Con Magee’s book semi-final spot

Glenravel 2-16  Naomh Colum Cille 1-08

Storm Arwen huffed and puffed around Ballycastle today, enough to impact the flow of the game but not enough to render it a lottery as was suspected yesterday and overnight. Antrim champions Con Magees ran out convincingly winners in the end but it took to the third quarter of this game for them to put some daylight between the teams.

A strong breeze blew straight down Park McQuillan which favoured Tyrone champions Naomh Colum Cille in the first half but they could not take full advantage of it and ultimately that cost them dearly. In a tit for tat opening quarter it was the free takers who dominated. As we went to the first water break, the teams were level on three points a piece, Niall Donnelly and Conleth OLoan (2) the Con Magees marksmen with Paul Greville (2) and Tony O’Hagan replying for the Tyrone side. On resumption Dunloy native, Chris Kearns gave us our first score from play as he nudged Naomh Colum Cille ahead and again on thirty one minutes the same player scored from play but in between Conleth O’Loan had pointed three further frees and James Duffin popped up from midfield to put over a neat score from play. Naomh Colum Cille pulled one back on the stroke of half time with another free from Greville as Down referee Kieran Rice called a halt to proceedings and the crowd sought the shelter of their cars with mugs of tea and coffee. Con Magees went in one point ahead on a 0-07 to 0-06 scoreline and the Antrim men must have been pleased with their half hour’s work because Storm Arwen was definitely on Naomh Colum Cille’s side in the opening half.

Strangely, Arwen calmed down for the first quarter of the second half, much to the delight of the crowd and Paul Greville took full advantage with the opening score, from a free, to level the game in the opening minute. Three minutes later Glenravel got the game’s first goal, Conleth O’Loan rounding the Colum Cille defence along the end line before stepping inside and rattling the net, restoring a three point lead for Con Magees. Cathal Hynds and James Duffin added further points and suddenly their was some daylight between the teams with Glenravel ahead 1-09 to 0-07. Naomh Colum Cille needed a life line and they found it thirteen minutes into the second half when Andrew Byrne netted from close range to bring us back to a two point game 1-09 to 1-07 and all to play for. However, Arwen started to bare his teeth once more, this time in Con Magees favour and over the following fifteen minutes, Glenravel went on to record 1-07 without reply and surely put the game beyond the Tyrone men. The pick of the scores was a terrific team goal following some slick passing and finished with aplomb by Cathal Hynds. Cathal added two further points in that scoring  spree, the others coming from Niall Donnelly (3), James Duffin and the recently introduced Sean McKay.
Chris Kearns had the honour of scoring the game’s final point from play but by that stage the game had gone away from Noamh Colum Cille. Con Magees were convincing winners 2-16 to 1-08 and now go on to play Armagh champions, Craobh Rua who beat Donegal’s St Eunan’s with a very strong performance  in Armagh’s Athletic Grounds. That game is schedule for the weekend of Dec 11th/12th December.

Con Magee’s : R Donnelly, B O’Neill, SL Kerr, M McQuillan, P O’Neill, E McCusker, M McDonnell, J Duffin 0-2, C Henry, J Fyfe, N Donnelly 0-7 (6f), C Hynds 1-1, C O’Loan 1-5, (4f & 1 pen), R Lennon, D Traynor.

Subs: S McKay 0-1 for D Traynor (38), S McCusker for C Henry (46), S Burns for P O’Neill (57).

Yellow card: M McQuillan (27)

Naomh Colum Cille: C Cross, I Donnellan, V McCann, J McGuigan, P Corr, I Flaherty, Ryan O’Neill, A Byrne, C Kearns 0-2, S Kelly, P Greville 0-4 frees, P Maguire, G Mulgrew, T O’Hagan, N O’Neill 1-0.

Subs: Rory O’Neill for T O’Hagan (44), O O’Neill 0-1 for N O’Neill (51), T Daly for I Flaherty (53), M O’Gorman for S Kelly (58).

Yelllow card: A Byrne (37)

Report by Aodh O’loan.

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