Senior Football Championship, Group Four
Gort na Móna 0-12 St Gall’s 4-15
St Galls progressed to the quarter-finals of the senior championship on Sunday afternoon with a comfortable victory over Gort na Mona at Turf Lodge.
It was a dominant performance from the Milltown Row men and but for a spell after the break when Gort na Mona threatened, St Galls had complete control of this contest.
The Gorts found St Gall’s a tough nut to crack and were reliant on the talents of Padraig McHugh. The Gort forward finished the tie with eight points beside his name in a fine display but he had little in the way of support as Turf Lodge’s finest couldn’t get close enough to the men from La Salle Park.
The visitors got off to the perfect start when Niall Burns had the ball in the net within the opening minute as Terry O’Neill sent a probing ball in behind the defence with Burns quickest to react to fire home.
McHugh replied with a fine point at the other end and then another after a good counter, but St Gall’s were bossing the middle sector and began to go through the gears with Thomas Bunting firing over from range before Barra McCaffrey chipped in with a brace of points to make it 1-3 to 0-2 at the water break.
A Niall Malone free kept the Gorts in touch, but St gall’s finished the half well to put real daylight between the sides a Caolan Chada found his range and then on 21 minutes, goal number two arrived. Again it was Burns who saw his initial shot saved by Thomas McCaffrey, but the ball rebounded to Terry O’Neill who put Burns in for a second go and this time he made no mistake.
It was 2-5 to 0-3 at the half with Gort na Móna coming out in the second period reinvigorated as they rattled off four points in as many minutes.
McHugh curled over two beauties and Darren Boyd another from out on the left, while Patrick McCaffrey went so close to finding the goal his side needed when his rasping drive was tipped over by Chris Kerr.
Just as it seemed the hosts were right back in this clash, St Gall’s again found a response with Terry O’Neill getting free to kick two points, while Chada and Mark Cummings were also on target as the gap was back out to eight.
McHugh answered back with one for the Turf Lodge men, but momentum was with the visitors as Eoghan McCabe burst forward to score and John McCaffrey added another to leave it 2-11 to 0-8 at the water break.
McCaffrey curled over an excellent point as play resumed with Chada and Cummings adding further points, while the Gorts had to be content with two from McHugh as this game had now gotten away from them.
There would be no let-up down the stretch for St Gall’s as on 56 minutes they were in for their third goal when a fine move at pace started by Aodhan Gallagher saw him swap passes with Niall Burns before passing to McCaffrey who applied the finish.
A fourth major would follow two minutes later as the ball broke free and Cummings applied a soccer-style finish to the net.
Barra McCaffrey landed the final score of the match but this one was long since decided by that moment in time. St Galls progress and join Creggan as the quarter-finalists form Group Four.
GORT NA MÓNA: T McCaffrey; B Burns, T Keenan, C Donnelly (0-1); M Savage, N Henry, P Cournane; P McCaffrey (0-1), C Magee; N Malone (0-1 free), C Carson, S Campbell; D Boyd (0-1), P McHugh (0-8, 1 free, 1 mark), A McDonagh. Subs: D McVeigh for S Campbell (HT), P Mulvenna for A McDonagh (36), S McStravog for N Malone (50), D Cahill for T Keenan (50), G McKenna for D Boyd (60+2).
ST GALL’S: C Kerr; T O Ciarain, C Brady, S O’Hagan; J McCaffrey (1-2), S Kelly, E McCabe (0-1); A Gallagher, T Bunting (0-1); C Chada (0-3), T O’Neill (0-2), C Stinton; N Burns (2-0), M Cummings (1-3, 0-2 marks), B McCaffrey (0-3, 1 free). Subs: D Wilson for C Stinton (42), C McGirr for C Brady (42), R Irvine for C Chada (50), M Kelly for N Burns (50), C Murray for T O’Neill (53).
REFEREE: Patrick Tumelty (Lámh Dhearg)