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28 Jan 2022

St Columba's, Glenties bow out of McLarnon Cup after defeat to Downpatrick

St Columba's, Glenties bow out of McLarnon Cup after defeat to Downpatrick

St Columba's, Glenties prior to the McLarnon quarter-final

After competing very well in the first half, St Columba's, Glenties were unable to stop the Downpatrick side in the second half at the beautifully appointed grounds of Errigal Ciaran outside Ballygawley in the McLarnon Cup quarter-final.

St Columba's, Glenties 0-5
St Patrick's, Downpatrick 2-6

The Down side were worthy winners in the end, being a little more mature physically and also Shea Murrin's Glenties side had a big number of U-16s involved. They were also short up to three of their best players, which was a big factor on the day.
The Donegal side will look back on the game and feel they could have been closer, but overall playing at this higher level of competition gives their young players a new level and they will benefit from that.
The conditions were perfect for football but for the opening quarter both sides found the art of scoring almost impossible.
The first score didn't arrive until the 14th minute with Luke Shields finding the range for Downpatrick, while within a minute St Columba's were back on terms, Conor Gildea drawing a foul for Oisin Caulfield to equalise.
That was the sum total before the first half water break with the sides hitting eight wides, five for Downpatrick and three for the Glenties boys.
The second quarter saw a big improvement in the fare on view. Aaron Cunningham edged St Columba's ahead on 17 minutes with a good score off his left, but two minutes later Chris McElroy levelled matters once more.
Conor Gildea had the Glenties boys ahead again on 21 minutes, this time midfielder Oisin Caulfield did the approach work.
The big score of the opening half came on 26 minutes when St Patrick's, Downpatrick got a rather fortuituous goal. A free by Tiernan Connolly dropped short but was not dealt with by the Glenties defence and it fell to Eoin Murray who squeezed it through on the ground through a forest of legs.
The St Columba's goal had a miraculous escape a minute later when the Downpatrick boys turned the ball over in midfield and they had a four to one advantage as they bore down on goal. The ball was crossed for a tap in but Owen Madine somehow managed to slap the ball off the crossbar and it was cleared.
Then with the last play of the half Finnbarr Roarty hit a great point to leave just a point in it at the break - St Columba's 0-4, St Patrick's 1-2.
Tiernan Connolly converted a free two minutes into the second half to double the lead, but on 35 minutes there was a lengthy stoppage as Glenties player Charlie Bennett was treated. The lead was cut to one again on 43 minutes when Oisin Caulfield won and pointed a free.
Two minutes later St Patrick's were awarded a very soft free and Connolly converted to leave it 1-4 to 0-5 at the second half water break.
Although they fought well to the end, St Columba's were unable to add to their score in the final quarter and St Patrick's hit a good patch. Cahal Kinsella pointed and then the Downpatarick side combined to get in for a second goal, Eoin Murray crossing the final ball for PJ McKeown to make no mistake.
St Columba's 'keeper Aodhan Brown made a great stop from Kinsella while at the other end Conor Gildea had an effort taken off the line.
Before the end Owen Madine added the final point from a free while Brown made another great block to deny Kinsella again.

ST COLUMBA'S, GLENTIES: Aodhan Brown; Josh Malley, Liam Roarty, Sean Doherty; Charlie Bennett, Odhran Doherty, Darragh Hennigan; Conor McDevitt, Oisin Caulfield (0-2,2f); Aaron Cunningham (0-1), Finnbarr Roarty (0-1), Conor Gildea (0-1); Jamie Elliott, Carl Joseph Molloy, Lee McCabe. Subs: Thomas McDevitt for McCabe 28; Conan Brannigan for Bennett 39; Conor Sweeney for C McDevitt 55.

ST PATRICK'S, DOWNPATRICK: Darragh Valentine; Dan Smyth, Jamie Boyd, Cormac Magorrian; Christopher McElroy (0-1), Mark Hughes, Lewis Green; Ronan McGlew, Darragh Rooney; PJ McKeown (1-0), Tiernan Connolly (0-2,2f), Owen Madine (0-1,f); Luke Shields (0-1), Oisin Hastings, Eoin Murray (1-0). Subs: Cahal Kinsella (0-1), Conor Leneghan, Ronan Og McVeigh, Conor Ross.

REFEREE: Mark Loughran (Errigal Ciaran)

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