Goals are key to St Pius X Loch an Iúir victory

December 15, 2017

Danske Bank Corn Loch an Iúir final
St Pius X Magherafelt 4-10 St Paul’s Bessbrook 1-11
There is never a bad time to get a goal, but the one that Conleth McGrogan cleverly finished in the 37th minute was crucial to the outcome of this Danske Bank Corn Loch an Iúir final in Woodlands yesterday.
That goal came just minutes after Gareth Murphy’s green flag for St Paul’s had pulled the teams back to a three points’ gap and given the south Armagh side the momentum.
McGrogan’s goal was quickly followed by points from Michael Forbes (free) and two from the star man of the second half, Mark Doherty. With a lead of nine points now the south Derry side had the finishing post in sight.
Overall St Pius X were the more accomplished team with Forbes a dominant force at midfield and Doherty driving forward at every opportunity while wing half-back Conor Grimes got through a lot of work, even getting in a position to fire over a first half point. Further back Fionn Glavin and Ciaran Duffy snuffed out a lot of danger from the Bessbrook attack.
And yet St Paul’s were not too far off the pace with Gareth Murphy having an excellent game as a sweeper, while the two O’Briens, Ciaran at corner-back and Ruairi at wing forward, played well. Crucially though they fed off scraps around the middle and ultimately that was where St Pius X won the game.
St Paul’s got the better start with the opening two scores from Andrew Cunningham and Jack Collins before Michael Forbes checked their progress by gaining possession in the left corner and cutting across to finish low to the net.
Just at the end of the opening quarter Hayden Bloomer took a high catch, turned and fired home for goal No 2 and he was one of four point scorers as St Paul’s took a 2-5 to 0-4 lead.
Cunningham, Collins and Conor Kavanagh staged a mini revival before the break but Magherafelt still turned over in control at 2-6 to 0-7.
Murphy’s 33rd minute goal seemed to lift Bessbrook, but they were then left deflated after McGrogan’s finish as Bessbrook pushed on to, in the end, a comfortable victory with Hayden Bloomer replicating his first half strike with a second goal in the 55th minute.
St Pius X: O Wisniewski, C Duffy, F Glavin, P Craig, C Grimes 0-1, P Bateson, Callum McGrogan, M Forbes 1-2, 0-2 frees, E Johnston, C Bateson, M Doherty 0-5, Conleth McGrogan 1-0, C McCoy, H Bloomer 2-1, O Diamond 0-1
Subs : C O’Hagan, P Keenan, J Devlin, P McGurk, R Gavin, J Gormley, P McKee, N Ralston, O Bell, A Bennett, O Bennett, J Connery, S McAteer, D McGreevy, M Orzel, J Traynor, J Bell, D Monaghan
St Paul’s : S McMullen, C O’Brien, F O’Brien, S Keenan, D Swift, G Murphy 1-0, J Lennon, R Magee, R Keatings, P Woods 0-1, C Kavanagh 0-3, R O’Brien 0-2, P McVerry, A Cunningham 0-3 frees, J Collins 0-2.
Subs : A McArdle for J Collins (ht), D O’Neill for S Keenan (51).
Referee : Paul Falloon (Down)