IFC final. The managers views

Managers View

Moneyglass – Hugh Carey

“They really knuckled down and they deserve to be where they are right now.”

By Brendan McTaggart

When the winning captain singles you out for praise in his acceptance speech, you know you’ve done something right.  Step forward Hugh Carey.  A livewire on the side line and Mr Moneyglass.  In his own words, he was ‘relieved’ at the final whistle after tasting defeat in last years decider but he told us this match was a culmination of years of work: “Them boys deserve it.  They’ve worked hard and have been there or thereabouts.  This was their fifth final since winning it in ’04. 

“It means a lot, it means a lot to the club.  We’re predominantly football and we focus on it.

“We knew last year something was missing.  We knew we needed that wee bit more experience. 

“We had a decision to make, stay or don’t stay.  We were a kick of the ball away in two games from having a very good season.  I said I was done.  I approached Peter (Doherty), he was the experienced manager we needed to get over the line and he made me stay.

““He’s Kindo’s (Kevin Marron) father-in-law.  He was at all the games last year and he knows his stuff.  He watched us in the final last year and he’s brought that something that we needed.  That wee bit of knowhow and man management.

“I was threw in at the deep end last year, it’s as simple as that.  Peter coming in just made sense.  Him and Sean McGoldrick were in for the Derry job last year, just beat by Rory Gallagher.  That’s the calibre of manager he is and level of a man we have.

“I’ve learned a lot from him.  He stands on the line, arms folded and takes all in and as you see, I’m up and down the line and can’t contain myself.

“The best thing this year for us was the introduction of the water breaks because Peter has the match analysed and relays all to the lads.”

Dunloy settled into the final quickly and put Moneyglass on the back foot.  Carey told us that it was the complete opposite from what they had discussed.  They wanted to put the Cuchullains under pressure early doors after their week of celebrations: “That wasn’t the plan. We wanted to get off to a good start and see how big a week they had.  We wanted to get on top of them and get our own game going.  Suck teams in and counter.  We tried to go a bit different today with the two bigger men up top.

“Dunloy put the pressure on us on a big pitch, fair play to them.”

The Moneyglass coach told us they wanted to play more direct ball into their forward line for the final and while that tactic worked a treat in the second half, it wasn’t happening in the opening 30 minutes: “Dunloy stopped us from doing that.  Everybody knows us to be a running team and we wanted to change that today.”  As Carey continued, he attributed their win against St Pauls in the semi-final for how they fought back in the final: “That win (vs St Pauls) was massive.  St Paul’s were a big, physical side and I said to the lads all week, don’t get too down about it.  That’s a Division One club with Division One football.  The difference is Division One teams mix it up and we tried to do that today.  It worked better in the second half.”

The match was barely 12 minutes old when Moneyglass lost the services of key man, Dermot McErlain.  A massive moment in the game yet ‘Bugsy’ going off meant Ryan ‘Fish’ Doyle came into the fray and his impact was massive.  Carey added: “Losing Bugsy was huge.  When we need things to happen he’s our go-to man. 

“The final last year, when we needed someone to step up it didn’t happen.  They done it last week against St Pauls and they done it today again.  Smiley played the last 15 minutes on one leg.  He hyper-extended his knee.  He probably should have been off but he stayed on.  He played on injured and Bugsy was off.

“Fish came on and had an absolute stormer.

I rang him at the end of lockdown and told him he was the most frustrating player in our club.  He has bags of ability, you just don’t use it.  I told him to put the work in and give us four months and see what happens.  It paid off for him today.

“It’s not about individuals.  The boys started to knit together.  We need this.  We need this as a club.  We need to be back playing Division One football, it’s been far too long.  There’s no guarantees of that either but at least next year the focus can be on the league to make that happen.”

Saturday spelled the end of a 16 year wait for the St Ergnat’s.  2004 was their last win in the Intermediate championship and Carey told us it was more than just the past 12 months to get this far: “We’ve been working hard as a club and taking it a step further.  We got the gym in at the start of the year and we couldn’t use it.  Everything wasn’t going right but fair play to the lads.  They really knuckled down and they deserve to be where they are right now. 

“We’ll enjoy the celebrations that’s for sure.”

Manager View

Dunloy – Anthony McQuillan

“They want to play senior at some stage but to do that you need to win this competition”

By Brendan McTaggart

A bridge too far.  Dunloy manager Anthony McQuillan looked devastated as he watched Colum Duffin lift the Intermediate championship for Moneyglass on the Dunsilly pitch.  As we caught up with him, he was still trying to decipher how it got away from his Cuchullains.

After a first half that saw them lead by four points thanks to a thunderous goal from Seaan Elliott, Dunloy in McQuillan’s words were in ‘pole position’: “We talked about keeping the game tight at half time and a long ball in caught us out and they got a goal with a point just before that brought them back into the game.”

Ryan ‘Fish’ Doyle’s goal came shortly after the restart as Moneyglass made a dream start to the second half.  Any team talk made by McQuillan and his backroom team went out the window and Dunloy never recovered: “We were shellshocked” continued McQuillan, “and to be honest I don’t think we got over those first couple of minutes in the second half.

“It was a sucker punch.

“It was a lucky goal.  A hopeful ball in that fell into their boys’ hand and you can’t blame anybody for it. 

“Four points up, 1-5 to 0-4.  That’s the position we wanted to be in.  We wanted to win the first 15 minutes and see where we were.  That sucker punch in the first couple of minutes of the second half done us.

“We wanted to win.  We came here today feeling like we could and would win and we’re going home gutted.”

In the second half, Moneyglass were a different animal.  Defensively they gave Dunloy very little and forced turnover after turnover.  Their second goal a prime example.  The Cuchullains looked to carve out an attack but the St Ergnat’s men swarmed Keelan Molloy superbly.  Turned the ball over and 15 seconds later the ball was in the back of the Dunloy net.  McQuillan paid tribute to Moneyglass when he continued: “Moneyglass tackled like demons as well to give them their dues.  They held us out and kept us at arm’s length.”

The Cuchullains needed a response but they had nothing left to give.  A gruelling dual schedule looked to have finally caught up with them.  McQuillan added: “They were out on their feet.  We were having to make changes and bring boys on as they were absolutely shattered.  We wanted fresh legs on but I don’t know what more to say.  It’s serious disappointment.”

A fourth defeat at this stage in six years is tough to take.  McQuillan has been here before and knows what it takes to lift the Cuchullains once again.  He optimistically looked to the future when he concluded: “If you take Rev (Kevin McAllister) and Scooby (Kevin McQuillan) out of our squad, the majority of that squad are under 23.

“They’re still learning their trade and Intermediate football is a good start for them but they want to play senior at some stage but to do that you need to win this competition. 

“That’s something we want to do in the next couple of years and the only way to do it is win the Intermediate.

“We’ll regroup and go again next year.”

Moneyglass battle back to defeat Dunloy in thrilling final

Antrim Intermediate Football Championship final

Moneyglass 2-09 Dunloy 1-08

Report by Gary Duffin

Moneyglass staged a fantastic second half comeback to beat Dunloy in Saturday’s thrilling Antrim Intermediate Football final at Dunsilly to clinch the title for the first time since 2004. When they trailed by four at half time last year’s beaten finalists must have felt this was not going to be their day once again, but a brilliant goal from substitute Ryan Doyle within a minute of the restart turned the game on its head and they pushed on to victory.

Paddy McCormick celebrates after scoring the second goal for Moneyglass

Conditions couldn’t have been anymore perfect as all roads led to Dunsilly for the eagerly awaited meeting of South West rivals Moneyglass and Dunloy. The Cuchullains were on a high after retaining the County Senior Hurling crown last weekend and Moneyglass were still smarting from last year’s final defeat to Aldergrove in which they were strongly fancied to win.

Both sides were very evenly matched going through the qualifying group with only a kick of the ball separating both teams when they met in Marrion Hill.

From the throw in Dunloy showed their intent. They came out of the blocks fast and Seaan Elliott had registered their first score within a minute.

They then won the proceeding Moneyglass kickout and worked the ball to full forward Eamon Gillan who doubled Dunloy’s lead.

Disaster then struck when Moneyglass lost their marquee forward Dermot McErlain to a serious knee injury after five minutes but the Marrion Hill men hit back with a point from Colum Duffin.

Dermot McErlain cuts a forlorn figure as he watches the action from the sideline.

Jack McCoy then put the sides level with a fine score as both sides settled into their stride.

Cuchullains edged in front again with two pointed frees from Keelan Molloy and Caolan Gillan but the Blues hit back with one from centre back Conor Boyd.

The game continued with space at a premium and it wasn’t until fifteen minutes later that Kevin Marron equalised for St Ergnats.

However Dunloy weren’t finished for the half with Keelan Molloy putting them ahead again on thirty minutes and then Sean Elliott smashed home a goal to send the Cuchullains into the half time break with a four point advantage.

Seaan Elliott celebrates after scoring Dunloy’s goal just before half time.

This provided the Moneyglass management with some serious questions at half time and they certainly delivered the answers.

Within two minutes of the restart Moneyglass were on level terms with a second point from Kevin Marron and a fantastic goal from Ryan Doyle.

Doyle then added a point to his tally before Dunloy retook the lead with points from Keelan Molloy and Conall Cunning just as the whistle went to give the players a well earned water break.

St Ergnats management went to work again and sent their troops out to battle on the front foot with county star Paddy Mc Cormick knocking over two sublime points to see Moneyglass edge ahead again in this nail biting tussle.

Substitute Ryan Doyle was a real thorn in the side of the Dunloy defenders

Keelan Molloy hit back with a point once again to leave the game on a knife edge with time running out and it looked like it could go either way.

However this year the St Ergnet’s men were not going to be denied and big Seanchann Duffin sent the Moneyglass support wild with a fantastic point from well out the field.

It could still have gone either way but Paddy McCormick then sealed the deal when he got on the end of a wonderful counter attacking move involving the very impressive Conor Boyd and Fearghal Duffin to inflict the fatal blow on Dunloy, his goal expertly finished from a narrow angle.

Dunloy’s Keelan Molloy in action against Moneyglass defender Eamon Kelly

Dunloy battled on bravely but Moneyglass were not going to let it slip and the final whistle saw an outpouring of emotion from their team and its followers as they joined in the celebrations.

Moneyglass had stars all over the field. The Kelly brothers and Conor Boyd who worked tirelessly in defence.  Seanchann Duffin in the middle and goal heroes Ryan Doyle and Paddy McCormick up front.

Dunloy also had big performers in Sean Elliott, Keelan Molloy and Conal Cunning but it was to be a day for  Moneyglass to erase the painful memories of twelve months ago.

Moneyglass players celebrate at the final whistle

Moneyglass

  1. Mark Carey
  2. Peter McCormick
  3. Tiernan Duffin
  4. Eamonn Kelly
  5. 5 Fearghal Duffin
  6. Conor Boyd (0-01)
  7. Jervis Weir
  8. Seanchann Duffin (0-01)
  9. Colum Duffin (0-01)
  10. Paddy McCormick (1-02)
  11. Jimmy McMeel
  12. Dermott McErlain
  13. Jack McCoy (0-01)
  14. Kevin Marron (0-02)
  15. Sean Kelly

Subs Ryan Doyle (1-01), Donal Laverty, Liam Brady

Dunloy

  1.              Stephen McIlroy

2.      Conor Kinsella

3.      Karl O’Kane

4.      Oran Quinn

5.      Aaron Crawford

6.      Callum Scullion

7.      Anton McGrath

8.      Kevin McQuillan

9.      Ryan McFarline

10.    Keelan Molloy (0-04)

11.    Sean Elliott (1-01)

12.    Connall Cunning (0-01)

13.    Ryan McGarry

14.    Caolan Gillan (0-02)

15.    Christopher McMahon

Subs Kevin Mc Allister, Conor McKinley

Moneyglass v Dunloy – Previous meetings

2017

SemiFinal

Dunloy Cuchullains 2-11 St Ergnat’s Moneyglass 1-13

Friday September 29

Cuchullains edge to another decider

By Brendan McTaggart

At the full time whistle in Ahoghill on Friday evening, the Moneyglass players sank to their knees.  They had given everything they had and more in what was a pulsating hour of championship football.  A ding-dong battle between two evenly matches sides but in the end, the Cuchullains managed to edge past their south-west rivals by the narrowest of margins as their championship train continues to roll.  Conor McKinley was the hero for the Cuchullains, the Dunloy dual star was the coolest man on the Ahoghill pitch as he stood over a tricky free in the third minute of injury time but the ball sailed over the bar in the third minute of injury time to end the St Ergnat’s championship dreams and keep Dunloy’s aspirations for the ‘double’ alive.

Just five days have passed since the Cuchullains claimed the senior hurling crown and they made the best start possible to Friday nights semi-final.  McKinley getting on the end of a long pass to punch the ball to the back of the net, wrong footing Mark Carey in the St Ergnat’s goals with barely 30 seconds on the clock.  A goal symbolic of the Cuchullains play throughout the year and a goal that helped them settle into the game.  They came into Friday nights semi-final as underdogs against a strong Moneyglass side, despite their exploits in the championship in recent times. 

TEAMS

Dunloy: Frankie Cochrance; Jamie McFerran; Karl O’Kane; Kieran Hughes; Shane Dooey; Nigel Elliott; Kevin McQuillan; Keelan Molloy; Deaglan Smyth; Kevin McAllister; Gabriel McTaggart; Conal Cunning; Eoin O’Neill; Conor McKinley; Ryan Elliott

Subs: Duanne Scott for K O’Kane (HT); Conal Dooey for E O’Neill (47 mins); Chrissy McMahon for K McQuillan (inj)

Scorers: Conor McKinley 1-3 (3 frees); Kevin McAllister 1-1; Keelan Molloy 0-3 (3 frees); Conal Cunning 0-2 (2 frees); Deaglan Smyth 0-1; Conal Dooey 0-1

Moneyglass: Mark Carey; Miran Neeson; Donal Laverty; Sean Kelly; Patrick McCormick; Tiernan Duffin; Padraig Mackle; Ryan Boyd; Ryan Doyle; Seanchann Duffin; Dermot McErlain; Paul Tohill; Conail Prenter; Liam Brady; Gavin Murray

Subs: Conor Boyd for G Murray (38 mins)

Scorers: Dermot McErlain 1-4 (1 free); Seanchann Duffin 0-4 (4 frees); Liam Brady 0-3 (3 frees); Ryan Boyd 0-1; Paul Tohill 0-1

Referee: Brendan Toland (Lámh Dhearg)

2019

Preliminary Round

St Ergnat’s, Moneyglass 2-19 Dunloy, Cuchullains 1-15

Brendan McTaggart reports from Páirc Uí Cheallaigh, Portglenone

Two goals from Conaill Prenter and a man of the match performance from Colm Duffin ensured St Ergnat’s lived up to their pre-match billing as favourites.  The Moneyglass side saw off the challenge of Dunloy with seven points to spare at the end of a hugely entertaining hour of football that would make for a statisticians dream.

12.  The number of minutes it took Moneyglass to score 2-6 in the first half in a purple patch that effectively won them the game.  The Cuchullains managed just one point in the same time.

13.  The number of minutes between Dunloy scores in the first half as Moneyglass made their way to a seven point half time lead.

9.  The magic number for Colm Duffin.  Nine shots on goal, nine white flags raised and just three frees.

3.  The number of minutes between the two majors scored by Conaill Prenter in the first half and the number of wides Moneyglass hit over the 60 minutes.  Efficient.

TEAMS

Moneyglass: Mark Carey; Sean Kelly, Tiarnan Duffin, Peter McCormick; jack McCoy, Conor Boyd, Eamon Kelly; Colm Duffin, Dermot McErlain; Jimmy McMeel, Paul Tohill, Patrick McCormick; Conaill Prenter, Seanchann Duffin, Gavin Murray.

Subs: Kevin Marron for S Duffin (11); Jervis Weir for C Boyd (49); Liam Brady for D McErlain (59).

Scorers: Colm Duffin 0-9 (3 f’s); Conaill Prenter 2-00; Kevin Marron 0-3; Patrick McCormick 0-2; Dermot McErlain 0-1; Sean Kelly 0-1; Jack McCoy 0-1; Conor Boyd 0-1; Paul Tohill 0-1.

Dunloy: Sean Doherty; Conor Kinsella, Karl O’Kane, Aaron Crawford; Cathaoir McGuigan, Gabriel McTaggart, Callum Scullion; Keelan Molloy, Conor McKinley; Nigel Elliott, Karl Fitzpatrick, Shane Dooey; Seán Elliott, Caolan Gillan, Conal Cunning.

Subs: Ryan McGarry for G McTaggart (19); Kevin McAllister for K Fitzpatrick (30); Jamie McFerran for C Scullion (36); Aidy Scullion for K O’Kane (43); Anthony Smith for C Gillan (60).

Scorers: Keelan Molloy 0-5; Conal Cunning 0-4 (4 f’s); Seán Elliott 1-1; Conor McKinley 0-2; Caolan Gillan 0-2 (2 f’s); Aaron Crawford 0-1

Referee: Karol Doherty (Rasharkin)

2020

Group Stage

Moneyglass 1-13 Dunloy 2-08
Garry Duffin reports from Marian Hill

Sunday August 2

Sunday saw the meeting of the two “in form” sides in this group of the Intermediate Championship. Moneyglass had their South West rivals Dunloy visiting and it proved to be a tight affair.

The game started slow with a few wides for both sides as they tried to find openings in each other’s packed defences.

Moneyglass finally made the breakthrough after five minutes when Colm Duffin slotted over a free from 26 metres.  Dermot McErlain then won the ball from the resulting kick out and raced through to put the home side two in front and four minutes later Paddy McCormick used his pace to forge an opening and put the hosts three clear.

Twelve minutes were on the clock before Cuchullains raised a white flag through Keelan Molloy and they reduced the deficit to one almost immediately with a fine point from Seann Elliott before Conor Cunning took advantage of a Moneyglass mistake to level the game.

MONEYGLASS: Mark Carey, Peter McCormick, Tiarnan Duffin, Eamonn Kelly, Ferghal Duffin, Conor Boyd, Jervis Weir, Seanchann Duffin 0-1, Colm Duffin 0-7  (0-6 f), Paddy McCormick 0-1, Jimmy McMeel, Dermott McErlain 0-3, Jack McCoy 0-1, Conal Prenter, Sean Kelly.

SUBS – Conor O’Kane Paul Tohill 1-0 Ryan Doyle Kevin Marron 

DUNLOY – Stephen McIlroy, Conor Kinsella, Adrian Scullion, Karl O’Kane, Callum Scullion’ Oran Scullion’Kevin McQuillan 1-0, Ryan McGarry, Keelan Molloy 0-3, Seán Elliot 0-1, Ryan Mcfarane 1-0, Christopher McMahon, Conal Gunning 0-3, Anthony Smith.

SUBS: Anton McGrath, Kevin McAllister, Liam McCann, Eoghan McGrath, 0-1

Referee: Conal Roberts (St Johns)

Familiar faces in Intermediate decider

Larkin Cassidy Intermediate Football Championship Final

Dunloy vs Moneyglass –

Saturday September 19 – Throw in: 4pm

Referee: Karol Doherty (Rasharkin)

By Brendan McTaggart

The Intermediate football championship comes to a finale on Saturday afternoon with two familiar names in opposition.  Dunloy and Moneyglass have both knocked on the door in recent times, both should arguably have added to their honours list by now but what lays ahead is a mouth-watering prospect of two great footballing sides coming together.

Moneyglass went into last year’s final as favourites only to come up against an inspired Aldergrove side.  A monsoon lashed from the Portglenone night sky as the Crumlin men defied the odds and every punter out there to claim a deserving championship win over a shell-shocked Moneyglass side.

This year, they’ve got the bit between their teeth to go one better.  Finishing unbeaten and top of their group, including a two point win over the Cuchullains at Marian Hill, the St Ergnat’s men have been favourites for the Intermediate Championship from the moment the draw was made.  But, they were pushed to the pin of their collar in the semi-final.

They needed extra time to see off the challenge of St Paul’s under the floodlights in Ballymena –  a match where they didn’t look at the races for 40 minutes of normal time.  But the belief they showed to claw their way back into that game should be the boost they need ahead of Saturday’s final. 

St Paul’s had them on the ropes with an aerial bombardment and defensive shrewdness.  Conor Boyd, Dermot McErlain and Jack McCoy led the fightback as they reeled the Shaw’s Road side in and Seanchann Duffin’s extra time goal proved to be decisive.

In their semi-final win against All Saints, Dunloy had five starters in their 15 who played in their senior hurling success on Sunday past but the majority of the Cuchullains panel are dual players.  They will have enjoyed Sunday and Monday, no doubt but they have their eyes on a double – a fete they completed 13 years ago.  Their hurlers defeated Loughgiel in the decider that year as well before the big ball had their day, defeating Naomh Éanna in the decider at Casement Park.

For 45 minutes against All Saints, the Cuchullains looked a level above.  How they mix their attack leaves the opposition guessing.  The speed and agility of Keelan Molloy, Conal Cunning and Seaan Elliott running from deep while Caolan Gillan and Kevin McAllister can prove to be elusive target men on the inside forward line.

When the two sides met in last years championship first round, Colm Duffin orchestrated a comfortable win for Moneyglass.  A masterclass from midfield in a display where the Cuchullains gave him the freedom of Páirc Uí Chellaigh.  Nine points with just three from frees is telling figures and a quite brilliant performance on the day.  I would expect Dunloy to be more vigilant of the Antrim man and while St Paul’s kept him relatively quiet in the semi-final, ‘Smiley’ can step up and be the match-winner if he’s not looked after.

Dermot ‘Bugsy’ McErlain provides attacking impetus and makes Moneyglass tick.  Normally in a deeper roll, allow McErlain to run at you at your peril.  Speed, agility and a turn of pace that can leave the best man marker on the turf. 

Sean Kelly plays the sweeper roll and is capable of joining in attack when the opportunity presents itself.  Peter McCormick and Conor Boyd also keen to go forward and join an already impressive attacking unit.  Expect Patrick McCormick, Jack McCoy and Kevin Marron to give the Cuchullains all they want and more.

Last year, Colum Duffin’s onslaught and Conail Prenter’s two goals proved to be the decisive scores.  The good news for the Cuchullains is Prenter misses out through injury.  The bad news, McCoy is a more than able replacement.  His performance against St Paul’s showed the Moneyglass forward has more belief in his own game and a confidence that makes him a dangerous prospect.

Dunloy have their own dangermen and pace all over the field.  Injury concerns all over the field and given their hectic schedule that is unsurprising but this is where they want to be.  They have navigated their way through their dual minefield with this goal on their mind.  Just like Moneyglass after last years defeat at the final hurdle.

Saturday will be the day one of these sides exorcise the ghost of championships past.  The day a bridesmaid becomes the bride.  Who that will be, Dunloy or Moneyglass?  The bookies have the St Ergnat’s men as slight favourites at 8/11 but if there’s one thing the Cuchullains love to do, it’s defy the odds.


Moneylass snatch victory from the jaws of defeat against luckless St Paul’s

Larkin Cassidy Solicitors Intermediate Football Championship

Moneyglass 1-15 St Paul’s 0-15

After all the months of lockdown and limited entertainment this years Antrim Championships are more than making up for the shortage.

Tonight saw newly promoted St Pauls travel down the M2 to take on a strongly fancied St Ergnat’s side at Quinn Park, Ballymena.

A large crowd turned out expecting a close game and no one left Quinn Park short changed. The game had it all. Drama, excitement, missed chances, pressure points…the lot.

Moneyglass left half forward Dermot McErlain goes high to win the ball during Wednesday evening’s IFC semi-final win over St Paul’s

St Pauls hit the ground running with a point from big full forward Liam McLarnon and were dominating play but just weren’t converting their possession into scores and were punished when Moneyglass midfielder Colum Duffin equalised five minutes later.

The Shaw’s Road men regained the lead when corner back Aidan Kavanagh raced up the field and slotted over a fine effort, but from the resulting kick out Paddy McCormick latched on to a through ball and the sides were level once again.

St Pauls however were still dominating possession and hit three unanswered points, two from the excellent Seasamh MacConboine and one from Daniel Laverty.

St Ergnats reduces the gap to two before St Pauls sharp shooter MacConboine restored the Shaws Road men’s three point advantage.

Dermott McErlain hit back with a point for the South West side but St Pauls finished the half strong with another two scores from Liam McLarnon and a fourth point from MacConboine.

Moneyglass goalkeeper Mark Carey makes a brilliant save with his leg to deny St Paul’s an early goal

Moneyglass looked a shadow of themselves which was purely down to the intensity St Pauls had brought to the game and the half time whistle couldn’t have come at a better time for the St Ergnats men.

The second half got underway and immediately St Pauls settled back into their groove with a fine score from Liam McKenna to stretch the city men’s lead to five.

Moneyglass were now feeling the pressure and though they began to win a lot more possession, they kicked six consecutive wides before registering their first score of the second half through Conor Boyd who kicked over a free after 42 minutes.

County star Colum Duffin added another two frees as Moneyglass eventually started finding the target.

The turning point of the game, then came as St Pauls corner forward Liam McKenna found himself through on goal with just the keeper between him and glory. He went for power over precision resulting in the ball sailing over the bar. A goal at this stage would surely have ended Moneyglass hopes but they were handed a lifeline.

The St Ergnet’s men seized the opportunity with points from centre back Boyd and the impressive Jack McCoy but the Hoops still sensed victory when McKenna kicked over another point to put them two points up again with normal time nearly up.

St Ergnats back were now well and truly to the wall, but they showed their mettle and dug deep and when Colum Duffin kicked over his fifth of the night, and Dermott McErlain brought them level for the first time as time ebbed away.

St Pauls thought they had snatched victory again when Liam McLarnon kicked over three minutes into stoppage time but there was time for one more attack.

Moneyglass needed a leader and they found it in Jimmy McMeel when in the last attack of the night he kicked over an inspirational point to send the sides into extra time, though St Paul’s were left aggrieved when they thought they should have had a free seconds from the end.

St Paul’s goalkeeper Kiefer Toolan goes high to fist the ball away as Moneyglass centre forward Jimmy McMeel challenges.

The crowd were certainly getting value for money and the players sensed the pressure with no one being able to convert a score in the first extra stanza. Fatigue was setting in and the physios were certainly “earning their corn” with players cramping up everywhere.

It was do or die now for both sides as the ball was thrown in for the last phase of play.

Moneyglass won the ball and broke with renewed vigour and when it broke to big Seanchann Duffin he smashed the ball to the net to send Moneyglass support into raptures. 

They won the resulting kick out and Dermott McErlain fired over from thirty yards to give the South West men some breathing space for the first time as the sides exchanged two points each.

Suddenly the scores were coming thick and fast and Seasomh MacComboine kept St Pauls in touch with two frees, only to see them cancelled out by two fine scores from Liam Brady.

Cormac O’Hanlon added another for the Belfast men but it was not going to be enough as the clock had beaten them.

St Pauls will be devastated they didn’t put this one to bed but Moneyglass showed great resilience and now can look forward to another tough encounter with Dunloy in the final.

St Ergnats Teamsheet

1 Mark Carey 
2 Peter McCormick
3 Tiernan Duffin 
4 Eamonn Kelly 
5 Fearghal Duffin 
6 Conor Boyd (0-2)
7 Jervis Weir
18 Seanchann Duffin (1-0)
9 Colum Duffin (0-5)
10 Patrick McCormick (0-1)
11 Jimmy McMeel (0-1)
12 Dermott McErlain (0-3)
13 Jack McCoy (0-1)
14 Kevin Marron
15 Sean Kelly 

Subs Ryan Doyle, Liam Brady (0-2), Niall Boyd.

St Paul’s

1 Kiefer Toolan
2 Neil Ward
3 Sean Bradley
4 Aidan Kavanagh (0-1)
5 Joe Duffy
6 Don Burns
7 Conall Finnegan
8 Cormac O’Hanlon (0-1)
9 James Farrell
10 Colm McLarnon
11 Niall Peoples
12 Daniel Laverty (0-1)
13 Seasomh MacComboine (0-6)
14 Liam McLarnon (0-3)
15 Liam McKenna (0-3)