Foresters’ Cup semi goes to replay

April 02, 2019

Danske Bank Foresters’ Cup semi-final
Cross and Passion Ballycastle 0-17 St Mary’s CBGS Belfast 1-14
EOIN Traynor snatched an unlikely draw for St Mary’s CBGS in the second minute of injury time to finish off an excellent Danske Bank Foresters’ Cup semi-final in Ballymena yesterday.
A draw and replay on Thursday looked very unlikely when Michael O’Boyle put Cross and Passion two points up with a glorious point from fully 90 metres out right on the side-line as the game slipped into injury time.
St Mary’s were facing a strong breeze and had only managed three points during the whole of the second half. But full credit to their battling qualities in those dying minutes.
Daire Murphy won a 20 metres’ free and opted to take the point. They won the poc out and a free which goalie Ciaran McShane drove to the 20m line. Traynor got out first for a clean catch, turned his marker and squeezed the sliotar over at the angle of crossbar and upright.
The Glen Road boys were the better team during the opening half and deserved their interval lead of 1-9 to 0-4, but it could have been more had Caolan Ó Duifinn found the net from a good chance in the 29th minute.
The St Mary’s goal was scored by Traynor in the 24th minute, latching on to a fine reverse pass from Paul McLaughlin before shooting through the centre and kicking the sliotar to the net. That made the score 1-5 to 0-3 and St Mary’s pushed on with two more points from Traynor and one each from Marcus Toner and a Murphy free to open an eight points’ lead at the break.
With the wind behind them, and Enda óg McGarry superb at the back, Ballycastle were always going to eat into that lead and they notched four scores in the opening five minutes of the second half to slice the deficit to four.
Eventually Daire Murphy pointed a free for St Mary’s to lift the siege, but with Michael O’Boyle and Rian McMullan getting a better supply, the points kept coming for Ballycastle and they had narrowed the gap to 0-12 to 1-10 by the time Murphy got the next point for the Belfast side.
Good scores from Conleth McKinley and McMullan levelled the game and Christy McGarry gave CPC the lead for the first time in the 55th minute. Caolan O’Connor hit another Ballycastle point before Murphy, from play, cut it back to a single point.
O’Boyle looked to have sealed the deal with that beauty from long range, but St Mary’s had a little more left in the tank and rescued the replay, while Ballycastle will look back on a couple of goal efforts, one coming back off the cross bar from O’Boyle and the other brilliantly saved by McShane from Conor O’Mullan as perhaps turning points.
The second semi-final St Killian’s v Maghera looks to be heading for a Friday date.
Cross and Passion : K McAuley, J McGowan, E óg McGarry, J Colgan, C McGlynn, P McGilligan, O Elliott, C McKinley (0-1), C McGarry (0-2), E Laverty, C O’Connor (0-2), M O’Boyle ((0-3), C O’Mullan, R McMullan (0-9, 0-6 frees), D Quinn.
Subs : D Devlin for D Quinn (HT), R McCormick for M O’Boyle (60)
St Mary’s : C McShane, C Boyle, R Murray, A Carey, D Magee, D Murray, D Wilson, E Traynor (1-3), L Carr, C Ó Duifinn (0-2), D Murphy (0-8, 0-7 frees), M Toner (0-1), J Burns, P McLaughlin, CJ Sullivan.
Sub : N Fallon for CJ Sullivan (39)
Referee : Sean McGuigan (Slaughtneil)