Strong finish propels St Brigid’s into semi-final

Northern Switchgear Antrim SFC quarter-final

St Brigid’s 0-13 O’Donovan Rossa 0-10

St. Brigid’s produced a strong finish to overcome the challenge of O’Donovan Rossa in the last of the Northern Switchgear quarter-finals at Corrigan Park on Sunday.

In a close fought encounter the Musgrave Park side had that little bit extra in attack and they pressed home in the final quarter to outscore the Shaw’s Road side and book their place in the semi-final.

The Musgrave Park side got their matchups just right with Ronan Boyle assigned to pick up Rossa danger man, Dominic McEnhill but it was Rossa who got off to the better start to lead early in the game.

The opening half was a cagey affair with both sides playing the possession game but Eoghan McMenamin finally got Rossa on their way with the game’s opening score in the 5th minute.

Rossa goalkeeper sends over a late point for his side in Sunday’s SFC quarter final against St Brigid’s at Corrigan Park.

Dominic McEnhill added another to move the Shaw’s Road side two in front but Enda Downey replied with St. Brigid’s first score of the evening when he converted a free.

The former Lavey man would prove a reliable free taker for the Musgrave Park side over the course of the game as he and Michael Byrne exchanged further scores.

Back came Rossa with Dominic McEnhill splitting the posts and they looked to be in for a goal but Diarmuid Rogan saw his attempt charged down when he might well have been better off finding a team mate close to goal.

It was Hugh McGettigan’s side who led 0-6 to 0-5 at the interval however after Enda Downey kicked his fourth free of the half to leave his side trailing by the minimum.

St Brigid’s substitute Matthew Downey breaks through to score point

Things continued to progress at a steady pace on the restart as Paul Bradley pointed for St. Brigid’s to bring matters level before Rossa keeper, Mick Byrne edged his side ahead once more from a beautifully struck long range free.

It would prove to be Rossa’s final score for more than 20 minutes as the Musgrave Park side began to take control with Downey levelling matters again and St. Brigid’s keeper, Declan Heery pointing them ahead from a well taken free as the game entered the final quarter.

It was a lead they would not again lose as they hit three on the bounce through Paul Bradley, Matthew Downey and Reuben Carleton to move four in front with10 minutes remaining.

Adam Devlin pulled one back for the Shaw’s Road men to leave a goal in but despite their best efforts they were unable to pierce a resolute Naomh Brid defence and it was Heery from a long range free who moved St. Brigid’s four ahead as the game entered time added on.

Converted frees from Byrne and McEnhill brought Rossa back to within two of their opponents but St Brigid’s monopolised possession as they ran down the clock before John Morgan pointed at the other end to leave them three points winners and earn them a place in the semi-finals.

St. Brigid’s will now meet Cargin in two weeks’ time while Casements Portglenone and Dunloy will do battle in the other semi-final on the same weekend.

Rossa’s Tommy Morgan is challenged by St Brigid’s John Morgan during Sunday’s SFC quarter final at Corrigan Park.

ST Brigid’s: D Heery (0-2 frees); F McKernan, J Finnegan, J Morgan (0-1); R Carleton (0-1), P King, R Boyle; F Meenagh, J Dowling; S Downey, O Downey, J Smith (0-1); E Downey (0-5 frees), C McNicholl, P Bradley (0-2, 1 free).

Subs: M Downey (0-1) for C McNicholl (27), N Duffy for O Downey (53), E Carleton for P Bradley (60+1)

Rossa: M Byrne (0-4, 3 frees, 1 45); P Moyes, C McGuinness; C Orchin; K Morris, A Devlin (0-1), R Gowdy; C McGettigan (0-1), G Walsh; E McMenamin (0-1), S Beatty, D Rogan; N Crossan, D McEnhill (0-3 frees), T Morgan.

Subs: M Mallon for C McGuinness (46), D Rocks for D Rogan (46), D Grego for P Moyes (54)

Referee: Brendan Toland (Lámh Dhearg)

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