Saturday 16 December 2017

St Gall's are made fight to the finish

St gall's 0-14 lamh dhearg 0-11

Casement Park on Saturday night was not the stroll in the park for St Gall's that many people felt it would be against a young Lamh Dhearg side that were surprise finalists.

St Gall's did collect their 10th county title in 11 years but they were made to work hard. Lamh Dhearg, with six teenagers in their line-up, were in the game until the final whistle.

It was not an inspiring decider but still there was some clever football played, especially by the winners, whose experience was vital. They could also have made it easier for themselves had they taken two chances of goals in the first half.

The holders controlled the opening stages and surged ahead as Lamh Dhearg lost full-back Kevin Murray to an an early groin injury.

But Paddy Cunningham grabbed every chance of a score from free-kicks as Lamh Dearg narrowed the gap at the interval to 0-9 to 0-7, having trailed 0-6 to 0-1 on 18 minutes.

In a tight second half, the last score of the game arrived in the 53 minute when Cunningham closed the gap to a goal.

Man of the Match: Paddy Cunningham

SCORERS -- St Gall's: K Niblock 0-4, M Pollock 0-3, CJ McGourty 0-2, K Stewart, A Gallagher, S Kelly, R Gallagher, Kieran McGourty 0-1 each. Lamh Dhearg: P Cunningham 0-8 (8f), G Slane, S Tully, R Murray 0-1 each.

St Gall's -- Ronan Gallagher; D Harbinson, C Brady, A Healy; S Kelly, A McClean, D Cummings; A Gallagher, S Burke; T O'Neill, Rory Gallagher, Kieran McGourty; K Stewart, K Niblock, M Pollock. Subs: CJ McGourty for O'Neill (29), M Kelly for Healy (45), B Bradley for Rory Gallagher (54), P Veronica for McClean (58), D O'Hare for Pollock (61).

Lamh Dhearg -- J Finucane; C Nolan, C Murray, C Kelly; M Hynds, M Herron, B McCrudden; B Herron, C Murray; G Slane, D Lynch, B McCombe; P Cunningham, S Tully, R Murray. Subs: D Stranney for K Murray (8), K Quinn for McCrudden (43), C Tumelty for Stranney (54).

REF -- E Trainor (Ardoyne)

•A goal scored a minute into added time by corner-forward Aidan Clarke snatched a 1-11 to 0-13 victory for Ballycran over Portaferry in the Down SHC final at Downpatrick yesterday.

SCORERS -- Ballycran: S Nicholson 0-6 (0-3f,1 '65'), A Clarke 1-1, S Wilson 0-2, A Bell, C Woods 0-1 each. Portaferry: K McGarry 0-9 (7f), R McGrattan, P Braniff, S Murray, A O'Prey 0-1 each.

Ballycran -- S Keith; M Hughes, S Ennis, P Brennan; A Bell, M Ennis, P Hughes; C Flynn, C Woods; C Dorrian, P Flynn, S Nicholson; J Coyle, S Wilson, A Clarke. Subs: P Keith for Brennan (h-t), C McManus for P Flynn (45).

Portaferry -- K Keating; J Merron, C Coulter, P Smith; C O'Neill, B Coleman, D Coffey; R McGrattan, C O'Prey; K McGarry, P Braniff, J Convery; C Mageean, S Murray, A O'Prey. Sub: J Trainor for B Coleman (54).

Ref -- D Magee (Kilclief)

Irish Independent

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