St Colman's crash out of MacRory
Tuesday, 5 March 2013
St Colman's College 0-11 St Patrick's Maghera 1-10.
ST Colman's exited the MacRory Cup a frustrated side having squandered numerous opportunities to win the game, but their opponents St Patrick's Maghera were worthy winners in the replay.
Having drawn over a week ago, the replay took place on Saturday in Errigal Ciaran's ground and it was St Pat's that seemed to have learned more from that first encounter.
The Newry men battled hard and their commitment can't be questioned, but it was simply one of those days when nothing worked for them.
With just over 10 minutes remaining St Colman's trailed by a goal but were thrown a lifeline when St Pat's keeper Ciaran McCloy completely cleaned Curtis Sands and the Newry side were awarded a penalty.
Last week's goal-scorer Dara Noonan took the spot-kick but blazed his shot over the bar.
It was a hammer blow to the Newry men and while they forced the Derry men onto the back foot for the closing stages of the game, the match seemed to be always slipping away from them.
St Colman's were forced to work hard to keep in touch with the Derry men after Maghera scored a goal in the opening minutes.
But showing tremendous character, Noonan, who started in full forward, Liam McGreevy and Jack Haughey replied with points and the sides were level on 14 minutes.
However, the Newry men were never allowed to get on top as St Pat's bossed the middle of the field and were excellent at attacking in numbers.
St Colman's packed the middle of the pitch with bodies, effectively playing with no half-forward line, which had they utilised by kicking quick, long ball into the two-man full-forward line, may have been an effective tactic.
But instead St Colman's were cumbersome and laboured going forward.
Any early long balls into Haughey was won by the Newry lad and more times than not St Colman's got a score, but they failed to keep Haughey and Kealan Rice in plentiful supply.
Maghera were wasteful in front of the posts as big full forward Stephen O'Hara kicked 10 wides although he did manage to slot a wonderful free from 40-metres late in the second half.
In the first half St Colman's found it hard to win frees when they were obvious, while St Patrick's seemed to win them that bit easier.
St Colman's trailed 0-06 to 1-05 at the break, but the introduction of Jordan Fegan gave the Blues a bit of an attacking edge.
Still though, each time they inched closer with a score Maghera had the ability to tag a reply at the other end and it became clear that St Colman's would need something special in order to get a result.
Converted frees from Haughey kept the Newry men in contention but then came the penalty, which could have been the catalyst for a comeback, but the pointed spot-kick deflated St Colman's ambitions.
Haughey and Fegan tried to engineer something but the game had gone and the Derry side will take on St Paul's on Monday, March 18, at 1.15pm in the Athletic Grounds, Armagh.
ST COLMAN'S: John O'Hare, Aidan McKiernan, Michael Finnegan, John Brown, Michael O'Hare, Joe McDermott, Conal Brown, Jamie Curran, Eamon Grant, Curtis Sands, Dara Noonan, Oisin O'Neill, Liam McGreevy, Jack Haughey and Kealan Rice.
ST PAT'S MAGHERA: Ciaran McCloy, Conor Glass, Declan Hughes, Oisin Hegarty, Cathal Mulholland Conor Carville, Conor Gallagher, James Kearney, Peter Cassidy, Cormac O'Doherty, Gerald Bradley, Dominic McFaul, Niall Toner, Stephen O'Hara and Danny Tallon.
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