St Louis Ballymena reach MacLarnon semis

February 10, 2017

Danske Bank MacLarnon Cup quarter-final

St Louis Ballymena 2-8 Loreto Coleraine 0-12

The injury-time goal scored by Conor McAuley on Wednesday to necessitate this Danske Bank MacLarnon Cup quarter-final replay in Glen, Maghera yesterday just went up in value with St Louis Ballymena making it through to a semi-final showdown with St Ciaran’s Ballygawley.

On Wednesday last year’s semi-finalists looked on their way out of the competition, but yesterday they were more composed and during the third quarter took control of the game to such an extent that they only needed to score a single point in the last 25 minutes to progress.

Eoin Daly was St Louis’ star man, well supported by Dunloy pair Conor Kinsella and Conal Doherty-Cunning and Wednesday hero Conor McAuley, while Aidan Boyle, Adam Kerr, Conor Gillen and Feargal Close didn’t deserve to see their campaigns ended.

Loreto drew first blood with two early frees from Conor Gillen, but Seaan Elliott and Conal Cunning equalised before the 10th minute and the sides were level at 0-3 each before Doherty-Cunning pointed in the 16th minute.

The first turning point of the game arrived a couple of minutes later when Seaan Elliott’s strong run was halted when he was upended in the area and the Dunloy forward dusted himself down to slot home the resultant penalty.

Doherty-Cunning immediately fired over a point and St Louis led 1-5 to 0-4 at the break.

As in the first half, Loreto tapped over the first two points – from Adam Kerr and a Stefan Tracey free – before a Conor Kinsella rasper to the top of their net put Coleraine once more on the back foot.

Conor McAuley then swung over a delightful point and soon after this was quickly followed by a point from Ronan Kelly to make it 2-7 to 0-6.

Loreto to their credit controlled most of the rest of the game and added six points, the pick of them a length of the field move started and finished by Feargal Close. However Ronan Kelly’s reply, a 48th minute point, was enough to see St Louis through.

St Louis: E Elliott; S Madden, M Carberry, S Convery; E Daly, T Quigg, C Kinsella 1-0; R Kelly 0-2, R McGarry; L McCann, A McNeilly, C McAuley 0-2; E Campbell, C Doherty-Cunning 0-3, S Elliott 1-1, 1-0 pen.
Subs: P Graffin for L McCann (41), L McKernan for A McNeilly (46), C Carey for C McAuley (55).
Loreto: A Gillen; O McNicholl, E Canning, F Close 0-2; A Boyle, S Tracey, A Kerr 0-1; M Cassidy, C Gillen 0-7 frees, E McGuigan 0-1, A McGonigle 0-1, D Mullan; S McIntyre, D Walton, D Mooney.
Subs: F Dillon for D Mullan (ht), D Donnelly for E McGuigan (ht), C McKelvey for D Walton (35), O Bradley for O McNicholl (45), R Maguire for D Mooney (48).
M Conroy (Tyrone).