McAuley Goal Rescues St LouisFebruary 08, 2017
Danske Bank McLarnon Cup Quarter-Final
St Louis Ballymena 2-10 Loreto Coleraine 3-7
Michael McMullan at Owenbeg
CONOR McAuley was last night’s St Louis hero. With two minutes remaining the St Comgall’s youngster found himself unmarked in the Loreto penalty area to punch Eoghan Daly’s pass to the net.
The game was absent of short kick-outs, with the mark being regularly awarded. It was an entertaining game with both teams giving every ounce of energy and men dropping with cramp in the dying moments.
The Kintullagh school showed the character to comeback. It looked bleak when Conal Cunning-Doherty’s 57th minute rasper came back out off the underside of the Loreto crossbar. McAuley had other ideas with the late strike.
Aidan McGonigle got the Coleraine side off the mark after 30 seconds. Five minutes in, Conor Gillen’s neat through ball found Sean Quinn and he passed for Fergal Dillon to finish to the net, putting Loreto 1-1 to 0-1 ahead. McGonigle blazed over in the 14th minute with a goal for the taking.
Midway through the first half St Louis were back level. McAuley’s pass put Eoin Campbell in on goal, he was blocked but an alert Cunning-Doherty poked the ball to the net.
St Louis had ‘keeper Elliott to thank for a reflex save from Shane McIntyre. Three minutes before half-time Loreto’s pressure paid off, this time a fine finish to the bottom corner from Conor Gillen.
Within a minute of the restart McAuley narrowed the gap to a point. In a pulsating second half, it was point for point, with Gillen adding two for Loreto. Liam McCann and Aaron McNeilly replied for Ballymena.
With eight minutes remaining, substitute Liam McKernan levelled for St Louis (2-7 to 1-10). Still the drama kept unfolding. A long delivery from Gillen was finished to the net by substitute Dara Mooney. Loreto must have thought they did enough before McAuley hit the dramatic late equaliser.
St Louis: E Elliott; S Madden, M Carberry, S Convery; A McNeilly (0-2), C Kinsella, A McGrath; R Kelly (0-3 f), R McGarry; R Griffin, E Campbell, L McCann (0-1); C McAuley (1-1), C Doherty-Cunning (1-1), S Elliott (0-1).
Subs: L McKernan (0-1) for A McGrath (25), E Daly for R Griffin (35).
Loreto: A Gillen; E Canning, A Boyle, R Maguire; S Quinn, S Tracey, F Close; D Donnelly, A Kerr; A McGonigle (0-3), C Gillen (1-3, 2f), S McIntyre (0-1); F Dillon (1-0), M Cassidy, D Walton.
Subs: O McNicholl for E Canning (HT), C McKelvey for D Walton (HT), O Bradley for S Quinn (38), D Mooney (1-0) for F Close (40), E McGuigan for F Dillon (55), L Ferris for S Tracey (58).
Referee: P Coyle (Tyrone).