St. Joseph’s GAC, Glenavy 1.07 v 5.10 Tír na Nóg, Whitehill
Top of the table Tir na Nóg made the trip to Chapel Hill a worthwhile journey returning home with two more valuable points. To be fair to the home side the scoreline does not tell the full story.
The game started with both sides playing at breakneck speed. The Hill side were given the opportunity to go in front when they were awarded a penalty. Unfortunately for the ever-reliable Fergal Henry his shot truck an upright only to see the ball go wide. Aaron McNeilly was first on the score board with a point. Fergal Henry brought the sides level with point. The Orangemen were dealt a blow when their up-and-coming star Malachi Doherty suffered a severe shoulder injury. Fergus Cunningham replaced Malachi. Christie Sheerin and Barry McCormick added points for the visitors. Fergus Cunningham got his name on the score sheet when he split the posts for the home side.
Both sides were playing good football with the Randalstown men making better use of their chances. Sean Duffin scored a beauty from the wing. Fergal Henry may have had no luck with his penalty kick but it hadn’t affected his shooting when he landed his third point. Tir na Nóg then had their first goal when the alert D. Martin finished a well worked move to the net. From the kickout Christie Sheerin took possession went on a solo run and finished to the net. This seemed to knock the stuffing out of the lough view side. Further points from Aaron McNeilly followed by a beauty from centre back Brian McCormick from all of fifty meters. Fergal Henry was on hand to show his side had some fight left.
Half-time score St. Joseph’s 0.04 v 2.06 Tír na nÓg
Fergal Henry added his fourth point to give his side hope. The men in blue showed they were still looking to help their score difference. Aaron McNeilly added three points before D. Martin had his second goal. To leave the score 3.09 to 0.5 in favour of the visitors. Once again Fergal Henry was on hand to split the posts. Charles Gallagher had moved up from centre back and was on hand to give his younger brother Thomas a perfect pass to rattle the net for his side’s only goal. Kevin Sheerin was rewarded for his hard work throughout the game with passes to in running forwards to take their scores. Ciaran O’Neill found the black spot and kicked a lovely point. Kevin scored a point and a goal to cap a splendid hour’s work. Probably fitting from the home side’s view when Fergal Henry topped a splendid evening when he tapped over a pointed free. Sean Paul McAtamney who had little to do throughout the game sprinted downfield to hammer home a penalty. To leave the final score 5.10 to 1.07.
Tir na Nóg won the game because they were stronger throughout the pitch. They played as a team and most importantly could take their scores. On the other hand the home side were fielding a very young side and played with less cohesion. And need to spread the scores among more players.
A word of thanks to referee Fintan McCotter for his handling of the game. He allowed the players to play and when called would let them know he was in charge.
St.Joseph’s: Jake Nelson; Oliver Brankin; Liam Henry; Mathew Hamill; Ruairi Forester; Darragh Doherty; Malachi Doherty; Stephen Doone; Michael Johnston; Ryan Phillips; Charles Gallagher; Fergal Green; Fergal Henry; Sean O’Doherty; Ciaran Loney.
Subs Used: Fergus Cunningham for Malachi Doherty: Christopher Grant for Ryan Phillips: Thomas Gallagher for Sean O’Doherty; Patrick Gallagher for Stephen Henry;
Scorers : Fergal Henry 0.6 (3frees); Fergus Cunningham 0.1:: Thomas Gallagher G.
Tir na Nóg: S. McAtamney; S..Redmond; C. McGrellias; P. Cullen; C. O.Neill; B. McCormack; C. Duffin; C.. Sheerin; D. McCormick; A. McNeilly; S. Duffin; D. Fegan; D. Martin; K. Sheerin; A. McNeilly.
Subs Used; K. Kerr for S. Duffin; B. McLarnon for S. Redmond; C. McKeown for D. Martin; C. Logan for C. O’Neill; E. Murray for A. McNeilly.
Scorers A. McNeilly 4 C. Sheehan 1 B. McCormick 2 S. Duffin 1.1 D. Martin 2.00 C. O’Neill I K. Sheerin 1.1 SP McAtamney Penalty
Referee: Fintan McCotter Sarsfield’s