Intermediate Football Championship Semi-Final
St Ergnat’s, Moneyglass 3-14 Con Magees, Glenravel 2-10
Saturday September 21
Brendan McTaggart reports from Toome
Two goals from Liam Brady and a major late in the game from substitute Conaill Prenter ensured Moneyglass progressed to the Intermediate decider. The St Ergant’s men had seven points to spare over the Con Magees at the end of the hour, maybe the score line slightly flattered the winners but it was another clinical Moneyglass performance nonetheless.
Brady top scored for the winners with a personal tally of 2-2 while Kevin Marrron and Colum Duffin weighed in with four points each. Off the 3-14 scored by the St Ergnat’s men, only one point came from a free – Dermot McErlain converting in the 43rd minute. A remarkable stat for a championship semi-final.
Despite trailing by three points at the short whistle, the Glenravel men produced an improved second half performance. Just four minutes after the restart they had reduced the Moneyglass lead to the minimum but the St Ergnat’s men were happy to soak up the Con Magees pressure while using the speed of Eamon Kelly, Patrick McCormick and Jack McCoy to counter while Colum Duffin was pivotal for his side throughout. Gavin Murray gave another accomplished performance as the sweeper for his side while Liam Brady and Kevin Marron paired together to form a potent attack.
Glenravel may rue a lacklustre first half where they trailed, despite a substantial wind in their favour. Brady’s first goal came early and seemed to put the handbrake on the Glenravel game plan. Sean Kelly providing the blind pass for Brady who finished with ease after just two minutes.
Marron pointed five minutes later, much against the run of play. Glenravel had the lions share of possession but didn’t have the cutting edge to penetrate a well organised Moneyglass defence. They opened their account with Eoin Hynds making use of the elements and splitting the posts from distance before Sean McKay left two between the sides midway through the half.
Marron and Colum Duffin reopened the four point lead for Moneyglass once again with a pair of quick fire points but Glenravel had finally settled into the semi-final. Aidan O’Donnell splitting the uprights before McKay scored their opening goal. Eamon Fyfe collecting a long ball and beating two challenges before finding McKay on the edge of the box and he palmed the ball to the net in the 23rd minute.
Hynds pointed with the first score from a free of the tie in the 25th minute to give the Con Magee men the lead but Moneyglass finished the half on top. Marron with his third of the half, going one way and another before finding the yard of space he needed before Colum Duffin added a brace in the last minute of normal time. Peter McCormick rounded off the scoring for the half to leave three between the sides at the interval.
Half time: Moneygalss 1-7 Con Magees 1-4
There’s no doubting Moneyglass would have been satisfied with their first half. The wind was substantial and the fact they held a lead after facing the elements, put them as favourites to progress. Glenravel started the second half superbly though and the lead was reduced to the minimum after just four minutes. McKay and Eamon Fyfe finding the required accuracy for the Con Magees.
Moneyglass responded with Patrick McCormick firing over his first of two second half points before Marron opened a three point lead once again in the 38th minute. It should have been more though with Patrick McCormick spurning a massive goal chance. He went for placement off the deck after Brady played him through but he spooned his effort wide.
Glenravel were once again enjoying more possession but Moneyglass were always dangerous on the counter. Brady and Hynds exchanged points before Dermot McErlain scored Moneyglass’ only scoreable free of the match in the 43rd minute. With four between the sides going into the final quarter, Moneyglass took a massive step in securing their final place by winning a penalty. Paul Tohill and Liam Brady combining to set Marron through on goal but he was brought down by Jonathan Fyfe. Brendan Toland awarded a penalty and Fyfe’s game was ended with a black card. Glenravel brought on Neil McCafferty as his replacement but his first action was to pick the ball out of the net from the resulting penalty. Brady blasting the ball to the top left hand corner with a superb penalty to open a seven point lead.
The Con Magees men responded with David Higgins and Aidan McCafferty splitting the uprights before Aidan O’Donnell fired over from a free but Moneyglass were more clinical in attack. They pressurised the Con Magee’s kickouts and were able to score in bursts, finding their scores more easily come by than their opponents. Colum Duffin and Patrick McCormick fired over before Conaill Prenter scored their third goal in the 58th minute. The substitute finishing another St Ergnat’s counterattack to open a nine point lead and all but seal his sides passage to the decider.
Glenravel hit back with McKay scoring their second goal. Hynds delivering a long ball to the heart of the Moneyglass defence where Eamon Fyfe outjumped the St Ergants defence to catch a ball he had no right to claim. He laid the ball off to McKay and he fired home but time was running out for the Con Magees.
Brady rounded off the scoring to take his tally to 2-2 for the afternoon in the last minute of normal time and the St Ergnat’s men saw out the remaining time with controlled composure. A seven point win for the men from Marion Hill and on this form it’s hard to look past them in the decider.
Moneyglass: Mark Carey; Sean Kelly, Tiarnan Duffin, Peter McCormick; Jack McCoy, Conor Boyd, Eamon Kelly; Colum Duffin, Dermot McErlain; Jimmy McMeel, Paul Tohill, Patrick McCormick; Liam Brady, Kevin Marron, Gavin Murray.
Subs: Jervis Weir for S Kelly (33); Conaill Prenter for J McMeel (54)
Scorers: Liam Brady 2-2 (1-00 pen); Kevin Marron 0-4; Colum Duffin 0-4; Conaill Prenter 1-00; Patrick McCormick 0-2; Peter McCormick 0-1; Dermot McErlain 0-1 (1 f).
Con Magees: Jonathan Fyfe; Michael Laverty, Paul McCurry, Connor Carey; Kieran McKeown, Niall Swann, Conleth O’Loan; Connor Carey, David Higgins; Eoin Hynds, Aidan O’Donnell, Seanan Black; Sean McKay, Eamon Fyfe, Josh McKeown.
Subs: Charlie Henry for C Carey (12); Aidan McCafferty for S Black (39); Neil McCafferty for J Fyfe (black card, 45); Martin McCarry for Aidan O’Donnell (53); Aiden McKenna for J McKeown (inj); Aidan O’Donnell for S McKay (inj).
Referee: Brendan Toland (Lámh Dhearg)