Abbey battle it out to reach Markey Cup decider

February 07, 2019

Danske Bank Markey Cup Semi Final
Abbey Vocational Donegal 0-13 St Ciaran’s Ballygawley 1-8
From Kevin Kelly in Bawnacre
Abbey became the first side into this season’s Danske Bank Markey Cup final when they held off a spirited comeback from St Ciaran’s Ballgawley on the 4G pitch at the Bawnacre in Irvinestown yesterday afternoon.
The Donegal lads led by five points at one stage early in the second half but a well taken Ethan Neill goal at the end of the third quarter helped reduced the deficit to the minimum. The Tyrone school though couldn’t find an equaliser as Abbey just about did enough to get over the finishing line.
Abbey had the wind at their backs in the first half and they started confidently with wing half back Richard O’Rourke and Cain Hegarty registering points. Peadar Kane then opened St Ciaran’s account and in the 10th minute they had a great chance to take the lead when Ciaran Bogue was fouled for a penalty but Odhran Robinson put the spot kick wide.
Jamie Crawford and Mark Monaghan traded points before Joe Oguz sent over the equaliser. St Ciaran’s would have been happy with that position with ten minutes of the half to play but Abbey finished strongly with Jamie Crawford converting two frees either side of a brace from play from Shay Travers for a 0-7 to 0-3 advantage.
A Hegarty free stretched their lead on the re-start before Neill finished low to the bottom left hand corner of the net after getting on the end of a knockdown from Oguz.
Neill then tagged on a point and at this stage it was St Ciaran’s who had all the momentum. Abbey though didn’t panic with Sean Kennedy palming over the bar for a much needed score.
On three other occasions St Ciaran’s closed the gap to the minimum with scores from Bogue, Ruairí Canavan and Robinson, but each time Abbey responded through Hegarty (2) and Michael Statham as they booked their place in the decider.
Abbey: E O’Hagan, S Meehan, B Fagan, A McHugh, R Brogan, M Coughlan, R O’Rourke (0-1), J Crawford (0-3, 2F), O Reid, C Feeney, M Statham (0-1), D Gallagher, S Travers (0-2), C Hegarty (0-5, 3F), S Kennedy (0-1).
Subs: I Campbell for Kennedy, O Quinn for Travers, T White for O’Rourke, A McCalmont for Feeney
St Ciaran’s: S McMenamin, J Heatherington, B Quinn, M Quinn, F McElroy, C Quinn, P Kane (0-1), O Treacy, J Oguz (0-1), C McAleer, M Monaghan (0-1), E Neill (1-1), C Bogue (0-1), O Robinson (0-1), P Traynor.
Sub: R Canavan (0-2, 1F) for McElroy
Referee: G McLaughlin, Fermanagh