Drumgath see off Saints
Tuesday, 1 October 2013
ST JOHN'S 2-6 DRUMGATH 4-9.
DRUMGATH ran out comfortable winners in the Intermediate Championship semi-final at Pairc Esler on Sunday.
But following the dismissals of Colm Maginn and Gary O'Reilly, it was only 13 men who ran off the field for Drumgath and that may have big implications for the Final.
Drumgath manager Justin Lynch had mixed emotions as he said: "I'm delighted we won but there's a wee bit of a sour taste having two men sent off. The second was after two yellows so you can't really argue with that but the first one was soft, sending someone off for a wee late challenge. It left a sour taste. But hopefully we'll get an appeal - the other linesman saw the incident. He's a very good player, he was having a very good game and he's never been sent off before."
Drumgath's superior passing, moving and defensive play was evident from the early stages, and the fact that St John's first point from play didn't materialise until the 38th minute, speaks volumes.
At 0-1 to 0-3, Colm McComish was on a goal-ward run but got stuck in traffic. It seemed that he went down easily, he took the awarded penalty, but it was saved.
This game was all about goals though and once Ryan Hillen punched in the first for Drumgath in the 13th minute after Packie Downey paved a way through the middle and passed into the square to Gary O'Reilly who knocked back to Hillen in front of an open goal, they were given acres of space to inflict damage.
Just two minutes later Downey escaped his marker and pinpointed the cross to Colm McComish who stroked the ball in the net to make it 0-2 to 2-3.
The next three points were quickly converted by Downey (2) and Jack Lynch and Downey almost had another goal but his shot ricocheted off the post.
St John's did have opportunities at the other end but they kicked far too many balls wide and Drumgath's marking was tighter.
They were in for a bit of a reprieve though when Conor Morgan won a penalty and he converted to make it 1-2 to 2-6. Miceal Quinn finished the half with a terrific point from a long way out and just 19 seconds after the re-start he showed he had his scoring boots on when he finished a brilliant play between Hillen, Colm Maginn and Mark Connelly and he scored the third goal.
Following St John's first point from play from Conor Morgan, Cathal Tumilty banged in Drumgath's fourth goal again assisted by Downey.
Maginn was issued a straight red in what did seem a harsh punishment for a late challenge in the 44th minute and when O'Reilly was sent off for a second yellow eight minutes later, St John's did come into the game more.
Conor Morgan and Conor Braniff in particular worked their socks off for St John's and threatened the goal on a number of occasions. Braniff was rewarded for his efforts with a goal in the 55th minute and Martin Keenan was shown red for a hard tackle in the 60th minute, but by then this game was long over as a contest.
“It was a good victory and it's great to be back in the final. I thought in the first half we were excellent in our tackling and our blocking. Big Packie was very dangerous up front and Colm was dangerous in midfield going through, but it was a good team performance," said Lynch.
ST JOHNS: Darren McMullan, Darren Savage, Barry McMullan, Cathal O'Connor, Steven McAllister, Jonathan Addis, Conor Burns, Danny McKay, Chris McKay (0-2 frees), Joe Milligan, Damien Murray, Conor Branniff (1-1), Martin Keenan, Conor Morgan (1-3, 2 frees) and Anthony Doran. Subs: Conor McCombe (for Addis 22'), Conor Gilmore (for Milligan 31'), Neil Magorrian (for McAllister HT), McAllister (for Doan 37')
DRUMGATH: Peter Travers, Niall Fitzpatrick, Steven Parsons, Niall Hillen, Gary O'Reilly, Mark Connelly (0-1), Liam Byrnes, Jack Lynch (0-1), Colm Maginn, Gareth Maginn, Cathal Tumilty (1-0), Miceal Quinn (1-1), Ryan Hillen (1-0), Colm McComish (1-3 frees) and Packie Downey (0-3). Subs: Paul Hillen (for Parsons 29'), Paddy Lively (for G. Maginn 41'), Daryl O'Reilly (for R Hillen 57') and Conrad Hynes (for McComish 53').
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