Sweeney goal ends Irish News semi marathon

April 19, 2018

Danske Bank Irish News Cup semi-final
St Joseph’s Donaghmore 4-15 Holy Cross Strabane 6-6 AET
What a battle there was in the Mid Ulster Sports Arena yesterday between these two Tyrone schools in the Danske Bank Irish News Cup semi-final!
The game had everything; a penalty, a total of ten goals, some of them top-drawer finishes, a last minute goal to force extra time and the teams were still level after the first period of extra time before tired legs gave way for Holy Cross Strabane and Donaghmore edged through to next week’s decider.
Con Sweeney, Donaghmore’s last goal-scorer, was one of the stars of the game, well supported by team-mates Joey Clarke and Conor O’Neill, while Ruairí Barkley, Cathair Grimley, Thomas McAleer and Shea Collins delivered for Strabane.
Collins scored both Strabane’s goals as the teams turned over level at half-time, 2-2 to 1-5 with Ronan Molloy hitting the net for Donaghmore.
Leo Hughes’ goal and several nice points from Sweeney and Cormac Drayne looked to have sealed the win for Donaghmore in normal time only for Robbie Conway to cut through on the left and pass across goal for Odhrán Gallagher to punch home an equaliser on 4-3 to 2-9.
The first period of extra time didn’t resolve the issue with goals from Cormac Drayne and Aidan Hegarty cancelling each other out to end on a score-line of 5-5 to 3-11.
However Sweeney produced the goods in the second period, shooting low to the net before the break. That score effectively won the game as Donaghmore quickly added points and Thomas McAleer’s strike for Strabane was too late to reel them in.
The second semi-final is also an all-Tyrone affair with St Joseph’s Coalisland taking on St Ciaran’s Ballygawley today (Friday) at 10.30am in Garvaghy. This also could be high-scoring as well as Ballygawley qualified for the semi-final on Wednesday with a 8-8 to 3-11 win over St Louis Kilkeel.
St Joseph’s : Con Sweeney 1-4, Cormac Drayne 1-4, Ronan Molloy 1-2, Leo Hughes 1-1, JP Coyle 0-1, Donal Cummings 0-1, Steven Canavan 0-1, Cormac McCartan 0-1
Holy Cross : Shea Collins 2-2, Aidan Hegarty 2-2, Odhrán Gallagher 1-0, Thomas McAleer 1-0, Robbie Conway 0-1, Daniel McHaghney 0-1.