Published on August 17th, 2016 | by admin0
Minor Football Championship Quarter Final St Galls 1-13 Dunloy 4-14
Minor Football Championship Quarter Final
Dunloy 4-14 St Galls 1-13
It was a fine sunny evening for the Antrim Minor football championship quarter final in Milltown where Dunloy faced a tough examination against the home side St Galls.
Dunloy were forced into a few changes from the last championship win over Creggan, Declan Smith still side-lined through injury and Lee Scott unavailable for selection. Matthew McCarte came in for Smith in midfield and Eoin McMullan came in for Scott to corner back with Conor Kinsella moving into number three.
St Galls were clearly up for it and controlled the opening exchanges and raced into a 0-03 to 0-00 lead, Dunloy then got on the score sheet when Conal ‘Coby’ Cunning struck between the posts after ten minutes to give it a home side lead of 0-03 – 0-01. After starting sluggishly Dunloy then got the break they needed. A wayward shot from out the field ended up being a great pass as full forward Fergal Dillon latched on to it and rounded the keeper for the opening goal. This lifted Dunloy and from the resulting kick out a breaking ball was released to Seaan Elliot thirty yards out the pitch he weaved his way past three St Galls defenders before unleashing a shot towards the top corner only for the keeper to pull off a fantastic save and limit the damage to a point. After fifteen minutes Dunloy had settled and led 1-02 to 0-03. The two teams exchanged points, Dunloy’s coming from a long range Keelan Molloy point. From the next attack Dunloy got their second goal, the lively Elliott picked the ball up and shot for a point from thirty yards. It looked all the way a great score and it was as it flew over the St Galls keeper into the net for the second goal of the game. You did have to feel sorry a bit for the young man who had just earlier had pulled of a stunning save from the same player but Dunloy now led 2-03 to 0-04 with twenty minutes played and looked in complete control.
The next ten minutes though belonged to St Galls they scored four unanswered points to cut the gap to the minimum going in at half time. Dunloy knew the 2nd half would need to improve as St Galls were now in the ascendency.
Whatever words of wisdom Anthony McQuillan and his management used at half time worked a treat. From the throw in Keelan Molloy gained possession of the ball and floated a thirty-yard pass over the head of the st galls corner back to the on rushing Seaan Elliott. There was only one place he was heading and after throwing a dummy to the onrushing full back he was again one on one with the st galls net minder and there was no mistake this time as the net rippled and Dunloy’s lead increased to four.
St Galls responded well and got the next score but Dunloy were fired up and two individual scores, one from Eoin O’Neill and Dillon, increased the gap to five points with ten minutes played. The game was far from over and St Galls got the next score and had a good goal opportunity flash just wide and that was the wakeup call Dunloy needed.
The next five minutes was the Molloy show – two points, one form a thirty-five yard free and the other a fine point from play, which then lead to the goal which his play had deserved. The ball broke and was picked up by Ewan Dixon as it was throughout the hour it was the delivered high into the box it seemed to confuse the St Galls defence and Molloy pounced to side step the keeper and Dunloy had their fourth goal to leave it 4-07 to 0-10 in the Cuchullian’s favour.
Dunloy kept the pressure up as they knew no lead is never enough and three points in a row from Elliott, Dillon and Molloy, all from play, had Dunloy leading by twelve with less than ten minutes remaining. The teams then exchanged scores – Coby, Liam McCann and O’Neill matching the three St Galls points to keep the gap at twelve.
St Galls got their only goal of the game in the last minute a mix up in Dunloy’s defence which left Cochrane no chance as the ball was blasted in from a few yards out. With a minute of stoppage time played a foot block in the Dunloy defence resulted in referee Conor Muldoon pointing to the spot and with surely the last kick of the game St Galls had a chance to cut the gap to six. it wasn’t to be as the ball went high and wide and the referee called for the ball the game was over and Dunloy winning on a score line of 4-13 to 1-13. Dunloy now get set for a semi-final meeting with Sean Stinsons
In defence Dunloy never put a foot wrong marshalled excellently by his two corner backs Conor Kinsella was in control throughout the hour.
The half back line broke up ball time and time again and started attack after attack the work rate the three boys put in every game sometimes goes unnoticed as the attackers steal the headlines but that couldn’t happen if these boys didn’t do their role.
In Midfield replacing Decky Smith would never be easy but Matthew McCarte worked hard for the hour broke up plenty of ball and created attacks a solid display
Half forward line like the half back line worked their socks off Aaron Crawford plays his role like no other and will be back helping his defence at every opportunity. Liam McCann constantly got into space got on the ball and created chance after chance. The man in the middle never mind scoring a point with each foot from distance but his work rate and everything about his game makes Coby the great player he is another super display from him.
O’Neill and Dillon in the full forward line were a constant threat for the hour the runs they made pulled the defence all over the place and gave the rest of the support players the space to run into. A combined score of 1-04 between made for a great hours work for both. Elliott from the first attack had the st galls defence terrified. His pace and vision was different class not only did he score 2-02 he was heavily involved in the game setting up other scores tracking back to help his defence a complete performance from this talented young man.
As he has done all season when Dunloy are getting it tight he steps up to the plate and that devastating five-minute spell he produced in the second half was a joy to watch. Keelan Molloy was a worthy man of the match for Dunloy there wasn’t an area of the st galls pitch didn’t have his boot imprint never mind the magic in that left foot when the scores were needed.
Still a long way to go for Dunloy a tough test in Sean Stinsons now awaits but the management are confident in this young team and what they can achieve. With supporters travelling to Belfast in their numbers this shows they also have great faith in captain Cathair McGuigan and the rest of his team.
- Frankie Cochrane
- Eoin McMullan
- Conor Kinsella
- Anton McGrath
- Ewan Dixon
- Cathair McGuigan ©
- Chrissy McMahon
- Matthew McCarte
- Keelan Molloy (1-04)
- Liam McCann (0-01)
- Conal Cunning (0-02)
- Aaron Crawford
- Eoin O’Neil (0-02)
- Fergal Dillon (1-02)
- Seaan Elliott (2-02)