjoyed their best spell and Darren Boyd added two more points before the second water break. Further changes followed the break and as the game petered out Aghagallon increased their tally with two more Gareth Magee frees.
Gort na Mona had no complaints when they were reduced to 14 men when Aidan Mc Donagh was dismissed. Darren Boyd scored three more points but this impressive personal tally was little consolation.
St MarysLuke Mulholland, Steven Branagan, Daniel Donnelly, Aidan Mulholland, Jamie Lamont, Darryl Mc Alernon, Ryan O Neill (0:03), Jack Lenehan, Eunan Walsh (1:01), Marc Mc Afee, Adam Loughran, Caolan Farr, Gareth Magee (0:05), Ruairi Mc Cann (1:02), Shane Russell (0:01)
Subs Ruairi Loughran (0:01) on for Caolan Farr Aaron Doherty for Aidan Mulholland Callum Fitzpatrick for Eunan Walsh Liam Russell for Gareth Magee
Gort na MonaThomas Mc Caff, Brendan Burns, Tommy Mc Goran, Conor Connolly, David Mc Erlean, Aidan Mc Donagh, Christopher Browning, Caiomh Magee, Conor Browning, Kieran Donnelly, Darren Boyd (0:07), Padraigh Mulvenna, Niall Melany (0:01), Padriagh Mc Hugh, Desi Mc Clean