Glenavy’s Michael Johnston looks up as Shane Delargy, Portglenone moves in to challenge
O’Cahan Cup preliminary round
Casement’s Portglenone 0-10 St. Joseph’s Glenavy 0-4
Casement’s Portglenone pulled away in the second half to comfortably deal with the challenge of newly promoted St. Joseph’s Glenavy in this O’Cahan Cup preliminary round game played on the new floodlit pitch at O’Cahan Park.
The new ground was in splendid condition and a wonderful development by the Casement’s club which will surely assist with the development of a club who appear to be travelling in the right direction.
Tonight they fielded a youthful side buoyed on by success in the Ulster league away to Cootehill on Sunday and those outings in the Ulster league have obviously benefited them and they looked much sharper than their opponents from early in the contest.
This was Glenavy’s first outing of the season and it took them a while to get up to pace but they did put in an excellent second quarter to put themselves in with a shout at half time. After the break however the home side seemed to find another gear as they took control to run out convincing winners.
It was Casement’s Portglenone who made the early running and aided by three excellent points from Paddy Kelly and another from his sibling, Michael they eased into a 0-4 to 0-1 lead at the end of the opening quarter.
The visitors began to settle however with their possession game frustrating the opposition and by half time they had closed the gap to two with Michael McCourt 0-2, Niall McCann and Peter Trainor all on target. Indeed had the Chapel Hill side shown a greater accuracy during this period they might well have been ahead but the home side weathered the storm to finish strongly with points from Dermot McAleese and Ronan Kelly.
At half time it was 0-6 to 0-4 in favour of the Bannsiders and at this stage it looked like we were in for a tight second half but in truth in never really materialised. Indeed the Glenavy scoring dried up at this stage of the game and while they enjoyed plenty of possession during the second period they lacked the penetration up front to trouble a dominant Portglenone defence.
Left: Kieron McKenna sets out on a run for Portglenone as Aidan Mckee looks on. Right: Paddy Kelly, who kicked four excellent points for Casements lays the ball off.
Paddy Kelly added a fine point to increase his side’s lead to three after three minutes and with Aidan McKee and Ryan McGuigan dealing with everything that came their way the home side started to get on top.
Their more direct approach started to pay dividends with Kieron McKenna producing a number of strong runs from deep in defence to open up the opposition who were still battling well in both defence and at mid-field where Michael Johnston and Jake Nelson were getting through a power of work.
Ronan Kelly pointed another free and the impressive Michael Kelly again hit the target as the visitors started to tire and in the end it proved a comfortable enough evening for the home side. They certainly look to be in good shape going into the season ahead and will harbour ambitions of challenging for honours.
They looked solid in defence where Aidan McKee, Dermot McAleese and Kieron McKenna all impressed and Shane Delargy and Stephen Kelly got through a lot of work at mid-field. In attack Paddy and Michael Kelly led the charge with Michael Hagan and Ronan Kelly also impressing.
Glenavy will have benefited from this game as they prepare for life in division 1 this season and to be fair to them they came up against a team with several Ulster league games under their belt. Gerard Hamilton in goals, Chris Scullion, Sean McGirr, Oisin Hamill and Jonathan Phillips were strong in defence while Michael Johnston and Jake Nelson were a formidable pairing at mid-field. Michael McCourt ,Peter Trainor and Niall McCann were best in attack.
Portglenone: Brian McManus: Ryan McGuigan, Aidan McKee, Johnny Convery: Ronan Delargy, Dermot McAleese, Kieron McKenna: Shane Delargy, Stephen Kelly: Michael Kelly, Michael Hagan, Patrick Graffin: Ronan Kelly, Adrian Carey, Paddy Kelly. Subs: Fergal O’Kane for Stephen Kelly, Gerard McAleese for Adrian Carey.
Glenavy: Gerard Hamilton: Martin Nelson, Chris Scullion, Sean McGirr: Ryan Phillips, Oisin Hamill, Jonathan Phillips: Jake Nelson, Michael Johnston: Neil Scullion, Michael McCourt, Peter Trainor: Eoin Henry, Niall McCann, Malachi Doherty
Referee: Jarlath O’Donnell (Glenravel)