Our Lady’s win irish News Thriller at Dub

January 18, 2020

Danske Bank Irish News Cup semi-final
Our Lady’s Castleblayney 3-16 St Pius Magherafelt 1-21 AET
WHEN St Pius X Magherafelt started the second half of extra time with two excellent quick points from Daragh Wade and captain Iarlaith Donaghy they looked to be on their way into the Danske Bank Irish News Cup final with the wind on their backs.
However they didn’t add to their tally between then and the end and points from Josh Mone, Declan Courtney and a superbly measured pressure free from Stephen Mooney took Our Lady’s Castleblayney through to meet Loreto Milford in ten days’ time.
St Pius X seemed to be in control early in the game until a goal from Castleblayney looked to be giving them momentum, but then it was level at half-time, full-time and extra-time and seemed to be heading for penalties when Mooney with his 12th point secured the ticket to the final against Loreto Milford.
The free-takers, Mooney for ‘Blayney and Michael Forbes, Daragh Wade and Conor McAteer for St Pius X, were in superb form over the hour. Mooney hit ten frees, while Forbes landed two key frees in his three scores with McAteer scoring half his ten points from placed balls.
All four were on target as St Pius X took a 0-4 to 0-2 lead after 12 minutes and the Derry side was playing the better football into the breeze. However a goal from Conor Eccles in the 15th minute lifted Our Lady’s and Mooney added three frees as his side went 1-5 to 0-5 up.
In the minutes before half-time James McClure, Joe McElkennon and McAteer (two frees) pointed to leave it all square at the change of ends, 0-9 to 1-6.
McAteer, from frees and play, scored four times in the third quarter as Magherafelt led 0-13 to 1-7. But Mooney hit back with two frees before a fine move involving Eccles and Declan Courtney ended with Josh Mone’s cool finish to the corner of the net and the Monaghan side was back in front.
They couldn’t maintain that advantage however as points from McAteer, Wade and Michael Forbes (in the fifth minute of injury-time) moved the tie into extra time at 0-16 to 2-10.
In the first half of extra time, Jason Duffy slipped a low shot under Callum Lagan for a Castleblayney goal and Mooney added points put them four up.
But an excellent move involving Shea Coleman and Forbes finished with a Daragh Wade goal, McAteer added a point and once more the sides changed ends on level terms.
However despite a good start to the final ten minutes from St Pius X, Our Lady’s finished stronger and Mooney’s final pressure score edged a terrific game of football.
It is doubtful if there are too many teams in the MacLarnon as accomplished as either of the teams on show at the Dub. Both should have a lot to say about the final destination of the MacLarnon Cup this year – but it is Our Lady’s that get the opportunity to lift the first piece of silverware, when they face off with Loreto Milford in a fortnight’s time for the Irish News Cup
Our Lady’s : Josh Mone (1-3), Conor Eccles (1-0), Jason Duffy (1-0), Stephen Mooney (0-12, 0-2 frees), Declan Courtney (0-1).
St Pius X : Daragh Wade (1-5, 0-1 free), Conor McAteer (0-10, 0-5 frees), Michael Forbes (0-3, 0-2 frees), James McClure (0-1), Joe McElkennon (0-1), Iarlaith Donaghy (0-1).
Our Lady’s : Ciarán Duffy, Seán Hamill, Gavin McSkeane, Sean Callan, Shay Duffy, Darren McMahon, Joey Hughes, Rory McGlynn, Declan Courtney, Barry John Grimley, Conor Eccles, Jason Duffy, Jason Carragher, Stephen Mooney, Josh Mone
Subs : Owen O’Gorman, Gerard Quinn
St Pius X : Callum Lagan, Mattie Rocks, Conor Devlin, Mark McGeehan, Dara Martin, Iarlaith Donaghy, Mark Doherty, Shea Coleman, Shane McGrogan, Dara Quinn, Daragh Wade, Joe McElkennon, Conor McAteer, James McClure, Michael Forbes
Subs used : Gerard Cullen, Sean óg Quinn, Conor Dyson, Ryan Laverty