Abbey snatch last gasp draw
Tuesday, 18 February 2014
Abbey 2-13. St Pat's Dungannon 2-13.
ABBEY Grammar CBS live to fight another day in the MacRory Cup after Conor Doyle's last gasp converted free secured a replay with St Pat's Academy Dungannon.
Played in Armagh's Athletic Grounds on a windswept Thursday both teams served up a cracking contest with over 60 minutes on relentless attacking football.
Some of the scores were simply outstanding and if the replay is half as entertaining then supporters are in for a treat.
There was a disappointing crowd of 744, but what lacked in numbers was made up for in noise especially from the vocal Abbey collective.
All of Abbey's six forwards scored, with Burren's Ryan Treanor and Rostrevor's Doyle slotting over excellent points.
Dungannon had a lively forward line and a strong bench as two of their substitutes scored in the second half.
It was an enthralling battle and each time a team appeared to deliver a knockout blow it was only a matter of time until they were forced onto the ropes.
No more so than after 60 minutes when Abbey trailed by four points and the Newry side had only registered three points in the previous 30 minutes.
Abbey should have been dead and buried but they showed tremendous hunger and conviction to fight back and Forkhill's Conor McCoy grabbed the goal his side desperately needed, with a 21-meter daisy-cutter which rolled slowly into the net. And of course Doyle's converted free secured the draw.
While Abbey's previous game was a grudge match against neighbours St Paul's Bessbrook, St Pat's were a different opponent and as a result Abbey played without shackles.
Abbey possess a potent forward line and they were in devastating form in the opening half.
When a team concedes a goal, how they respond usually epitomises character and passion. But when Abbey went behind for the first time after Dungannon's Conor McCabe rattled the net, they proceeded to write the manual on how to respond - as they struck 1-5 before the Tyrone side's next score.
It was exhibition football with Ryan Treanor (45-metre free) and Conor Doyle swinging over impressive points.
Tiarnan Donnelly replied with a free and Doyle converted his second free from close range to keep the Newry men ahead but two points from midfielder Ruairi McGlone and Tyrone Minor Che O'Donnell levelled the scores on 13 minutes.
Doyle sent over another super point but St Pat's took the lead when McCabe smashed his effort into the net after Abbey keeper Aidan Morgan saved Conn Kilpatrick's initial shot.
It was a blow for the Newry lads but within 20 seconds they were back in front when Shamrocks midfielder Niall Rafferty soloed forward and drilled confidently into the net.
And with their tails up Abbey dominated.
Treanor sent over a beauty after Doyle's clever delivery into the corner, Eoin McParland surged forward after winning the kick out and pointed, Conor McCoy squeezed his effort between the posts from a tight angle and Treanor added two further scores to give Abbey a 1-09 to 1-04 lead.
Dungannon's Che O'Donnell managed to score a point before the break and it gave the Tyrone side the lift they needed as they returned in the second half a transformed beast.
Half-time: Abbey 1-09 St Pat's 1-04
Within four minutes of the restart St Pat's were in front and the Newry side were chasing their tails.
Tiarnan Donnelly and O'Donnell pointed before McGlone rattled Abbey's net.
It was the worst possible start for Newry and the never properly recovered despite battling back.
The Dungannon side were sharp up front and their subs made a sharp impact, with three points coming from the bench.
Warrenpoint's McAleenan fisted over to level the score but it was all Dungannon as they raced into a four-point lead.
Treanor's two converted frees kept Abbey in the game but only just and with three minutes injury-time announced the Abbey had a glimmer of hope.
And in the last five seconds of additional time McCoy's effort rolled into the net and Doyle's last-gasp free earned a replay.
The replay is expected to take place this week. Abbey's city rivals St Colman's will face a formidable Omagh CBS in the MacRory Cup quarter-final after they also staged a late comeback, which was inspired by Shamrocks' Jack Haughey (1-9) to defeat St Ciaran's Ballygawley.
ABBEY CBS: Aidan Morgan, Ryan Magee, Ferghus Quinn, Luke Byrne, Cormac McCartan, Cathair McKinney, Killian McEvoy, Niall Rafferty (1-0), Padraig McGrath, Eoin McParland (0-1), Donagh McAleenan (0-1), Conor McCoy (1-1), Ryan Trainor (0-5, 3 frees) Conor Doyle (0-4, 2 frees) and Daniel Kane (0-1).
Subs: Sheagh Dobbin for McKinney ht, Sean Cooper for Kane 40', Jack Collins for Byrne 46' and Patrick Murdoch for McEvoy 49'.
ST PAT'S DUNGANNON: Caolan Donaghy, Ciaran Higgins, Paul O'Neill, Michael McKernan, Conor McCabe (1-0), Sean Doran (0-1), Colm Byrne (0-1), Ruairi McGlone (1-1), Marcus Mulgrew, Declan Conroy, Ryan Coleman, Conon Kilpatrick, Michael Lynn, Che O'Donnell (0-2) and Tiarnan Donnelly (0-5, 2 frees).
Subs: Rhys Quinn for McCabe, Fintan McClure [0-2] for Kilpatrick and Stephen McGrath [0-1] for Coleman.
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