Moneyglass battle back to defeat Dunloy in thrilling final

Antrim Intermediate Football Championship final

Moneyglass 2-09 Dunloy 1-08

Report by Gary Duffin

Moneyglass staged a fantastic second half comeback to beat Dunloy in Saturday’s thrilling Antrim Intermediate Football final at Dunsilly to clinch the title for the first time since 2004. When they trailed by four at half time last year’s beaten finalists must have felt this was not going to be their day once again, but a brilliant goal from substitute Ryan Doyle within a minute of the restart turned the game on its head and they pushed on to victory.

Paddy McCormick celebrates after scoring the second goal for Moneyglass

Conditions couldn’t have been anymore perfect as all roads led to Dunsilly for the eagerly awaited meeting of South West rivals Moneyglass and Dunloy. The Cuchullains were on a high after retaining the County Senior Hurling crown last weekend and Moneyglass were still smarting from last year’s final defeat to Aldergrove in which they were strongly fancied to win.

Both sides were very evenly matched going through the qualifying group with only a kick of the ball separating both teams when they met in Marrion Hill.

From the throw in Dunloy showed their intent. They came out of the blocks fast and Seaan Elliott had registered their first score within a minute.

They then won the proceeding Moneyglass kickout and worked the ball to full forward Eamon Gillan who doubled Dunloy’s lead.

Disaster then struck when Moneyglass lost their marquee forward Dermot McErlain to a serious knee injury after five minutes but the Marrion Hill men hit back with a point from Colum Duffin.

Dermot McErlain cuts a forlorn figure as he watches the action from the sideline.

Jack McCoy then put the sides level with a fine score as both sides settled into their stride.

Cuchullains edged in front again with two pointed frees from Keelan Molloy and Caolan Gillan but the Blues hit back with one from centre back Conor Boyd.

The game continued with space at a premium and it wasn’t until fifteen minutes later that Kevin Marron equalised for St Ergnats.

However Dunloy weren’t finished for the half with Keelan Molloy putting them ahead again on thirty minutes and then Sean Elliott smashed home a goal to send the Cuchullains into the half time break with a four point advantage.

Seaan Elliott celebrates after scoring Dunloy’s goal just before half time.

This provided the Moneyglass management with some serious questions at half time and they certainly delivered the answers.

Within two minutes of the restart Moneyglass were on level terms with a second point from Kevin Marron and a fantastic goal from Ryan Doyle.

Doyle then added a point to his tally before Dunloy retook the lead with points from Keelan Molloy and Conall Cunning just as the whistle went to give the players a well earned water break.

St Ergnats management went to work again and sent their troops out to battle on the front foot with county star Paddy Mc Cormick knocking over two sublime points to see Moneyglass edge ahead again in this nail biting tussle.

Substitute Ryan Doyle was a real thorn in the side of the Dunloy defenders

Keelan Molloy hit back with a point once again to leave the game on a knife edge with time running out and it looked like it could go either way.

However this year the St Ergnet’s men were not going to be denied and big Seanchann Duffin sent the Moneyglass support wild with a fantastic point from well out the field.

It could still have gone either way but Paddy McCormick then sealed the deal when he got on the end of a wonderful counter attacking move involving the very impressive Conor Boyd and Fearghal Duffin to inflict the fatal blow on Dunloy, his goal expertly finished from a narrow angle.

Dunloy’s Keelan Molloy in action against Moneyglass defender Eamon Kelly

Dunloy battled on bravely but Moneyglass were not going to let it slip and the final whistle saw an outpouring of emotion from their team and its followers as they joined in the celebrations.

Moneyglass had stars all over the field. The Kelly brothers and Conor Boyd who worked tirelessly in defence.  Seanchann Duffin in the middle and goal heroes Ryan Doyle and Paddy McCormick up front.

Dunloy also had big performers in Sean Elliott, Keelan Molloy and Conal Cunning but it was to be a day for  Moneyglass to erase the painful memories of twelve months ago.

Moneyglass players celebrate at the final whistle

Moneyglass

  1. Mark Carey
  2. Peter McCormick
  3. Tiernan Duffin
  4. Eamonn Kelly
  5. 5 Fearghal Duffin
  6. Conor Boyd (0-01)
  7. Jervis Weir
  8. Seanchann Duffin (0-01)
  9. Colum Duffin (0-01)
  10. Paddy McCormick (1-02)
  11. Jimmy McMeel
  12. Dermott McErlain
  13. Jack McCoy (0-01)
  14. Kevin Marron (0-02)
  15. Sean Kelly

Subs Ryan Doyle (1-01), Donal Laverty, Liam Brady

Dunloy

  1.              Stephen McIlroy

2.      Conor Kinsella

3.      Karl O’Kane

4.      Oran Quinn

5.      Aaron Crawford

6.      Callum Scullion

7.      Anton McGrath

8.      Kevin McQuillan

9.      Ryan McFarline

10.    Keelan Molloy (0-04)

11.    Sean Elliott (1-01)

12.    Connall Cunning (0-01)

13.    Ryan McGarry

14.    Caolan Gillan (0-02)

15.    Christopher McMahon

Subs Kevin Mc Allister, Conor McKinley


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