Northern Switchgear Senior Football Championship – Group 4
Moneyglass 1-13 Aghagallon 3-10
With a good crowd assembled for this winner takes all contest, it was the beaten finalists from the last two years who settled to the poor underfoot conditions better, getting the first score from corner forward Gareth Magee, and things were to get better for the away side when Magee sent an intercepted moneyglass kick to the net to give his side an early four point lead with less than 5 mins gone.
Not the start the Moneyglass men were wanting but credit to the home side who settled into the game taking next two scores through a Colm Duffin free and one from play by Tiernan McCormick. With both teams now up to pace and mistakes aplenty the scoring continued with teams trading points through Stephen Devlin and Pauric Maginnis for Aghagallon and Colm Duffin for Moneyglass to leave the score 0-03 to 1-02 after ten hard fought minutes.
Aghagallon again turned the screw reeling off three in a row through Gareth Magee, Eunan Walsh and Marc McAfee and things got a lot worse for the home side when a scramble in the box ended up in the back of net, Adam Loughran getting the vital touch for the visitors to leave it 0-03 to 2-05 with 12 minutes gone.
Moneyglass now had a real battle on their hands to get back into the game, but they showed they weren’t about to throw in the towel and two quick points from Colum Duffin and Pat McCormack steadied the ship. The next phase of play would see the game turned on its head when following a fine move the Marrion Hill men hit the net through midfielder Sheanachan Duffin to cut the gap back to just three after 20 minutes. (1-05 to 2-05)
With questions now been asked of the away side Moneyglass upped the pressure even more when they reeled off the next two scores through Colum Duffin and Aidan McErlean to leave the bare minimum between sides with just five minutes of the first half left to play. However just when it looked like the home side were starting to dominate proceedings another turned over ball from Aghagallon was sent inside, leading to a penalty which was dispatched to the net by Adam Loughran for the visitirs first score since the 11th minute. More importantly it gave the Aghagallon men a four point lead, though Colum Duffin pointed an injury time free to cut the gap back to three by the time the half time whistle sounded.
With the pitch starting to cut up due to the heavy rain conditions were not ideal, but Moneyglass made a bright start to the second half, winning loads of possession, but unfortunately for them it didn’t register on scoreboard as a few good chances were missed.
It was the St Marys side who would register the next score through Marc McAfee to restore his team’s four point lead to ease the pressure a little but the St Ergnet’s men continued to create chances and two points, one from a Colum Duffin free and one from play by substitute Jimmy McMeel brought the gap down to just two with twenty minutes still to play.
The teams then traded points with Magee pointing a free for St Mary’s and Conor Boyd finding the target for Moneyglass, as the tension grew by the minute. Aghagallon steadied the ship again and restored their four point lead as Magee and midfielder Jack Lenehan found the target. With eight minutes left to play they stretched that advantage to five when substitute Niall McShane found the target, but it was to be their last score of the game.
The travelling fans had to endure a few nervous episodes as Moneyglass closed the gap with pointed frees from Conor Boyd and Colum Duffin to close the gap to three, but Aghagallon held on to book a quarter final meeting with champions Cargin in two weeks’ time, a repeat of last year’s final.
Overall an absorbing game of football which was added to no doubt by the fact that it was winner takes all, and both teams must take credit for the sporting manner in which it was played, considering how much was at stake.
Danny McErlain, Fearghal Duffin, Peter McCormick, James McCormick, Tiernan McCormack, Paul Duffin, Patrick McCormick, Colum Duffin, Seanchann Duffin, Kevin McCann, Dermot McErlain, Conleth McCann, Sean Boyd, Aidan McErlain, Conor Boyd.
SUBS – Kevin McErlain for Kevin McCann; Ronan Campbell for Jimmy McMeel; Conor O’Kane for James McCormack.
Luke Mulholland, Ciaran Maginnis, Aidan Mulholland, Kieran Hamill, Padraig Gowdy, Jamie Lamont, Stephen Devlin, Jack Lenahan, Pauric Maginnis, Enda McCartan, Adam Loughran, Marc McAfee, Eunan Walsh, Ruairi McCann, Gareth Magee.
SUBS – Patrick Brannigan for Enda McCartan; Niall McShane for Marc McAfee
REFEREE – Kevin Parke (Naomh Eanna)