St. Gall’s keep qualification hopes alive

Reserve Football Cup

St Mary’s 0:09

St Gall’s 1:18

By Eamonn Shanks

St. Gall’s kept their qualification hopes alive when they travelled to Aghagallon on Friday night and recorded a good win over the local St. Mary’s. This win leaves the Milltown side four points behind leaders Portglenone and two behind Lamh Dhearg but they have two games in hand over the Casements and one to Lamh Dhearg.

Michael Hopkins opened the scoring for the visitors and it was quickly followed by Niall Burn’s first, and best, point of the evening – he rose to make a clean catch and turned in one movement to put the visitors two points to the good. Pauric Maginnis linked well with Fintan Campbell and the corner forward registered the host’s first score. Even at this early stage Niall Burns was causing a lot of problems for the home defence with his movement, he got his second point but St Mary’s then enjoyed a good spell and drew level with points from Dan Hannon and a Fintan Campbell free. 

Oisin Crawford, put the hosts in front again and with their noses in front Burns got a brace, one from a free and one from play. Any hopes of a second revival by the Aghagallon men was thwarted when Conn Doherty got the visitor’s goal, he collected a pass at the back post, cut inside to beat his marker and drove hard and low beyond Sean Branagan. Boyed by this St Gall’s added points through Burns, Delaney, Bradley and Hopkins with St Mary’s only reply before the break coming from Campbell.

At the start of the second half Aghagallon carved open their best chance of the evening, Benji Hannon closed down on goal but Naill Mc Curdy in the St Gall’s goal did well to close him down and from close range deflected the shot over the bar. Daniel Hannon pulled another back but this young St Gall’s team again took control, Burns equalled his first half tally with another five points, and was joined on the score sheet by Hopkins, Delaney, and Eoghan Mc Curdy who ventured forward and with a half chance at goal opted for power lifting his shot high and over the bar.

The introduction of Niall and Daire Mc Shane did give the home team more shape and the brothers grabbed a point a piece either side of Dan Hannon’s third of the evening.

One recurring factor on the evening was the number of players who fell foul of referee John Moran for not wearing their gum shield, the official was consistent in dealing with it but the players didn’t catch on with several yellow cards issued.

St Mary’s would like to thank The Derryhirk Inn for the continued sponsorship of their reserve team and the new shirts worn for the first time in this match.

St Mary’s: S Branagan, C Mc Kavanagh, A Doherty, R Mulholland, K Hamill, C Mc Grath, S Branagan, P Maginnis, P Tallon, C Henry, D Marshall, B Hannon (0:01),

F Campbell (0:03 1f), D Hannon (0:03 1f), A Shanks

N Mc Shane (0:01 1f) for D Marshall, D Mc Shane (0:01), Max Thomas

St Gall’s: N Mc Curdy, P Loughran, C Ferguson, E Mc Curdy (0:01), O Crawford (0:01), C Ryan, C Mc Cabe, K Cruikshank, C Chada, M Hopkins (0:03), N Burns (0:10 3f),

O Mc Donald, O Delaney (0:01), C Doherty (1:00), K Bradley (0:01)

D Delaney (0:01) for O Delaney, F Donnelly for M Hopkins, C Bradley for P Loughran, E Burke for K Cruikshank

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