Ardoyne qualify for semis despite defeat

Creagh Concrete Minor B Football Championship

Ardoyne 5-10 Glenavy 5-16

Pics by Brian McKee

St. Joseph’s went into this game knowing that they needed to beat Ardoyne by at least 10 points in order to proceed into the semi-final of the Minor Football B Championship. In their first year back into competition at minor level, Ardoyne faced them with some confidence after being undefeated in their first three league games. The scene was set for a titanic struggle at Fennell Park, and we were not to be disappointed.

With both teams looking to book a place in the semi-finals, Ardoyne started on the front foot with Eoghan Corrigan taking the first point of the game, but St. Joseph’s scored 2 goals in quick succession to take a 5 point lead. Ardoyne made several changes to steady the defence, but St. Joseph’s maintained the pressure on the North Belfast men and led Ardoyne by a the large margin of 13 points at half-time.

Half-time score: Glenavy 4-8 – Ardoyne 1-4

With Ardoyne needing to get themselves back into the game, Sean Brown was introduced and despite coming back from injury, his free taking was to prove vital in rejuvenating the struggling Ardoyne team. With relentless pressure coming from Glenavy, goals were soon to be crucial for Ardoyne to pull this game back, and they duly delivered four of them in the second half, from Fionntan Campbell, Ruari Gallagher, Gérard Wylie and the on-form Sean Brown.

While Ardoyne closed the gap, they couldn’t keep St. Joseph’s at bay for long as the Glenavy team kicked a further goal and 8 points, all coming from play.  Ardoyne kept in touch though and closed the gap to  9 points.  An exciting and nail-biting final quarter saw a hungry Glenavy side looking to close the game out, but 3 counter attacks by Ardoyne led by Kevin Duffy, resulted in St. Joseph’s lead being reduced to a winning margin of 6 points. The resurgent Ardoyne team finished in second place in the section table on points difference, and now face Con Magee’s, Glenravel in the semi-final.

Referee – Kevin Parke

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