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Mary’s see off Gaels to advance

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Stock photo. Pic: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Stock photo. Pic: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Stock photo. Pic: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

sligochampion

St. Mary’s 2-13

Shamrock Gaels 0-10

St Marys advanced to the semi-final of the Junior A Championship with a relatively comfortable win over Shamrock Gaels last Sunday in Collooney. In a game played in difficult conditions, it was veteran Mark Breheny who orchestrated the win to set up a semi-final meeting with St Pats. Breheny was ably assisted by the impressive mid-field duo of Cormac Niland and Tom Gavin, while Dylan Kilgallon and Jimmy Monaghan were menacing in the full forward line.

In an entertaining game, both sides dealt well with the difficult conditions with the impressive Jimmy Monaghan opening the scoring for Marys while Michael Kilkenny responded immediately for the Gaels. Tom Gavin pointed from long range and could have had a goal on six minutes when he shot wide on the far post after a good turnover. It was end to end football and the Gaels also had a great goal chance when Mark Kearns crashed the ball of the upright after a great cross field pass from Jason Kilkenny. At the other end Mark Breheny was involved in everything that was good in Marys attacking play bringing a sense of urgency to their direct play and he was on hand to set up Conor Niland for a goal on twenty two minutes to put Marys six points up. The Gaels did respond with a point from the lively Mark Kearns but Marys responded with two points from Kilgallon and wing back, Johnny Steward to give Marys a comfortable 1-8 to 0-4 lead at half time.

The Gaels did come out strongly in the second half with points from a Steven Willis free and a point from Michael Barry but Mark Breheny again settled Marys nerves with a point from a free and a great score from distance to restore their lead. The Gaels did have two goal chances through Paddy O’Grady and Conor Kearns and they did narrow the gap to five points mid-way through the half and had the better of the play. However, as they pushed forward looking for scores they left themselves wide open at the back and were caught on the break with substitute Paul Moore getting a goal which ended the game as a contest. Moore pointed again in the closing stages and it was fitting that Mark Breheny pointed from play in the last minute to give Marys a deserved win.

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