Minor BL Final: Castleconnor 4-08 v 4-09 St. John's

posted 12 May 2014, 09:05 by castleconnor sligo
The Minor B League Final took place between St.John’s and Castleconnor on Thursday evening last in St.Farnan’s. Despite St.John’s having wind assistance in the first half, Castleconnor started the better team, with an excellent point from play by Matthew Cullen in the opening minute. Following this, St.John’s were unfortunate to lose centre forward Stephen Kerins for a black card. He was replaced by Cameron Keaney and St.John’s went on to dominate the remainder of the first quarter with goals from Gavin Sweeney and Paul McNamara. 

Castleconnor responded well with a well worked goal by Jack O’Hora to reduce the deficit. In the second quarter Cillian Gallagher found the net for St.John’s and Gavin Sweeney settled the ship with three points from play. However Castleconnor finished the first half strongly with four points without reply. This left St.John’s leading on a half time score line of 3-4 to 1-5. 

St.John’s started much more brightly in the second half with Paul McNamara converting a long range free. This was followed by a crucial goal by inspirational substitute Cathal Jordan who managed to score despite being under extreme pressure. In the third quarter Castleconnor worked some clever 45’s and punished St.John’s with a brace of well taken points. Referee Michael Duffy advanced frees forward on a number of occasions whenever any indiscipline was shown. Alex Selby burst forward to score a much needed point for St.John’s with the outside of his boot. The game was turned on its head at the end of the third quarter when Castleconnor intercepted a pass in midfield, which ended up with a goal by Matthew Cullen. However the St.John’s lead was restored to eight points with five minutes remaining after two converted frees by Paul McNamara. 

Castleconnor set up a grandstand finish with two superb goals by Matthew Cullen to reduce the deficit to two points. In injury time Castleconnor were awarded a close in free after goalkeeper Ryan Blake was harshly adjudged to have picked the ball off the ground outside the square. St.John’s lined the goals and the ensuing free went narrowly over the crossbar. St.John’s held on to win by the minimum margin on a final score line of 4-9 to 4-8.

Following the full time whistle, the cup was presented to the St.John’s captain Paul McNamara by Bart Barrins of Coiste na nOg. 

St.John’s: R.Blake, E.Tuffy, C.Clancy, A.Selby, B.McGowan, C.King, C.Sweeney, P.McNamara, K.Kelly, S.Kerins, G.Sweeney, C.Gallagher, M.Spratt, C.Keaney, C.Jordan, C.Haugh, C.McGovern, A.Clerkin, E.Flannagan.

Castleconnor: K.Flynn, C.Gallagher, S.Durkan, J.Boland, C.Barrins, B.Foody, K.Foody, J.Earlis, S.Carrabine, J.O’Hora, M.Cahill, D.O’Hora, M.Cullen, P.Flynn, L.Bearbshsall, E.Kilcullen, O.Quinn.

(Report and photos with thanks to Fergal Henry Minor Team Manager, St Johns)