Dunloy edge past Moneyglass to book another final place

LOCC Solicitors Antrim Intermediate Hurling Championship Semi-Final

Dunloy v Moneyglass 5

Kevin McAllister (10) celebrates after scoring a Dunloy goal in Friday night’s win over Moneyglass in the IFC semi-final at Ahogill Pic by Dylan McIlwaine

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

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 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.

Moneyglass were playing into the wind in the opening half but were making light of the elements in the opening exchanges.  Seanchann Duffin and Dermot McErlain were proving a handful for the Dunloy defence while the runs from deep by Patrick McCormick and Padraig Mackle were giving the St Ergnat’s men plenty of options.  Duffin and McErlain scored St Ergnat’s opening two scores before Conal Cunning and Kevin McAllister replied for the Cuchullains but Moneyglass were edging the midfield exchanges and started to turn their superiority into scores.

A free  from Liam Brady left two between the sides but the Moneyglass men were in front soon after when ‘Bugsy’ produced a moment of brilliance for his side.  The St Ergnat’s man won the ball in midfield before setting off on another trade mark run.  Despite losing possession, McErlain was first to the loose ball and struck his left foot shot first time to riffle the ball to the bottom right hand corner.  It was a quite simply sensational strike that left Dunloy goal keeper Frankie Cochrane no chance.  A rasping drive that lifted the St Ergnat’s spirits as they looked for further scores.

Paul Tohill and McErlain had the white flag raised for Moneyglass to make it 1-3 without reply in the space of five minutes and they were threatening to run away with the semi-final, opening a three point lead but the Cuchullain’s hit back with a purple patch of their own.  Scores for Cunning and Keelan Molloy kept them in touch before they scored their second major of the semi-final.  McAllister it was with the finish in the 22nd minute but the build-up play and vision from McKinley and Cunning created the chance and gave the Cuchullains the lead once again.  A trio of points from McKinley, Deaglan Smyth and Molloy (free) meant Dunloy had scored 1-5 without reply in 10 minutes, a superb turnaround considering how much pressure St Ergnat’s had them under but Moneyglass finished the half on top.  Two more scores for McErlain, taking his tally for the half to 1-4 meant the Cuchullains held a three point advantage at the interval.

 

The Cuchullains lead at the short whistle looked a precarious one.  Moneyglass would have been delighted to have went into the half time break trailing by just three points, such was the wind advantage they would have after the restart.  The first half was a free flowing, open game of entertaining football by two good sides, after the restart it became a battle of wills and came down to who wanted it more on the day.

Duffin and McKinley exchanged frees in the opening minutes of the second half but Woody’s second point of the match would prove to be the Cuchullains last for 12 minutes as Moneyglass piled on the pressure.  Brady (two) and Duffin landed frees to bring the sides level once again by the 44th minute and it looked like Moneyglass would push on.  Any Dunloy attacks in the second half were fleeting and the Cuchullains were sometimes guilty of lacking composure when it came to the final pass.  Moneyglass were relentless in their attacks but the Dunloy defence were resolute and organised with Gabriel McTaggart and Kieran Hughes instrumental in keeping the Moneyglass forwards at bay.

Keelan Molloy landed his third free of the match to revive the Cuchullains ambitions and while Ryan Boyd soon equalised, Moneyglass were in huge debt to their goal keeper with the next Dunloy attack.  With six minutes of the semi-final remaining, Dunloy carved an opening for goal and when Nigel Elliott was one on one with Carey, there looked to be only one outcome.  The Moneyglass ‘keeper spread himself bravely to deny Elliott and the Cuchullains what would surely have been a decisive score.  Substitute Conal Dooey lashed the rebound over the bar to give Dunloy the lead once again.

With the wet conditions and tiredness set in, both teams were making errors with neither stamping their authority on the game.  Dunloy again had another goal chance and again it was Elliott who showed the Moneyglass defence a clean pair of heels.  Electing for power, Elliott’s effort sailed to the wrong side of the post.  Another reprieve for the St Ergnat’s men and when Duffin landed his fourth free of the match with two minutes of the 60 remaining to equalise, it looked like the Cuchullains would rue their missed opportunities.

Chances came and went for either side in the closing stages but it was Conor McKinley who would have the final say.  With the match entering the third minute of the five extra minutes allocated, Woody scored the point that took the Cuchullains to their third Intermediate football championship final in a row.  St Brigid’s await the Cuchullains in the decider but for Moneyglass its more championship heartache.  They can take pride in their performance under the floodlights at Ahoghill on Friday night and they more than contributed to an entertaining game of football but it’s the Cuchullains who advance to this year’s Intermediate decider.

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)

 

Pics by Dylan McIlwaine

Four Goal St. Brigid’s Advance to Intermediate Final

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Antrim Intermediate Football Championship (Semi-final)

St Brigid’s 4-09 All Saint’s Ballymena 0-11

‘Goals wins prizes’ is an old adage and in this instance it certainly applied, as St Brigid’s hit four to claim  a place in the final of the Intermediate championship with a good win over All Saint’s Ballymena at Corrigan on Saturday afternoon.

John Blayney who is following in the footsteps of his famous Dad, Greg who wore the red and black of Down to All Ireland success, bagged the first just a couple of minutes into the second quarter.

The wing half forward’s sweet strike after a precision based approach proved the difference between the sides at the break and allowed the city side a 1-05 to 0-06 lead at the short whistle.

All Saint’s had taken full advantage of the diagonal breeze which favoured them in the opening period to earn an early three point lead.

Connell Lennon got All Saint’s away with a point just a minute into proceedings and Michael Mc Carry added another a couple of minutes later.

The Ballymena men came close to nicking an early goal and only a last second intervention and the outstretched fingers of St Brigid’s keeper Stephen Morrissey denied Paddy McAleer after Sean McVeigh launched the leather into the danger area.

The South West side certainly started in confidence and as the clock reached eight minutes a Sean Mc Veigh fetch opened the way for Michael McCarry to fire between the posts and see his side move 0-03 to 0-00 clear.

Having started slowly St Brigid’s were soon into their stride where high fielding Enda Clarke was coming into his own and a foul on James Smith opened the way for Ronan Mc Grady to open their account when he despatched the resultant free directly over the bar into the stiff breeze from the right side of the ground in the 11th minute.

Peter Webb collected a poor clearance to add a second point to the St Brigid’s total shortly afterwards and they were on par a minute later as Ronan McGrady judged the diagonal breeze to perfection as he delivered another placed effort between the posts.

The quick starting All Saints men had been reeled back in and shortly to be passed as a slick approach and interchange which involved Enda Clarke and Andy Sweeney opened the way for the opening goal as young John Blayney, drilled the leather to the corner of the net.

All Saint’s replied as a couple of Michael Mc Carry strikes yielded points apiece to reduce the deficit to the minimum, but back came the city side for Cathal Conway and Ruairi Finnegan to follow suit.

The end of the opening period approached and a fine Ciaran McGarry point saw the Ballymena men back within a couple of points but an injury to their mid-field general Sean McVeigh, who had been most prominent in the black and white certainly up set their progress.

The short blast followed shortly afterwards with St Brigid’s taking respite with a 1-05 to 0-06 advantage.

All Saint’s were to emerge for the second half without McVeigh as Ciaran Shannon entered as replacement with St Brigid’s in turn introducing Ruairi O’ Neill for John Toner.

All Saints were again quick into stride and as Joe Rafferty moved forward to raise white a couple of minutes into the new half when the ever accurate Michael McCarry added another they were back on terms and seemed revitalised.

St Brigid’s may well have dallied in the early stages but not to linger for long as replacement Ruairi O’ Neill led the charge.

The flame haired replacement struck in the 40th minute as he nipped in to ‘rob’ Peter Mc Nicholl before planting the leather in the back of the net, and when John Blayney gathered the resultant kick out he was quick to find the unmarked Jack Dowling stationed on the edge of the square to supply another.

The tide had turned again in favour of St Brigid’s and a six point lead secured in the 42nd minute.

The Slemish Park side were rattled and required scores quickly if they were to get back into this one and such opportunity duly arrived as Paddy Mc Aleer was hauled down inside the square with a penalty the quick decision from match official Colin McDonald who had an excellent hour in charge.

Emmet Killough stepped up to take the kick but the St. Brigid’s net-minder Stephen Morrissey was equal to the task as he claimed what was a less then convincing delivery.

Michael McCarry gained some consolation for the missed penalty as he added a 55th minute point after another foul on the hard grafting Paddy Mc Aleer but when a cute flick at the other end by replacement Ruairi O’ Neill sent John Blayney on his merry way to plant the leather into the corner of the net again to claim his second ‘major’ the end was in sight.

The end result predictable but the last minutes continued in some drama with some periods of ‘handbag actions’ dealt with quietly and most competently by the referee with St Brigid’s posting a trio of late scores as Ben Leonard and Ronan Mc Grady (2) raising further white flags in answer to an eye catching reply delivered by All Saint’s youngster Kavan Keenan.

An extended period of ‘injury time’ of six minutes added following a head injury endured by St Brigid’s central defender Ben Sinott  had no impact on the final result with a 4-09 to 0-11 scoreline booking the St Brigid’s men a place in the Intermediate final where they will face the challenge of either Moneyglass or Dunloy

St Brigid’s: Stephen Morrissey, Andy Sweeney, Conor King, Finn McKernan, Michael Cummings, Ben Sinott, John Toner, Enda Clarke, Cathal Conway (0-01), James Smith, Ruairi Finnegan (0-01), John Blayney (2-00), Peter Webb (0-01), Ronan McGrady (0-05), Jack Dowling (1-00) Subs: Ruairi O’ Neill (1-00) for J Toner, Conor O’ Doherty for J Toner, Ben Leonard (0-01) for B Sinott, Ethan Carleton for P Webb (black card)

All Saint’s: Emmett McAllister, James Gillan, Peter McNicholl, Rhys O’ Mullan, Ciaran McGarry (0-01), Andy Kelly, Joe Rafferty (0-01), Sean McVeigh, Emmett Killough, Cavan Keenan (0-01), Michael McCarry (0-07), Eoin Campbell, Conal Lennon (0-01), Paddy McAleer, Dermot Gillan. Subs: Ciaran Shannon for S McVeigh (inj), Ciaran McLarnon for J Rafferty,

Referee Colin McDonald (St Gall’s)

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All Saints on top but Con Magees contribute to their own downfall

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Intermediate Football Championship

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All Saints talisman Sean McVeigh in action during Monday evening ‘s Intermediate Football semi-final win over Con Magees in Creggan. Pic by John McIlwaine

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.

All Saints

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.

Con Magees

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)

Boyd Point Edges St. Ergnat’s Through to Semi-Final

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LOCC Solicitors Antrim Intermediate Football Championship

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 St Ergnat’s Moneyglass 2-10

Gort na Móna 0-15

St. Ergnat’s Moneyglass are through to the semi-final of the Antrim Intermediate Football Championship after holding off a late sustained challenge by Gort na Mona at Whitehill on Saturday evening.

With the sides level deep into injury time, substitute Conor Boyd became the Moneyglass hero as he converted a late free after being dragged down himself as he bore down on goal.

The Marian Hill side were on top during the opening half and a well taken goal by Dermot McErlain in the second minute put them in the driving seat. McErlaine received the ball out on the left and his pace left two defenders for dead before firing past Tomas McCaffrey in the Gort na Mona goals.

Patrick McCaffrey replied with a point for the Turf Lodge men, but Moneyglass enjoyed the majority of the possession in the first quarter.

With Gavin Murray playing as sweeper, they forced a lot of turnovers. However, the South West side missed quite a number of chances as they dominated the early exchanges, allowing the City men to stay in touch.

Patrick McCormick, Ryan Boyd and Paul Tohill finally found the target with good points while Dermott McVeigh replied for the Turf Lodge side.

Moneyglass midfielders Seachann Duffin and Ryan Boyd hit fine back-to-back points while McVeigh (free) and centre-back David McErlean kept Gorts in touch.

A further free from McVeigh on the stroke of half-time ensured that just a goal separated the sides as Moneyglass led 1-5 to 0-5 at the interval.

St. Ergnat’s were struck a blow just before half time when the impressive Patrick McCormick limped out of the contest to be replaced by Jarvis Weir and it was clear as the sides headed to the dressing room that this one was far from over.

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Well done St. Ergnat’s from Boyd’s Mace

Gort na Mona returned for the second half with Dermott McVeigh now playing at midfield and it was McVeigh who opened the second half scoring with an early point to cut the deficit to two points. His side received a serious setback however when Jarvis Weir’s attempted point dropped under the crossbar and was collected by Tomas McCaffrey.

McCaffrey cleared his lines but after consulting with his umpires referee Vincent Boyle awarded a goal, the umpire deciding that the Gort’s keeper had stepped over the line with the ball and despite strong protestations the score stood.

A point from Conaill Prenter increased the South West side’s lead to six with only six minutes of the new half gone and Gort na Mona looked in serious trouble and further points from Dessie McClean and Padraig McHugh for the Gorts and replies from Duffin and McErlaine for Moneyglass saw the St. Ergnat’s men maintain their six point advantage

Moneyglass looked comfortable as they entered the final quarter but Gort na Mona upped their game considerably as they started to exert pressure on the St. Ergnat’s defence. A free and a converted ‘45’ from McVeigh made it 2-8 to 0-10 before Gort na Móna were awarded a penalty on 50 minutes after McHugh was fouled

The corner-forward took the responsibility himself and went for power, but blasted the ball over the crossbar much to the relief of the South West side and they looked to have weathered the storm when Ryan Boyd popped up with a much-needed point for his side at the other end.

However, the West Belfast men were far from finished as they replied with back-to-back points from a McHugh (free) and McDonagh from play to leave just two between the sides with time creeping towards 60 minutes.

Brendan Corr fired over another and the gap was down to one before Ryan Doyle was shown a black card as St. Ergnat’s defended desperately and then a fine long range point from Dermott McVeigh tied the contest and we looked to be heading for a replay.

The same player had the opportunity to seal it for the Turf Lodge side but his attempt dropped short and Moneyglass countered. Substitute Seamus Devlin set up Conor Boyd and as he bore down on goal he was hauled down. Boyd gathered himself of the ground to convert the resulting free and give his side back a lead they were not to lose, much to the delight and relief of the St. Ergnat’s support.

 

MONEYGLASS: M Carey; K McPeake, T Duffin, M Neeson; S Kelly, P Mackle, P McCormick 0-1; R Boyd 0-3, S Duffin 0-2; D McErlain 1-1, P Tohill 0-1, R Doyle; C Prenter 0-1, L Brady, G Murray.

Subs: J Weir 1-0 for McCormick (28mins), B Conway for Murray (41mins), C Boyd 0-1 (0-1f) for Prenter (47mins), S Devlin for McPeake (57mins), M McLaughlin for Doyle (black card replacement, 58mins).

GORT NA MONA: T McCaffrey; C Connolly, D Hughes, M Savage; B Burns, D McErlean 0-1, P Mulvenna; C Carson, B Corr 0-1; S Campbell, D McClean 0-1, A McDonagh 0-1; P McCaffrey 0-1, D McVeigh 0-7 (0-3fs, 0-1 45), P McHugh 0-3 (0-3fs).

Subs: C McErlean for Campbell (41mins), G Doyle for Hughes (54mins), S Doyle for Carson (54mins), J Reilly for Mulvenna (58mins).

REFEREE: V Boyle (Dunloy)

St Enda’s comeback comes up short

Intermediate Football Championship (Qtr Final)thumbnail_LOCCLogo_CMYK

St Brides v St Enda's - 3St Brigid’s 1-13 St Enda’s 1-11

St Brigid’s claimed a place in the semi finals of the Intermediate championship when they passed the winning line with a two point advantage over St Enda’s on the pristine Hannahstown sod on Saturday evening last but the South Belfast side came close to a dramatic exit.

In fact St Brigid’s looked home and hosed when after holding sway for much of the opening period they took the respite afforded by the short blast holding a 0-07 to 0-03 lead, and they seemed to put the issue beyond all reasonable doubt when they dashed out of the blocks for the second period so convincingly that they had increased their advantage to 1-11 to 0-03 by the 41st minute.

St Enda’s having secured promotion to the top grade earlier in the week seemed to have settled for that as they looked at an eleven point deficit nearing the end of the third quarter, but the Hightown men woke from their slumber as they produced a startling comeback that took them mighty close to revival.

St Brigid’s, who had scored a dramatic last gasp win over Tir na Nog in the opening round were away first with a Peter Webb point less than a minute into proceedings.

Out in front the city men looked composed and at ease and they increased advantage in the 4th minute as John Blayney seized on a poor clearance to return the ball firmly between the posts. The wing half forward, son of former Down great Greg Blayney, impressed throughout and looks very much cast in a similar mode to his father.

St Brigid’s looked composed as they played some excellent football, but the Glengormley men were less so as they struggled to settle into any sort of patternand things got worse for the Hightown outfiet when Ronan O’ Grady nipped in from the left to added another St Brigid’s point. St Enda’s really needed a score settle them but they were forced to make a change in the 12th minute as corner forward Donal Walsh received a black card with minor start Ethan Gibson entering as replacement.

St Enda’s were off the mark shortly afterwards as the elegant Odhran Eastwood raised a white flag and when be combined with the replacement Ethan White to add another the Hightown men looked up and running.

Jack Dowling added a similar score at the other end within a minute but Eastwood increased the tally to three when he stroked a free kick between the posts again in the 20th minute and it looked game on with St Brigid’s just a point ahead at 0-04 to 0-03.

Having their early lead reduced appeared to spur St Brigid’s and they upped the tempo as Ben Leonard and Jack Dowling added points apiece, and when John Blayney strode onto the edge of the square in the 28th minute a goal looked likely but the wing half forward calmly sent over the bar to see his side at 0-07 to 0-03 at the end of the opening half.

The second period saw the St Brigid’s men continue as they had concluded the opening thirty minutes and laying siege to the St Enda’s posts they further increased advantage by three as John Dowling, James Smith and Jack Dowling all added point apiece by the 35th minute.

The St Enda’s cause was beginning to look forlorn and indeed all but lost in the next phase as James Smith rose highest to punch an Enda Clarke lofted delivery to the back of the net and when John Blayney followed with a 42nd minute point only the eternal optimist within the ranks of those in black and amber would have contemplated a likely come-back.

The St Brigid’s men looked to be on their way to the semis but as it turned out their passage would not prove as smooth as predicted as the Glengormley men were to stage a dramatic revival.

A 44th minute Kristian Healey point signalled the revival and when Conor Lyttle nicked a point and impressive centre back James Mc Auley went forward at pace to claim a smash and grab goal the deficit was reduced by five. St Brigid’s were under pressure and indeed under siege as the Glengormley men smelt blood and after an Oran Eastwood point further reduced the deficit Ronan Mc Grady’s 50th minute reply in kind looked to settle them.

St Enda’s were not to be halted in their positive tracks however and gaining in composure they claimd dominance in the central zone where Niall Mc Keown was working like a demon to feed his forwards with dangerous ball. The ever accurate Odhran Eastwood raised another white flag, Niall Mc Keever raced through to add another and when Eastwood struck again and Scott tagged on two, only a point separated the sides at the 56th minute.

St Brigid’s having been in the calm waters of security a short time earlier now looked to be battling against the elements as the St Enda’s men drove onward seeking a semi berth which suddenly looked in reach.

It was backs to the wall time for the beleaguered St Brigid’s side and seemingly up against it as the St Enda’s men controlled possession.

As the clock ticked towards and beyond the allotted sixty minutes with St Enda’s needing a score to force extra time, but the men from Musgrave Park St  stood firm. St Enda’s did get their opportunity when a foul on the advancing James Mc Auley gave them a 60 metre free and the chance to bring the game to extra time. However as the well struck free was gathered by Clarke rose highest to claim the leather. The big man came out to clear his lines and send his clearance long to start a counter-attack which the set late replacement Kevin Gallagher away, and when he delivered straight and true and over the bar the issue was resolved.

The long blast brought relief to St Brigid’s, and indeed a place in the semi final stage of the Intermediate championship and a late September date with either All Saint’s or Glenravel who meet on Monday evening.

St Brigid’s

Stephen Morrissey, Finn Mc Kernan, Michael Cummings, Andy Sweeney, Patrick Finnegan, Ben Sinnot, Conor King, Enda Clarke, Cathal Conway, John Blayney (0-03), Ben Leonard, James Smith (1-01), Peter Webb (0-01), Jack Dowling (0-02), Ronan Mc Grady (0-03)

Subs

Kevin Gallagher (0-01) for J Blayney

Peter Lundy for P Webb

Conor O’ Doherty for J Dowling

 

Paddy Flodd, Michael Mc Namee, Damien Gault, Killian Jennings, Ryan Kennedy, James Mc Auley (1-00), Philly Curran, Niall Mc Keown (0-01), Ciaran Thompson, Odhran Eastwood (0-06), Kristian Healey (0-01), Ruairi Scott (0-02), Gerard Crossey, Donal Walsh

Subs

Ethan Gibson for D Walsh (black card)

Diarmuid Mc Nulty for K Jennings

Conor Scott for Philly Curran

Philly Curran for O Eastwood

Pics by Bert Trowlen for the Saffron Gae