Goals the difference as Davitt’s advance to the semis

OB Construction IFC Quarter-Final

St. Joseph’s Glenavy 0.12 Michael Davitt’s 2.09

Davitt’s finished runners up in Group 3 of the qualifiers to Glenravel but served notice that they still have Intermediate Championship success firmly in their sites with a good win over Group 2 winners, St. Joseph’s Glenavy at Chapel Hill on Saturday.

A goal in the first half from Tony McGrattan and another from Marcus Toner in the second proved the difference in the end as Sean Murray’s side take their place in the semi-finals

The game was played before a large crowd, on a beautiful Saturday afternoon with conditions conducive to good football. The view looking over Lough Neagh was splendid and both teams deserve great credit for the fare they served up for their supporters.

Davitt’s started in whirlwind fashion with two excellent points from Deaglan Mooney and James Lyndsay before Ciaran Loney popped up with an excellent point from an acute angle to get the home side off the mark.

Paddy Gallagher showed all his class when he finished a forty yard solo run with a point to bring his side level but Padraig McPartland restored his side’s advantage with a good point at the other end.

The visitors added a point from Deaglan Mooney that might have been a goal. A long ball was played in from midfield and was collected by Marcus Toner, who had the goal at his mercy but Lorcan Murphy, the home keeper made an excellent blocking save.

The defence was slow to react however and Tony McGrattan was quickest into action as he followed up to fire to the net and put his side in a strong position as he moved them five points ahead.

St. Joseph’s began to settle and with the half back line forming a wall across the pitch, Davitt’s were finding it difficult to set up attacks. The reliable Fergal Henry started the fight back with a long distance pointed free before Paddy Gallagher stole forward for an excellent point.

Not to be out done Fergal Henry split the posts and when Paddy Gallagher added his third of the day to leave just a point between the sides the Glenavy comeback was gathering momentum.

Davitt’s had the last say of the opening half however and Marcus Toner opened the gap to two just before the break to leave the score 0-06 to 1-05 in favour of the Belfast men and all still to play for in the second half.

The city side started the second half as they had finished the first with a pointed ‘45’ from their keeper Aaron Slane. The hard working Ciaran Loney pulled a point back for Glenavy before Padraig McPartland extended the Davitt’s lead with a pointed free to leave three between the sides.

St. Joseph’s were fighting hard to get back into contention and Ciaran Loney replied for the hill side but once again McPartland replied from a free with Fergal Henry responding from a well-executed free from an acute angle.

Davitt’s continued to carry the greater threat and once again, like in the first half they got a fortunate break of the ball with Marcus Toner finishing to the net to restore their five point advantage.

Back came the home side with two points from Fergal Henry to close the gap to three but Padraig McPartland kept the Davitt’s noses in front with a point at the other end. The last score fell to Fergal Henry who raised the white flag for the last score of the game but it was too little, too late and it is the men from the Lower Falls who move forward to the semi-final.

Credit to both sides for serving up an excellent game on such a hot day. With little to separate the sides it was Davitt’s ability to grab goals when the opportunity arose that was the difference in the end.

 St.Joseph’s: 1 Lorcan Murphy; 2 Timmy Honeyford; 3 Liam Henry; 4 Stephen Doone; 5 Darragh Doherty; 6 Patrick Gallagher; 7 Matthew Lawlor (Conor Hamill); 8 Oisin Hamill (Fergal Green); 9 Fiontain O’Boyle; 10 Pearse O’Neill; 10 Ciaran Loney; 11 Anthony Gallagher (Michael McCourt);12  Fergus Cunningham (Darragh Armstrong); 13 Fergal Henry; 14 Charles Gallagher.

Subs: Fergal Green; Thomas Gallagher; Michael Fox; Patrick Fox; Darragh Armstrong; Ben McCambridge; Niall McLaughlin; Chris Grant; Michael McCourt; Conor Hamill; David Nelson.

Davitt’s: 1 Aaron Slane; 2 Michael Rowntree; 3 Paul McKinney; 4 Nathan Maginn; 5 Gerard Slane;  6 Niall McPartland; 7 Jack Scolly; 8 C. J. Sullivan; 9 Anthony Rowntree; 10 Deaglan Mooney; 11 Padraig McPartland; 12 James Lyndsay; 13 CaomhIn Slane; 14 Tony McGrattan; 15 Marcus Toner;

Subs; Antoin McLaughlin;Christopher Rafferty; Christopher Brown; Conor Toner.

Referee: Conall Roberts (St. John’s)

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