Published on August 30th, 2016 | by admin0
Intermediate football Quarter Final Dunloy 1-12 St. Enda’s 0-11
Dunloy 1-12 St. Enda’s 0-11
Randalstown was the venue for the Antrim Intermediate football quarter final clash between Dunloy and St Enda’s. The sides had already met once this year in a league fixture at St Endas Hightown Road pitch with the home side winning by eighteen points so in many peoples books this was a St Enda’s win all day long but in a Dunloy side which showed seven changes to the team that played in the league fixture Dominic Dillon was confident his side would progress and the tighter affair he promised was delivered.
Three changes in the Dunloy team from the last day with Duane Scott (Holiday) Shane Dooey (Injury) and Eoin Gillan who impressed when coming off the bench against Sarsfields were all back in the starting 15
St Enda’s started of brightly from the throw in they grabbed possession of the ball and broke forward and after a few sharp passes the ball was delivered between the posts and after less than a minute they lead 0-01 – 0-00. Dunloy hadn’t got going at all and a few minutes later the first goal chance came as St Enda’s burst through the Dunloy defence leaving Doherty in goal exposed and surely four points down but as the St Enda’s fans were ready to cheer Karl O’Kane made one of the best tackles you are likely to see. His hand came out of nowhere to flick the ball from the boot of the St Enda’s player. There were only a few minutes gone but already that could be a game saving tackle.
This seemed to settle Dunloy and finally they got on the score board when Stephen McAlone split the posts. That was followed up quickly by a fine long range free from Caolan Gillan and after ten minutes Dunloy led 0-02 -0-01.
The lead didn’t last long as St Enda’s rattled over a few quick points to take the lead a game by one with just under fifteen minutes played the Glengormley men were back in front. Dunloy then saw two great goal chances come and go- firstly Kevin McQuillan, who had started a flowing move from his own half, found himself on the end of it inside the St Enda’s penalty box. He could not have caught the shot any cleaner and it missed the top corner by inches but Dunloy were starting to kick into gear and from the next attack Conor McKinley was one on one with the full back after turning him inside out he was in and surely there was only one outcome but the ball flashed wide again inches keeping St Endas in the lead.
Dunloy then got back in front just before the half ended Shane Dooey bringing the teams level before McKinley fired over to put Dunloy up by one. The final score of the half came from St Enda’s in stoppage team with the teams walking off the pitch with the scores at 0-04 – 0-04.
The second half started much like the first as St Enda’s started brightly and scored back to back points to lead 0-06 – 0-04 with only five minutes played in the second half. Gillan then fired over to reduce the gap to one before Dunloy’s goal threat finally paid off. After another surging run through the defence by Nigel Elliott, as he had been doing all game, he off loaded the ball to McKinley and there was no mistake this time Dunloy now led by two and surely that was the boost they needed to kick on they lead 1-05 – 0-06 halfway through the second half.
It was St Enda’s who responded the best and knocked over three quick scores in a row to lead by one on 0-09 to 1-05.
Dunloy then made their first changed as Gabriel McTaggart replaced Karl Fitzpatrick. McAlone then got Dunloy back on track with the reliable right boot of his to level the game before back to back scores from McTaggart and Gillan surely had Dunloy in the semi-final as with two minutes left they led 1-08 – 0-09. This wasn’t to be the case as the mistakes that had not existed throughout the hour came back in the dying minutes and resulted in two St Enda’s points to send the game to extra time. Dunloy would be without Caolan Gillan for the extra period he picked up his second yellow in the last action of the half but was replaced by Declan McGarry for the start of extra time.
It was getting quite dark as Paul Hughes threw the ball up for the start of extra time but Dunloy knew they were twenty minutes away from a championship semi-final and the sun going away was not going to stop them.
There was only one team in it for the extra twenty and in the first period the only score came from McKinley a fine point from distance. Dunloy defended superbly and everything St Enda’s threw at Dunloy was sent back up the pitch. Before the teams switched around for the second period Dillon was dealt a major blow when captain McKinley was forced to retire with injury leaving Karl Fitzpatrick to replace him.
When the second half started Dunloy took over where they left off the St Enda’s defence could not deal with Elliott’s strength and pace and as he burst through again all they could do was foul him. Declan McGarry stepped up and slotted it over the bar from twenty one yards and a few minutes later the same player scored a cracking point from play to extend Dunloy’s lead to three with only a few minutes left.
St Enda’s were going for broke and their defensive structure was away and that was no more evident when Dunloy overturned the ball in the half back line. It was worked up to Elliott again who turned the corner back again meaning all he could do was foul him inside the penalty box. With a three-point lead in stoppage time there was no point going for goal and after a few gazes at the bench who were shouting point Fitzpatrick stroked it over the bar and Dunloy led by four. This punctured St Enda’s challenge and after a few failed attacks Paul Hughes sounded the whistle and Dunloy were through. Written off by everyone outside the club the team and management both knew they could get the job done and they did.
Defensively the cracks and frailties that were there against Sarsfields in the previous round were nowhere to be seen. Doherty in nets was faultless with kick outs and all round distribution. Full back and half back lines were as solid as a rock. Karl O’Kane had as good an hour as you’ll see from a corner back and Kevin McQuillans forward runs caused St Enda’s all kinds of problems
In the middle of the park Conlon and Eoin Gillan worked their socks off two of the fittest men on the team they needed to be as the st endas pair never stopped. This was crucial in the overall outcome that Dunloy would win this battle and they did.
In the forwards Dunloy have serious threat McAlone has been firing on all cylinders as past few games and this continued against St Endas. McKinley yet again led from the front was a constant threat to the back line and put in a captains shift as he always does. Gillan, Dooey and Fitzpatrick all contributed points. Gillan will be a massive miss as heads to America and will miss the next round. Dooey has that bit of magic to unlock defences he also puts in a shift and is vital to this team.
The subs played their part too as McTaggart and McGarry both added scores when they came on to the pitch. it’s not a fifteen-man game and options on the bench are crucial.
No doubt the star man for Dunloy was their number fifteen he didn’t score himself but he set up several scores and was fouled several times which led to points. His pace and strength destroyed St Enda’s back line and his work rate is second to none in extra time with everyone dead on their feet Nigel Elliott was still running at defences like it was the first ten minutes. A great display from him
Next up for Dunloy is a semi-final meeting with Aldergrove. The Crumlin based side play their football in division one a league above Dunloy and will be a tough opposition. Dunloy will respect the challenge but they will not fear it.
All support welcome to Creggan on Saturday 3rd September at 4pm
- Sean Doherty
- Karl O’Kane
- Duane Scott
- Kieran Hughes
- Oran Corrigan
- Kevin McQuillan
- Oran Quinn
- Eoin Gillan
- Paudie Conlon
- Karl Fitzpatrick (0-01)
- Shane Dooey (0-01)
- Stephen McAlone (0-02)
- Caolan Gillan (0-03)
- Conor McKinley (1-02)
- Nigel Elliot
Subs used Gabriel McTaggart (0-01), Declan McGarry (0-02), Stephen McToal