Downpatrick through Down derby in extra time

January 25, 2019

Danske Bank MacLarnon Cup quarter-final
St Patrick’s Downpatrick 2-14 St Malachy’s Castlewellan 1-15 AET
A DERBY game, a derby atmosphere, thrills, spills and 80 minutes of enthralling end to end football as St Patrick’s Downpatrick hit two late injury-time points from Ruairí O’Hare (free) and Peter McMullan to force extra time.
Tim Prenter then clinched a place for the Red High in the Danske Bank MacLarnon Cup semi-final with a goal in the third minute of the second period of extra time, although St Malachy’s Castlewellan came despairingly close at the death when Sheelan Johnson’s blasted free went inches over the top-corner of the goal.
Yes, the Drumaness derby had everyone on their toes throughout with the teams trading scores from the start to the finish of normal time.
Gareth Fitzpatrick, Conor McAnulty, Ryan O’Higgins, Sheelan Johnson and Sean óg McCusker were all to the fore for St Malachy’s while Niall Laverty, Ruairí O’Hare, Eoin Rooney and goalie Eoin Maginn eventually edged Downpatrick clear of their neighbours and into the semi-final draw.
It was 0-5 each after the opening half with each team scoring four times from frees. It was a similar pattern at the start of the second half with points from Tim Prenter, Niall Laverty and Tom Smith in turn cancelled by frees from Matthew Carvill and Sheelan Johnson (2).
That brought the game to the three-quarter mark and what looked like a significant break for the Red High; Ruairí O’Hare played a couple of one-twos and crashed home a goal.
Castlewellan introduced Caolan Burns from the bench and three minutes later he caught a punt into the goal area, swivelled and buried the ball in the net.
That score lifted St Malachy’s and, while Ryan O’Higgins and Peter McMullan traded points, Sheelan Johnson lofted over two lead points, the second in the first minute of injury-time. However there was still time for Ruairí O’Hare to hold his nerve with a difficult free and at the death McMullan grabbed an equaliser.
Prenter and Oran Cunningham hit two Downpatrick points in the first period of extra time and then Prenter gathered Conor’s pass to hit a goal and leave five points in it.
St Malachy’s refused to lie down and points from Caarvill and Johnson (both frees) and Brendan McKey brought it down to a goal between them as Johnson lined up the final free. He tried to pick the top corner, but it flashed over the bar and, from a Downpatrick perspective, to safety.
The other three MacLarnon Cup quarter-finals are scheduled for this coming week.
St Patrick’s : E Maginn, E Rooney, L Guiness, J Harbinson, N Laverty (0-1), P McMullan (0-3), R Murphy capt, R O’Hare (1-3, 0-3 frees), C Watson, R Quinn, T Prenter (1-2), T Smyth (0-3, 0-2 frees), B Boyd, T Savage, O Cunningham (0-1)
Subs : R Conor (0-1) for R Murphy (bc 48), D Donaldson for C Watson (62), A Harney for B Boyd (75), T Carson for L Guinness (bc 79).
St Malachy’s : J McKee, l Clarke, E McCrickard, T Fettis, G Fitzpatrick, C McAnulty (0-1), J McVeigh, R O’Higgins (0-1), J O’Boyle, A Morgan, S Johnson (0-7, 0-5 frees), B McKey (0-1), M Carvill (0-5 frees, S óg McCusker, D McKibben,
Subs : T Fegan for J McVeigh (4), C Burns (1-0) for J O’Boyle (46), D McVeigh for D McKibbon (73), E McEvoy for M Carville (75)
Referee : Martin Conroy