St Mary’s of Convoy held off a late Red Hugh’s fight back to secure a semi-final berth in the Junior A County Championships.
St Mary’s 2-10
Red Hugh’s 2-7
Despite a second half rally to draw level Red Hugh’s lost out to a St. Mary’s side who controlled much of the match.
Red Hugh’s got a dream start when Convoy’s Liam Prunty brought down Damien Browne at the edge of their area. Instead of taking the point on, his shot was for goal. ‘Keeper Conor Cairns failed to hold the shot and the ball kindly spilled to the feet of Calvin Bradley for a tap-in goal.
Dean Bonner hit back with a free and in similar fashion to the first goal Jack Blake returned the favour at the far end with a tap-in when Luke Kelly spilled a Ray McNamee shot to make it 1-0 to 1-1 to Convoy after eight minutes.
St Mary’s then hit three points on the bounce from Paul O’Leary, John Doherty and a long range John Kee effort leaving it 1-4 to a goal before Damien Brown pointed two back to back free for Hugh’s to leave it 1-4 to 1-2 in the 24th minute.
Both sides had a few misses and efforts fall short of the target before Thomas McHugh and O’Leary hit points to leave the half ending St Mary’s 1-6, Red Hugh’s 1-2.
Jonathan Carlin pulled up during the last action of the half and had to be stretchered from the pitch with what was understood to be a painful hamstring injury. He was replaced by Eugene Browne.
Liam Prunty opened the scoring with a point from play, Brown replied with a free. A good passage of play between Mary’s Thomas McHugh, Eugene Brown and McNamee resulted in a fine score to leave it 1-3 to 1-8 in the 41st minute. Another Red Hugh’s free left a gap of four between the sides when Hugh’s went on a sweeping attack involving Ayton and McGlinchey, a powerful shot was well saved by Cairns but the rebound fell to Paul Byrne to put them back in the game in the 14th minute of the half leaving just a point in it at 2-4 to 1-8.
With their tails ups they pushed on and kept the momentum up and before long had the game was tied for the first time.
Another flowing attack saw the ball fall out to Red Hugh’s Calvin Bradley who cut in and fired a high lobbing shot that looked like it may trouble Cairns in the goal but his effort landed on top of the crossbar and bounced behind for a point to leave things all square at 2-5 to 1-8 in the 45th minute.
The sides traded points from Damien Brown with a free and St Mary’s Bonner setting up Simon McGlynn to score from play.
In the 53rd minute Convoy hit the front once again when Paul O’Leary cheekily robbed a Red Hugh’s defender to set up an attack that sent Raymond McNamee goal bound. His powerful shot was well saved by Luke Kelly who got down well to parry but his deflection fell to the feet of an oncoming Simon McGlynn to tap into an open goal to leave it 2-9 to 2-6.
Hugh’s struck back immediately with a fine point from Colm Melaugh after being put through by Calvin Bradley in the 57th minute.
As they pushed to make up the lost ground two Red Hugh’s efforts fell short of target and this would prove costly.
St Mary’s regrouped and Gavin Sweeney broke well with a powerful run and finish with a fine score in the last minute of normal time to leave the Killygordon side needing a goal to draw level.
Hugh’s pushed hard deep into injury time and held possession threateningly in the St Mary’s half with the home side defending desperately to thwart the last attacks. Convoy lost McNamee to a black card in the last minutes but his loss had little impact.
The last realistic chance Hugh’s was when they won a mid-range free that Damien Brown opted to loft high in front of the St Mary’s goal but as the players surged to meet it the whistle went for a square ball.
Thus ended their last attack and on the kick out the final whistle sounded sending St Mary’s on in the competition after a hard fought victory.
St Mary’s, Convoy: Conor Cairns, James Kee, John A Kee(0-1,f), Sean Browne, Liam Prunty(0-1), John Doherty(0-1), Brendan Bonner, Raymond McNamee (0-1), Thomas McHugh(0-1), Simon McGlynn(1-1), Dean Bonner (0-1), Emmett Patterson, Gavin Sweeney(0-1), Paul O’Leary(0-2), Jack Blake(1-0). Subs: Michael Ayton for J Blake, 30mins, Ryan Kettle for R McNamee, (bk card) 74mins
Red Hugh’s: Luke Kelly, Shane Gallen, Gary Kelly, Darren McCreary, Alan McConnell, Pauric McMenamin, Ronan Gallen, Jonathan Carlin, Thomas McMenamin, Damien Browne(0-5, 5fs), Ryan Kelly, Paul Byrne(1-0), Calvin Bradley (1-1), Peadar McGlinchey, Colm Melaugh(0-1). Subs: Eugene Browne for J Carlin (inj) 30mins, Michael Sweeney for G Kelly 52min, Marty Wilson for A McConnell.
Referee: Andrew Mullin.