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Glass shatters Castlebar's dreams with clinical brace

St Pat's Maghera went into this semi-final at Brewster Park in Enniskillen as favourites and fully justified that tag, although they were made to work hard by St Gerald's.

The Mayo lads looked good in the early stages as they established a three-point lead but they conceded two late first-half goals and that proved to be crucial as, against the wind in the second period, they were always chasing the game.

St Gerald's had the opening two scores from James Durcan and Ronan Carolan but Maghera hit back through Stephen O'Hara and Neil McNicholl. The Connacht lads then enjoyed a good spell that yielded points from two Durcan frees and a '45' from Mark McHugh, but that was as good as it got for them.

Maghera began to find their feet and 2-3 without reply before the break put them in control. Midfielder Peter Cassidy got a brace of points before corner-back Conor Glass cut in from the endline for a superb individual goal. Moments later Gerald Bradley found the net as the Derry boys established a 2-5 to 0-5 interval lead.

St Gerald's needed a good start to the second half and they got it. Within 10 minutes they had reduced the deficit to two points as midfielder Eamon Regan showed good strength to finish to the Maghera net.

Maghera didn't panic, though, and a second Glass major settled their nerves before points from Conor Carville and Danny Tallon sealed the issue.

Scorers – St Pat's: C Glass 2-0, G Bradley 1-0, C Carville, P Cassidy (1f), D Tallon 0-2 each, N McNicholl, S O'Hara (f) 0-1 each. St Gerald's: J Durcan 0-4 (3fs), E Regan 1-0, M McHugh ('45'), M Plunket, R Carolan 0-1 each.

St Pat's – C McCloy; C Glass, D Hughes, O Hegarty; C Mulholland, C Carville, P Hagan; J Kearney, P Cassidy; C O'Doherty, G Bradley, N McNicholl; C Gallagher, S O'Hara, D Tallon. Subs: C Convery for O'Hara, N Toner for McNicholl, N Gorman for Mulholland, D McFaul for Hagan.

St Gerald's – D McHale; K McNally, M McHugh, K Egan; P Durcan, M Hall, J Lydon; R Coleman, E Regan; J Gannon, M Plunket, S Conlon; R Carolan, A Murphy, J Durcan. Subs: C Dravins for McNally, M Ruane for Gannon, N Jordan for Lydon, J O'Malley for Carolan.

Ref – N Mooney (Cavan)

Irish Independent

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