West Sligo men defeat Glenfarne/Kiltyclogher by 3-14 to 3-8
St. Patrick’s will take on St. Joseph’s in the Connacht Junior semi-final this weekend after they saw off Glenfarne/Kiltyclogher in a thrilling encounter at Markievicz Park, winning by six points. The tie was nicely poised at half-time, with the West Sligo side leading by a single point at the half-way mark, as both sides served up a goal-fest, scoring three each, leaving the tie at 3-14 to 3-08 in favour of the Sligo men who will go on to the semi-final. It was the Leitrim men who started quickest out of the traps, but they would later rue their early wides from Darren Murray and Padraig Sweeney. A strong interception from Brian Fox blocked a St. Patrick’s attack after four minutes, with Pierce Kearins’ goal chance being dragged wide seconds later. It was all action in the early stages, and Fergal Clancy could have put his side ahead with a goal, but the save from Tomas McMunn was followed by a block from James Kearins. After six minutes, the game finally had its first score, as Padraic Clarke hit over his first of the afternoon following Jim Davis’ free. Fergal Clancy was the main man for the Leitrim side on the day, and he responded immediately hitting over from play. Aidy McCallion’s side nudged ahead when Clancy hit over from play again, but St. Patrick’s hit two without reply as Davis and Cathal Finneran were on target to leave it 0-03 to 0-02 after 12 minutes. It could have been different had Clancy and Padraig Sweeney hit the target, but their wides would eventually prove costly. Davis’ free kick was punched wide by Oisín Kevany just before the water-break in the first-half, but Davis made no mistake with his next free to extend his side’s lead. Clarke was in outstanding form for St. Patrick’s, and he was unfortunate not to score a goal on 23 minutes when his shot came off the crossbar before being saved, with Connell Kearins putting over the follow up. There was plenty of last ditch defending by both sides to try and deny one another, but Pierce Kearins got his point after plenty of build up play in the Glenfarne/Kiltyclogher area. Trailing by four points at this stage, the Leitrim men were going to need a big push to find a way back into this game, and they did just that on 27 minutes when Barry McDermott’s shot beat McMunn in the St. Patrick’s goals to leave a point between the sides. Their tails were up, and seconds later they had their second goal of the game to move them a point ahead courtesy of a glorious finish from Padraig Sweeney - one for the showreel. An outstanding save from the incredible Stephen McPartland in the Glenfarne/Kiltyclogher goals denied St. Patrick’s a goal following lovely build up involving Davis and Pierce Kearins. St. Patrick’s knew they needed to turn it up a notch as their opponents were proving to be on their game, and a goal from Kevany on the cusp of half-time just gave them a one point margin at the break. Glenfarne/Kiltyclogher’s seven wides in the first-half would later be a source of regret, although St. Patrick’s hit five wides. McPartland in the Glenfarne/Kiltyclogher goals was in inspired form, and he saved straight from the restart from Davis’ shot from close range. That man Davis hit over St. Patrick’s first point of the second-half, and the West Sligo side held onto possession well in the opening stages, pushing further ahead when Clarke scored a goal after Kevany’s shot had been saved. It was 2-07 to 2-02 at this stage as Pats tried to put daylight between themselves and their opponents, and a third goal which was scrambled in by Davis after good work from Clarke meant they were now 3-07 to 2-02 ahead with 20 minutes left on the clock. McDermott’s point was immediately responded to by Finneran, while another from Clarke’s free kept St. Patrick’s ticking over. Darren Murray’s point from play was all that Glenfarne/Kiltyclogher could muster up before the water break, with their opponents hitting over two further points. Ten points was the difference at the water-break, and the Leitrim men knew they would need a miracle of sorts. Fergal Clancy hit over his free immediately after Finneran’s point from play. There was hope, though, and on 50 minutes Glenfarne/Kiltyclogher were awarded a penalty following a foul by Tomas McMunn. Fergal Clancy tucked his penalty neatly past the St. Patrick’s goalkeeper, and there was seven points in it. Six, when Fergal Clancy put over his free, but two further scores from St. Patrick’s made it a seemingly impossible task. Barry McDermott’s late goal chance was blocked by Jack Egan in the dying stages, and late points from Fergal Clancy and Hugh Clancy brought the deficit to six points, which ultimately was enough to see St. Patrick’s through to the semi-finals following a thoroughly entertaining encounter. St. Patrick’s: Tomas McMunn, James Kearins, Jack Egan, Jonathon Higgins (Paddy Farrell, 17), David Giblin, Joe McMunn (Enda Clarke, 44), Ciaran Giblin (Dean Mahon, 37), Connell Kearins, Conor Kevany, Donal Brady, Pierce Kearins, Cathal Finneran, Jim Davis (Paul Boland, 56), Padraic Clarke, Oisín Kevany. Glenfarne/Kiltyclogher: Stephen McPartland, Brian Fox, Robbie Broughton, John McLoughlin, Daire Clancy, Conor O’Rourke, Niall McManus, Neville McDermott (Darren McLoughlin, 57), Niall Clancy, Darren Murray, Fergal Clancy, Barry McDermott, Padraig Sweeney, Hugh Clancy, Tommy McManus (Oisín McDermott, 47). Referee: C Ryan.