Navan beat Maghera in Paul McGirr semi

March 08, 2020

Masita Paul McGirr Cup semi-final
St Patrick’s Navan 2-7 St Patrick’s Maghera 0-7
Claregalway College 1-5 St Brendan’s Killarney 0-12
THE key play in this game came just after Callum Downey pointed a free to put St Patrick’s Maghera into a 0-4 to 0-2 lead with the game slipping into first half injury-time.
St Patrick’s Navan worked the ball quickly down the left wing. Ciaran Caulfield offloaded to Matthew Cully who found Donal Commins inside and his lay off put substitute Troy O’Brien inside the Maghera cover. Conal Craig could do little with the one-on-one.
Although Luke Diamond tied the teams at the break, 0-5 to 1-2, it was going to be hard for Maghera playing into the difficult diagonal breeze to break down a physically imposing Navan team in the second half.
Their task became even more difficult in the 49th minute when Downey collected a black card with Maghera on the attack and two points adrift.
In fairness they carried the game to Navan from then until Downey’s return but could not close the gap, Jody McDermott hitting a free off the outside of his boot and wide their best effort.
Then Navan got a free which James Foley took from the ground and posted his fifth score. Deep in injury time his high shot for an insurance point dropped short and was fumbled and John Finnerty kicked it over the goal-line.
It wasn’t a six points’ game, but Navan, who finished their Leinster championship last week compared to Maghera winning the Rannafast Cup in December, were just that little bit sharper despite points from Downey (play and a free) and Luke Diamond putting them three up by the 8th minute.
Maghera dominated possession in the opening half but hit six wides and five points while at the other end the two points Foley scored were from frees made easier with defenders complaining and the referee moving the ball forward.
Cathal Chambers finished a good team move with the lead point on the re-start, but mistakes led to two pointed frees in reply from Foley and good scores from Oisin Keogh and Louis Collins with only a Downey point in reply.
The black card made life difficult towards the end, while a short fracas after the late goal resulted in straight red cards for two Maghera players.
Navan : C Darby, D Dwyer, P McEnteegart, E McCabe, S O’Connell, J Finnerty (1-0), L Collins (0-1), E Donegan, C Caulfield, T Martin, J O’Reagan, M Cully, D Commons, J Foley (0-5 frees), O Keogh.
Subs : T O’Brien (1-0) for E Donegan (23), N McGinley for S O’Connell (40), C Smith for N McGinley (56), T Dougan for M Cully (60).
Maghera : C Craig, A McGonigle, A McLaughlin, J Moore, P McGurk, J Friel, J McGroarty, J McDermott, R Dillon, C Mullan, C Downey (0-4, 0-2 frees), N Duggan, E Higgins, C Chambers (0-1), L Diamond (0-2).
Subs : P McCullagh for E Higgins (41), T Smyth for C Mullan (56)
Referee : C Durneen (Cavan)