Late Grant double earns Glenavy a share of the spoils

U20 B FC Group 1

St. Joseph’s 0-9 Naomh Padraig 0-9

St Joseph’s Glenavy and Naomh Padraig Lisburn fought out an exciting dra in the opening game of Group 1 of the U20 B Football Championship at Chapel Hill tonight but the visitors will feel that they should have taken both points.

Leading 0-9 to 0-7 after 21 minutes, the visitors chances were further boosted when Glenavy’s Shea O’Neill received a Black card and two minutes later they were denied a goal by St. Joseph’s keeper Lorcan Murphy.

They looked to have edged the contest as they led by a point as the game edged into time added on but Chris Grant struck a late equaliser to earn the Chapel Hill side a share of the spoils.

Eoin Dixon, who was excellent throughout gave Naomh Padraig the lead from a pointed free in the 9th minute with Fergal Henry replying immediately from a Glenavy free. It was nip and tuck throughout the opening half as Niall Dixon for the visitors and Anthony Gallagher for Glenavy exchanged further points to leave it all square for the second time with 11 minutes gone.

The home side then enjoyed a period of ascendancy when Fergal Henry (f) and Tim Honeyford split the posts to move them 0-4 to 0-2 ahead at the first water break but as so often happens, the break came at the right time for the Lisburn side.

Naomh Padraig regrouped with Eoin Dixon pointing two frees to bring his side level by the 22nd minute but two minutes later Naomh Padraig lost Darragh Doherty to a Black card.

Despite being down to 14 men they matched their opponents in the lead up to half time with Aodh O’Neill giving Glenavy the lead and Eoin Dixon replying for the visitors to leave it 0-5 to 0-5 as the half time whistle sounded.

On the restart the game continued to ebb and flow as two evenly matched sides battled for supremacy and Fergal Henry pointed St. Joseph’s ahead after 30 seconds but that man Dixon replied again from a free in the third minute.

Eoin Dixon from a 12th minute free and a great point from Colm Burns from play edged Naomh Padraig two in front after 12 minutes and at this stage the momentum appeared to be swinging their way but substitute Ronan Hill replied for the Chapel Hill side to leave just one in it at the second water break.

The pace never slackened in the final quarter with Adam Patterson’s point in the 21st minute and Ronan Hill’s Black card for Glenavy looking to be enough to give the Lisburn side victory but the final chapter in this intriguing battle had not yet been written.

Lorcan Murphy’s courageous save from a point blank shot and Chris Grant’s late double earned the home side a share of the spoils much to the delight of the home support with Naomi Padraig probably disappointed not to have held out for victory.

On the night Chris Grant was the Glenavy hero while Tim Honeyford was another to excel for the home side while Lisburn had excellent performers in Eoin Dixon and Colm Burns.

Glenavy: 1 Lorcan Murphy, 2 Oliver Brankin, 3 Tim Honeyford, 4 Lorcan O’Neill, 5 Matthew Lawlor, 6 Michael Fox, 7 Callum Crighton, 8 Chris Grant, 9 Darragh Doherty, 10 Fergal Henry, 11 Anthony Gallagher, 12 Matthew Horner, 13 Darragh Armstrong, 14 Patrick Colan-O’Leary, 15 Aodh O’Neill Subs 17 Ronan Hill for Patrick Colan-O’Leary, 21 Shea O’Neill

Lisburn: 1 Daniel Nelson, 2 Jude McMullan, 3 Jack Broderick, 4 Liam McKeown, 5 Calum Loney, 6 Liam McCutcheon, 7 Oisin Gorman 8 Colm Burns, 9 Adam Patterson, 10 James Morgan, 11 Niall Dixon, 12 Luca Mulholland, 13 Rory Kennedy, 14 Eoin Dixon, 15 Sean Burns

Referee: Paul Burns (Naomh Comhghall)

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