Knock make it after extra timeFebruary 14, 2020
Danske Bank MacLarnon Cup quarter-final
OLASP Knock 3-16 Loreto Coleraine 2-17 AET
A TURN over possession just before the end of the first half of this exciting Danske Bank MacLarnon Cup quarter-final in the Mid Ulster Arena in Cookstown ultimately decided the semi-final opponents for St Paul’s Bessbrook at the end of the month.
Knock quickly moved the ball down the field to win a penalty which Joe Tunney calmly slotted to the Coleraine net to open up a five points’ lead.
While Loreto were able to use the breeze well in the second half, they only had ten minutes playing time while Knock were able to add a point each from Paul Bradley and sub Emmet Rogers to make it over the line.
Bradley’s contribution to the score-board was immense with 12 points, including four scores during extra time. Tunney and Conlaith Sweeney in the inside line were also dangerous throughout while the full-back line of Shay Campbell, Ciaran McMillan and Shea Haughey did a great job in curtailing the threat of Ben Dillon.
Loreto will feel that this game maybe got away from them at key periods, but they showed a lot of resilience to come back from significant half time gaps during the second half of ordinary and extra time. Essentially both teams played well with the breeze and struggled against it.
However Coleraine started well in the first half against the breeze with a goal from Kostas Papachristopolpous, but then conceded two goals, Conlaith Sweeney pouncing after an earlier strike from Joe Tunney and that all meant that Knock held a 2-8 to 1-3 lead at half time.
Loreto however dominated the second half with the wind on their backs and hit an unanswered 1-5 to draw level with the south Belfast side, an early goal from Odhrán McLarnon giving them the momentum they needed.
However Knock steadied the ship with points from sub Emmet Rodgers and two frees from Bradley and it took a late free from Ben Dillon to bring the game to extra time on 2-11 each.
Until the penalty goal, Knock looked to be struggling, but with a 3-14 to 2-12 lead at half-time in extra time, they were able to hold off the Coleraine pressure and line up St Paul’s Bessbrook in the first week back after midterm.
Knock : J McKenna, S Campbell, C McMillan, S Haughey, L Hogan, J Gray, N Tunney, S Hughes, C Slevin (0-1), J Rutherford, P Bradley (0-12, 0-8 frees), F Eastwood, F Collins, J Tunney (2-0, 1-0 pen), C Sweeney (1-1)
subs : E Rogers (0-2) for J Rutherford, F Rodgers for L Hogan, B Tweedie for S Campbell, F Lyons for S Hughes
Loreto: L Passmore; C McCloskey, C Dempsey, E Gormley; E McKeever, C Mullan, R Close; C Calvert, K Papachristopolpous (1-0); E Morrison (0-1), O McLarnon (1-3), M óg McKeown; D Mooney (0-6, 4f), L McMullen (0-2), B Dillon (0-3, 1f).
Subs: F Calvert (0-1) for R Close, C Kilmartin (0-1) for M McKeown, S Scullion for E Gormley