Con Magees Glenravel 0-09 St Patrick’s Lisburn 0-06
Geordie McGuckin reports from Chapel Hill, Glenavy
Con Magees Glenravel won the Antrim Junior champions after a strong second half display saw them get the better of St Patrick’s Lisburn in Sunday’s final at Chapel Hill Glenavy. Going in at the break with just a two point lead after having the use of the strong wind, the Glenravel men appeared to be in a bit of bother, but they put together a great second half display to breast the tape three ahead of their opponents.
The Lisburn lads having occupied the runners up berth in the competition last year, did look well capable of going a step further in the second period with the breeze on their backs. However the realignment of big Martin Mc Carry to the central zone added impetus to the Con Magees outfit and with the impressive Conor Mc Neill most adept in the fetching and carrying role the men in green and white always looked in command.
The Lisburn side were dealt a blow to their chances when their best on view Aaron Mc Donald received a red card during the second half, and despite their honest endeavors they were never to regain composure in front of posts.
Dylan McIlwaine presents the Saffron Gael Man of the Match award to Con Magees captain Conor McNeill.
A stiff breeze to contend with as the sides lined out on the well manicured sward at the Chapel Hill base of St Joseph’s Glenavy.
Glenravel captain Conor McNeill won the toss and decided his team would have the southerly breeze on their backs in the opening period and although they were away in a hurry as Aidan O’Donnell grabbed the opening score in the opening minute the way to posts was not to be an easy route to follow thereafter.
Lisburn came close to getting off the mark in the 4th minute after Paul Mc Curry had made intervention on the Glenravel goal line and his clearance was claimed and returned wide of the posts by Francis Mc Meel.
The St Patrick’s side were well organized on their defensive duties as Glenravel looked to make full use of the elements though the Con Magees added to their lead when the strong running Conor Mc Neill sent an 8th minute ‘45’ directly between the posts, and when Josh Mc Keown added another from a free they were 0-03 to 0-00 to the good.
Lisburn were getting to grips with the elements though as the game progressed and getting organized in their defensive duties they were proving adept in halting planned offensive movement and a well laid counter saw Francis Mc Meel open his team’s account splitting the posts from a 30 metre free following an indiscretion on the advancing Aaron McDonnell.
The ill-fated defender was proving influential within the ranks of the Lisburn side as they stood tall in resistance to Glenravel attacks with Conor Mc Neill most often in the vanguard.
The Glensmen did add to their tally in the 24th minute as Mc Neill planted a 35 metre free kick between the posts but as events were to unfold that was to prove their last addition on the scoreboard with an excellent long range delivery from the free roaming Josh Mc Mullan yielding the last score of the half as he reduced the Glenravel lead 0-04 to 0-02 when the short blast sounded.
The Con Magees followers must have feared for their team at the break with just a two point cushion, but the second period was but a couple of minutes old when the Glenravel men added a point via a Josh Mc Keown delivery and events were about to liven up as Aaron Mc Donald replied in kind with an expertly taken score at the other end within a minute.
Glenravel with the veteran Martin Mc Carry now operating at the middle of the field increased their lead by another point via Josh McKeown, again after the former collected and sent Conor Carey away on the right to deliver in to the wing half forward.
Lisburn replied again with the hard working Aaron Mc Donald claiming another score but the Glensmen were again quick to negate this score as a slick combination between Conor Mc Neill and Niall Swann opened the way for Ciaran O’ Connor to raise the white flag at the other end.
Similarly when Mark Og Cherneck struck to grab a super long range score for St Patrick’s, Glenravel mid fielder David Higgins turned on the style to leave a couple of defenders struggling to contain as he planted between the posts.
With Martin Mc Carry influential in the rear guard duties and the ever available Conor Mc Neill always ready to fetch and carry the Glensmen looked comfortable in possession but the gallant St Patrick’s were not about to make any concession.
The Lisburn men were working hard in their efforts to gain penetration but when the main cog within the St Patrick’s wheel Aaron McDonald saw red the die was cast.
The Glensmen dictated the goings on in the last minutes and a late Josh Mc Keown, free which sailed directly over the black spot, ensured they crossed the winning line for the second time in three years.
Aidan O’Donnell grabs Con Magees’ opening score. Pic by John McIlwaine
Sean O’ Boyle, Ally Mc Keown, Paul McCurry, Michael Laverty, Gareth Mc Keown, Niall Swann, Ciaran O’ Connor (0-01), Conor Carey, David Higgins (0-01), Declan Traynor (0-01), Kieran Mc Keown, Josh Mc Keown (0-04), Conor Mc Neill (0-02), Martin Mc Carry, Aiden O’ Donnell
Mark O’Connor for Gareth McKeown ; Jonathan Fyfe for A O’ Donnell
Peter O’ Neill, Jack Mc Mullan, Thomas Burns, Aaron Mc Donald (0-02), Shane Mc Evoy, Tighearnan O’ Meallaigh, Eoin Fay, Thomas Fay, Mark Torbitt, Francis Mc Meel (0-01), Paul Law, Ben Mc Mullan (0-01), Denver Taggart, Josh Mc Mullan (0-01), Mark og Cherneck
Declan Burns for Paul Law; Martin Kennedy for Eoin Fay; Paul Law for T Fay