Following their win over St Joseph’s Glenavy Junior side local Antrim GAA club St Comgall’s faced St Patrick’s Lisburn in the Quarter Final of the South West McCormick Cup Championship.
It was a blustery evening which kept scoring fare to a minimum. Dead ball specialists Paddy Quinn & Miles Devine shared the honours of getting St Comgalls scoreboard off and running with two frees. The Lisburn men responded with a point from play before Oisin Crilly picked out the run of Paddy Quinn who knocked over a fine score.
Growing in strength in recent seasons this Lisburn side are transformed with some tidy footballers and when they broke through the Antrim defence it took a fine save from Paul Burns to deny the goal. The visitors pressed on though, levelling the affair before half time with a couple of points earned from silly frees and over zealous tackling.
Halftime score – Naomh Comhghall 0-3 v 0-3 Naomh Padraig
The second half was entertaining but both sides were struggling to move the ball into the forward line so again scoring was low. Josh Henry was being used as a vehicle to transition from defence to attack and when he went on a trademark powerful run up the centre he was brought down unfairly and Miles Devine converted the free.
Paddy Quinn was having a good game and when he was under pressure in the tackle he showed typical robustness to point when the referee allowed advantage.
Although time was not on Lisburns side they showed grit and determination to earn a score from a free and one from play to tie up the now ill-tempered contest heading into extra-time.
Fulltime score - Naomh Comhghall 0-5 v 0-5 Naomh Padraig
Although Lisburn got out of the blocks early with the first point of extra time it was St Comgalls that seized the momentum when after some strong work from Joe McKernan the ball was moved to Paul Quinn who had the final word in the goal mouth scramble (1-5 v 0-6). A bad kick-out was gifted to Miles Devine who punished with style with the Antrim men a goal up at the hiatus.
The second period of extra time saw St Comgalls push ahead with a fine team score, Josh Henry, linking with Oisin Crilly, who found Paddy Quinn taking responsibility for the shot and score.
Substitute Paddy Cooke (along with twin brother Rory) has been impressing in the lower age groups for a few seasons with his pace and tenacious work-rate. He enjoyed a dream debut for the senior side helping himself to a cracking goal after a tracking run across the penalty area.
Although Lisburn closed out the game with two points from play the result had been settled.
Final score - Naomh Comhghall 2-7 v 0-8 Naomh Padraig
The St Comgalls U14 league campaign got under way on Friday evening with the first game away to St Mary’s Rasharkin GAC.
The first half started well and but Rasharkin grew into the game and scored a few quick fire free’s. Fortune was firmly on their side when a 45 bounce eluded everyone and beat young Conor McLarnon in goal.
Rasharkin were in control until they gave away two free opportunities close to goal which were converted but St Comgalls were 6 down at the break. Lads came in at half time had some straight talking amongst themselves with the management switching some personnel.
It appeared to do the trick. The Antrim boys came out the blocks firing, hungry and wanting the ball. They converted 3 goal opportunities (scored by Declan McAnoy, Caolan O’Loan and Morgan Dennison) and put Rasharkin under immense pressure capitalizing with a few more points. A strong defensive performance showed Tom McMahon leading by example as Sean Allen, Tom Poulter and all the rest from full forward line to goal keeper put their shoulder to the wheel. The Rasharkin attack came in waves to try and close the gap but St Comgalls lads would simply not be denied eventually running out 0-14 v 0-11 winners.