Clady come from behind to reach O’Doherty decider

February 24, 2017

Danske Bank O’Doherty Cup semi-final replay

St Mary’s Clady 0-12 Aquinas Grammar 2-3

St Mary’s Clady conceded a goal in the opening minutes of yesterday’s Danske Bank O’Doherty Cup semi-final at Newbridge and were still a goal in arrears at the break, but came back strongly during the second half to out-score Aquinas Grammar by seven points to one and set up an all-Derry final for Tuesday.

Brendan Gallen tore through the centre in the third minute to shoot to the Clady net and his midfield partner Eoin McMenamin got on the end of a high punt from Eoin Nagle to raise a second green flag 14 minutes in.

That put Aquinas 2-0 to 0-2 ahead (Damon Gallagher scored both Clady points), but in truth the Ravenhill Road team were dominating the play and should have been hitting the target as regularly as they should have.

Instead they were ahead by just 2-2 to 0-5 at the break, and Clady came out strongly for the second half, with Oisin McGuckin closing out the threat of Phelim Lennon and Ruairi Henry and Damon Gallagher working the ball well to pressurise the Aquinas defence while the first half influence of Eoin Nagle and Eoin McMenamin declined.

Paul Cassidy pointed for St Mary’s on the re-start and McMenamin replied. Although the Derry side were edging closer with points from Henry and Gallagher, the turning point came in the 42nd minute when Lennon crashed a shot off their upright.

Had Aquinas goaled at that point they might well have held on to win. Instead Clady went on to dominate the last quarter and three further points from Gallagher and one from Henry sent them into Tuesday’s final with St Mary’s Limavady.

St Mary’s : Damon Gallagher 0-6, 0-3 frees, Ruairi Henry 0-3, Conor Mullan 0-1, Paul Cassidy 0-1, Fintan Bradley 0-1.

Aquinas : Eoin McMenamin 1-1, Brendan Gallen 1-0, Eoin Nagle 0-2.