Joe’s edge pulsating Minor ‘B’ decider
ST JOSEPH’S 3-15 F’BARRS/LANNLEIRE 0-20
ST Josephs again came through against the odds when they overcame a very strong Naomh Fionnbarra/Lannleire side in the LMFM Minor B Championship final in Stabannon.
The teams had met in Cluskey Park in the first round of the Championship when the Joes went down heavily on a scoreline of 4-12 to 0-13.
In a pulsating high scoring final, that was a credit to both sides the Joes stuck to the game plan with the match turning in a five-minute second-half spell when Jack Barron was on hand to finish two goals to the Finbars/Lannleire net.
On a perfect evening for football Conor Neary opened the scoring for the Joes with a superb free kick from the right sideline. However it was the Finbars/Lannleire team that settled best and their strong running had the Joes under heavy pressure in the opening 20 minutes. Four points in quick succession had the combination side up by 4 to 1 inside four minutes.
The Joes hit back when the hardworking Dylan McGrory won possession on the 45m line, Conor Neary’s superb long ball was taken in his stride by Ben Collier and although first attempt was saved by Matthew Reilly, he made no mistake with the follow-up to hit the back of the net. The Finbars/Lannleire side led by Pierce Hawkins, Jack Crosbie and Killian Gregory dominated the scoring with Gregory on target with three fine scores. The Joes found themselves down by 0-8 to 1-2 on 23 minutes with Conall McCaul striking from distance.
The Joes saw out the half in fine style with Ben Collier striking from a very narrow angle on the right wing on 24 minutes and then Josh Mackin in the Joes goal was quick off line to deny the combination side a goal chance.
The Joes hit three points between the 27th & 29th minute, a Conall McCaul 30m free narrowed the gap to two. Aaron Nearys strong tackling delivered possession to Gabriel Bell who soloed through the centre for an excellent point. The Joes took the lead when a patient build up ended with Ben Collier calmly striking a fine point off his left foot. The sides went in level at the break with another fine long range point from the Finbars/ Lannleire side, half time 1-6to 0-9.
The quality of the scoring from both sides was even better in the second half with nine points in the first 12 minutes. The Joes hit the front when Jack Barron split the posts in the first minute, however the combination side went ahead again with two in a row on 34 minutes.
The sides went score for score Conor Berrill setting up Ben Collier for a Joes point and Killian Gregory responding immediately with an equaliser. The Finbars/Lannleire long range scoring continued with another fine point to edge them in front on 36 minutes.
Ben Collier equalised for the Joes from a 13m free following a foul on Gabriel Bell and it was a superb point from Conall McCaul that had the Joes ahead again on 40 minutes. Finbars/Lannleire equalised before Ben Collier restored the Joes lead when his shot went over of the right upright, Joes 1-11, Finbars/Lannliere 0-13.
The Joes introduced fresh legs with Josh Todd and Ciaran Johnston joined the attack and it was Todd who split the Finbars/Lannleire defence, his partially saved shot was bundled over the line by the quick thinking Jack Barron on 43 minutes. The Finbars/Lannleire side cut the margin to three with a second effort coming back off the cross bar.
On 48 minutes the ever dangerous Ben Collier cut-in from the right and his parried shot was finished to the net by Jack Barron to put the Joes six up, 3-11 to 0-14. The Finbars/Lannleire side now needed a goal but the Joes defence held firm, the sides continued to exchange scores with Ben Collier pointing a 13m free and Conor Neary doing likewise from 20metres to leave the scoreline Joes 3-13, Finbars/Lannleire 0-17 on 54 minutes.
On 58 minutes Conor Berrill’s efforts were rewarded when he pointed following a strong run, a score that was cancelled out a minute later, Joes 3-14, Finbars/ Lannleire 0-18. Finbars/Lannleire responded with a point from a free before Conal McCaul show composure to land another superb point for the Joes.
ST JOSEPH’S: Josh Mackin, Kyle McQuillan, Kevin Campbell, Conor Casey, Michael Staunton 0-3, Paul Coyne, Adam Stewart, Gabriel Bell 0-1, Conor Neary 0-3 (2f), Oran McParland, Conall McCaul 0-3 (2f), Dylan McGrory, Jack Barron 2-1, Conor Berrill 0-1, Ben Collier 1-6 (2f), Aaron Neary, Josh todd, Ciaran Johnston, Connor Marmion, Turlough McGeeney, Donal Johnston, Eric Shields, Rory Staunton, Tadgh Corr.
NAOMH FIONBARRA/LANNLEIRE: Matthew O’Reilly, Luke Kennedy, Ruairi Crofts, Aaron McArdle, Kalum Regan, Ronan Kelly, C J Corentin, Pierce Hawkins, Josh Crosbie, Thomas McCreesh, Killian Gregory, Caoimhin Maher, Adam Hanratty, Jack Maguire, Ciaran Mackey.