St Joseph’s, Glenavy marched on in the Ulster Championship last weekend when they earned a single point victory over St Molaise, Irvinestown.
The locals were 1-15 to 2-11 victory at Corrigan Pitch in front of a very large crowd, who got excellent value for their entrance fee.
St.Joseph’s came into this game after what had been a very difficult week for the club after the sudden death of their manager Francie Doone while he was on a charity cycle run.
The game started with a flurry of Glenavy points from Patrick Gallagher, Charles Gallagher, two from Niall McCann, Fergal Green and Fergus Cunningham.
Six points up and playing against the breeze, everything was going right. St Molasie showed just why they are the current Fermanagh champions though when they came back with points from Dwayne Carleton and the hard running Kevin Duffy.
The Glenavy defence was breached and with some desperate tackling gave away a penalty. Gary Maguire took the spot kick with his initial kick, which was well saved by Fergus Green only to see the ball rebound to Maguire who made no mistake with his second effort.
Now only a point behind, the lads in green put everything into attack only to be caught out with a long Oisin Hamill clearance reaching Michael Johnston who was fouled. Up stepped Michael McCourt to take the free and split the posts with a beauty.
James Duffy with two and a Rory Cassidy point put Irvinestown in front for the first time. Patrick Gallagher then struck a well executed point to leave the score level at 0-08 to 1-05.
The Chapel Hill side made the better start to the second half with the Gallagher brothers Patrick and Owen putting their side two ahead. The side from the lakes then went three in front with points from James Duffy and Gary Maguire.
The Antrim champions seemed to have weathered the storm and were progressing when a misplaced pass was intercepted by Tiernan Daly. There followed a swift move until the ball reached James Duffy who gave the Glenavy keeper no chance when he blasted the back of the net to put his side three in front.
Ciaran Loney stole up from defence to pull the margin back to two with a well taken point. Niall McCann’s point was then cancelled out by Gary Maguire before James Gallagher got his side within one.
Then Owen Gallagher added a point and a goal to put his side in front. The goal was worth the journey when Fergal Green saved well and started a move which involved six players before the ball reached Owen Gallagher who gave the keeper no chance.
Back came Irvinestown with points from captain Stephen Sherdian and Ronan Ormsby and when the board showed there would be five minutes of added time you could hear the groans from the Glenavy support.
Niall McCann had his side’s last score when he pointed from far out on the wing. With time almost up James Duffy put the minimum between the sides. From the kickout Ronan Campbell burst forward to try and get the equalising score only to his shot brilliantly blocked by Martin Cleneghan and his clearance proved to be the last kick of the game.
ST JOSEPH’S: Green, Nelson (McAllister HT), Hamill, McLaughlin, Loney, Clenaghan, McMullan (J Phillips 28}, P Gallagher, Johnston (C), Michael McCourt (C Hamill 40), C Gallagher, O Gallagher, Malachy McCourt (J Gallagher 44), Cunningham (R Phillips 50), McCann.