CASEMENT SC JFC Semi-Final
Glen Rovers 3-12 Gort na Mona 0-11
Late goals from Ciaran McKenna and Eoin Kinney sealed victory and a place in the Casement Social Club JHC final for Glen Rovers when they held off a spirited challenge from Gort na Mona in Armoy on Saturday.
The men from the Mona bye-pass had staged a strong second half comeback to close the gap to two with 28 minutes of the second half gone but Ciaran McKenna struck with the home sides second goal with time almost up and Kinney was on hand to return the sliotar to the net following a splendid save by Gort’s keeper, John Kelly, deep into in jury time.
It was visitors Gort na Mona who opened the scoring with a point from Declan Hughes in the second minute but Trevor Linton replied for Glen Rovers to level matters with four minutes gone.
Owen Kinney looked to have added a goal, a minute later when he finished a hanging delivery to the the Gort na Mona net but the score was ruled out for a square ball infringement.
It was to herald a sustained period of pressure for the home side however as they pushed up on the Gort na Mona defence, forcing turn overs and winning frees which full-forward, Turlach McBride gratefully accepted.
McBride hit three on the bounce by the 9th minute to move his side 0-4 to 0-1 ahead as the visitors struggled to get out of their own half and a great point from Thomas Burns from 70 meters and another converted McBride free had them five in front at the end of the opening quarter.
Gort na Mona kept battling away and Neill Henry got their second point from a well struck free from 60 meters and further points from Patrick McCaffery and Darron ‘Diesel’ Boyd had it back to two by the 20th minute.
Turlach McBride stopped the rut with another converted free and then struck another from a ‘65’ following a smart save from John Kelly in the Gort na Mona goals and Trevor Linton added a great point from out near the left hand touchline with Dessie McClean replying for the visitors to leave it 0-9 to 0-5 at the halfway stage.
With the wind now behind them Glen Rovers were expected to push on in the second half but they were guilty of some poor misses during the opening exchanges despite enjoying a lot of possession.
All seemed to be going to plan when McBride fired over in the 11th minute to opern the second half scoring and move his side five in front but Gort na Mona were beginning to win more possession with Neill Henry getting on top around mid-field.
The visitors replied with two in quick succession from Dessie McClean, the second an excellent effort as the Armoy scores dried up and two more from Neill Henry and McClean had it back to a single score by the 18th minute.
Glen Rovers looked in a bit of trouble but they made a decisive break and PJ McBride was on hand to finish to the net from close range after a great save from John Kelly to deny Owen Kinney’s original effort.
Back came the city men and another great point from the impressive Neill Henry had it back to two by the 25th minute and the home side were now defending as if their lives depended on it.
As Gort na Mona pushed forward again they were caught with a decisive break from the Glen Rovers and Ciaran McKenna’s goal with time almost up put a bit of daylight between the sides.
It seemed to knock the fight out of the Enright Park men and Turlach McBride followed with a fine point from distance and Trevor Linton added another before Owen Kinney’s goal deep in injury time put a somewhat flattering slant on the final score-line.
Glen Rovers went into this one as firm favourites and for long periods of the game they were the better side but the fact that had recorded only one point up to the 18th minute of the second half will be of some concern to the management.
They did produce the goods however when the chips were down with Turlach McBride, Trevor Linton, PJ McBride, Shane Devlin and Thomas Burns their outstanding performers on the day.
Glen Rovers will now meet St. Brigid’s Cloughmills, who defeted Lamh Dhearg in the other semi-final, in the final in two weeks-time and it promises to be an excellent final between keen rivals and deadly neighbours.
Glen Rovers: 1 Conor Devlin, 2 Callum Coyles, 3 Shane Devlin, 4 Arthur Devlin, 5 Hugh O’Kane, 6 Thomas Burns, 7 Liam Dillon, 8 Ciaran McKenna, 9 PJ McBride, 10 Eoin O’Boyle, 11 Colin Lordan, 12 Eamonn McCaughan, 13 Trevor Linton, 14 Turlach McBride, 15 Owen Kinney.
Subs: Conor Christie for Lordan, Joey mcFetridge for Eoin Boyle,
Gort na Mona: 1 John Kelly, 2 Conor Healey, 3 Christopher Devlin, 4 Connor Connolly, 5 David Dixon, 6 Padraig McHugh, 7 Nathan Gibson, 8 Gavin McKenna, 9 Aaron Hicks, 10 Darron Boyd, 11 Patrick McCaffery, 12 Declan Hughes, 13 Niall Healey, 14 Neill Henry, 15 Dessie McClean.
Subs: Manas Mullan, Brendan Cousins for Conor Healey, Emmet Loughran for Gavin McKenna
Referee: Paul O’Neill (Creggan)