Intermediate Football Championship
All Saints 2-11 Con Magees 0-7
All Saints booked a place in the semi-final of the Intermediate Football Championship when they saw off the challenge of Con Magees Glenravel with a bit to spare in Monday evening’s quarter final in Creggan. The Ballymena outfit always held the upper hand and were totally dominant in the second half, but Glenravel contributed greatly to their own downfall by scoring an own goal early in the game and squandering two glorious goal chances of their own. Despite that they were still in with a chance at half time, but they lost their way badly in the second period and managed just a single point during the thirty minutes of normal time and four of injury as All Saints grip on the game strengthened by the minute.
The game was only two minutes old when disaster struck for Glenravel. All Saints had taken the lead with a neatly taken point from full forward Brendan McDonnell, but as the Con Magees keeper tried a quick kick out to Niall Swann on the left touchline the ball fell short and All Saints talisman Sean McVeigh dispossesed him and broke through to the right of goal. The big midfielder kept the ball on the ground and shot for goal and though the ball appeared to be running across the goal and wide, Con Magee’s corner back Michael Laverty was forced into making a quick decision while running back towards his own goal and turned the ball across his own goal line.
The gap was out to five by the fourth minute when Michael McCarry added a point from play for All Saints and the Glenravel boys appeared in deep trouble, but right from the kick out they put together a good move involving Conor McNeill and Declan Traynor which ended with Joe Scullion pointing at the other end. All Saints went straight down the field from the kick out and a powerful run by McVeigh set up McCarry for a simple point at the other end, but Glenravel were starting to find their feet and good work by Conor McNeill sent dangerman Eamon Fyfe through for a point. Two minute later a great move up the right wing saw Fyfe in action again as he sent David Higgins through on goal with only the keeper to beat. Glenravel fans held their breadth but Higgins probably ‘pulled the trigger’ too early and his shot was brilliantly saved by All Saints goalkeeper Emmet McAllister who diverted the ball across the goal where corner forward Damian Gillan did well to clear the danger. Eamon Fyfe pulled a point back soon afterwards but the Ballymena boys came back strongly and McVeigh plundered another fine point from play while McCarry added his third of the half to put his side five clear.
On 13 minutes Conor McNeill got Glenravel going with a well taken point and when Josh McKeown converted a free from distance the gap was down to a goal by the end of the opening quarter. A minute later it looked like it was going to be a tied game when good movement by the forward saw Fyfe cut through on goal again but the full forward tried to place the ball in the corner instead of simply blasting it and it flew across the frame of the goal and went inches wide of the far post. That was to be as good as it for the Con Magees for as the half wore on All Saints regained their grip on the game and though the scores were not flowing as they did earlier Sean McVeigh powered through for a point minutes before half time to give his team a 1-8 to 0-6 lead at the break.
Right half forward Eoin Campbell increased the All Saints lead within a minute of the restart but Glenravel stayed in touch as Eamon Fyfe hit a lovely point on the turn from 25 metres. However that was to be the Con Magees only score of the second half as the Saints took over throughout the field. The score that really settled it came on forty two minutes when All Saints teenager Kavan Keenan took advantage of a poor clearance by the Con Magees defence and broke through from the right wing to send a shot low to the Glenravel net. From then on it was just a case of how many they would win by and though the standard understandably dropped as bodies tired, and only two more points were to be added in the eighteen minutes which remained (Michael McCarry and Connell Lemon the scorers). All Saints were always in control as they cruised to a semi-final meeting with St Brigid’s in two weeks’ time.
Emmet McAllister, Joe Rocks, Andy Kelly, Rhys O’Mullan, Ciaran McGarry, Damian Kelly, Kavan Keenan, Sean McVeigh, Peter McNicholl, Eoin Campbell, Michael McCarry, Conall Lemon, Damian Gillan, Brendan McDonnell, Ciaran Shannon.
Sean O’Boyle, Conor Carey, Paul McCurry, Michael Laverty, David Higgins, Ally McKeown, Joshua McKeown, Conor Carey, Niall Swann, Joe Scullion, Kieran McKeown, Aidan McCafferty, Conor McNeill, Eamon Fyfe, Declan Traynor.
Referee – Cathal McDermott (Tir na nOg)