Graham Tarmac JFC (Group Two) Round One
St Malachy’s 1-09 St Agnes 1-08
A swift exit from the start traps and a dominant first quarter proved the key to success as St Malachy’s gained a first round win in the junior football championship. That early burst proved just enough to resist the late challenge of St Agnes in a hugely entertaining game on Friday evening.
The men from the Markets started the game with confidence following a win over the Aggies in the latter stages of the league and an early goal after only a couple of minutes saw Jock McGivern send ‘Wee Hyper McKavanagh in to find the net.
A super start to proceedings that ensured confidence prevailed and with the Aggies defence under extreme pressure St Malachy’s were in a dominant mode.
Connors, Millar, Vernon, Carlisle, and a superb long range finish from corner back Colly Connolly ensured a 1-05 to 0-00 lead just at the end of the opening quarter.
St Agnes were on the ropes from the outset and took a time to get it together but a couple of points seemed to settle them and when the Mals were reduced to 14 the tide began to turn.
They added another few scores as St Malachy’s struggled to get going again and only a couple of points separated the sides as the half came to a close with a late Jack Mc Givern point ensuring a 1-06 to 0-06 lead at the end of the period.
Having been reduced in number the Mal’s looked out of sorts in the opening period of the second half in which the Aggies enjoyed a lot of possession.
In the event the St Malachy’s rear guard stood tall and Vernon added a point to their tally before Mc Givern followed suit defying a most acute angle and they looked to have settled to the task on hand.
St. Agnes then were reduced to 14 following a second yellow card and Charlie Vernon popped the resultant free between the posts to move the Market’s men five points ahead and looking good.
The complexion of the tie changed again shortly after when St. Malachy’s were reduced further in number and with ten minutes on the clock St Agnes were back in there with a shout.
It was backs to the wall time for the Mal’s as St Agnes threw everything at them in the closing stages and only the quick reaction of the Mal’s net minder Turley who got a hand to the ball to prevent it crossing his line as the last frantic minutes progressed.
Further pressure on St Malachy’s men in the last frantic minutes when they were reduced further when a defender received a black card.
In the event and despite numerical advantage St Agnes were unable to grab a late point to ensure a share of the spoils as St. Malachy’s held on for a one point win.
The South Belfast men travel to McQuillan’s Ballycastle in the next round with the management hoping to keep momentum going.
St Malachy’s: Turley, C Connolly (0-01), Carson, Corr, Quinn, M Connolly, Hanna, Vernon (0-03), Maneely, Connors (0-01), Mc Givern (0-02), Millar (0-01), Mc Kavanagh (1-00), Carlisle (0-01)
Brennan for Dobbin
Mc Bride for Millar
Lynch for Maneely
O’ Neill for Corr