St. Pat's return to top of minor pile
Published: 13 Jul 2012 13:000 comments
The last time the Donagh club brought Minor championship silverware home was when Shane McDermott lifted the trophy. Last Saturday, it was the turn of Johnny O'Reilly who proudly received the cup from Fermanagh Youth Secretary Fionnuala Owens.
The first half was a close fought affair as the teams traded scores. Adrian McMahon landed a free for Belleek before Kevin Curran responded with a point for St Pat's. A Tommy McCaffrey free edged Erne Gaels ahead but this was short-lived as Matthew McGrade drew the side's level with a point.
Luke Ryder edged the Gaels ahead once more with a point but with 15 minutes on the clock St Pat's broke through for a goal. After some good pressure by the Donagh men they turned over possession and the ball fell to Brian McDermott. He beat two defenders before placing the ball low and under the Killian McGlone in nets.
Matthew McGrade furthered their lead with a point but two scores in quick succession from Tommy McCaffrey and Luke Ryder narrowed the deficit. Two points from goal scorer Brian McDermott stretched the St Pat's lead to 1-06 to 0-05 and just before half time Adrian McMahon's shot on goal rose high and went over for a point.
In the second half St Pat's enjoyed the perfect start. Inside a couple of minutes they found the net once more. A series of passes finally found Kevin Curran and he made no mistake shooting to the keeper's right.
Erne Gaels responded well and got themselves back into this game with four unanswered points to leave the minimum between the teams. Oisin Kelm, a free from Adrian McMahon and two frees from Tommy McCaffrey left the score 2-05 to 0-10. From this point onwards St Pat's dominated. Matthew McGrade landed another free before Tommy McCaffrey chipped over Erne Gaels final score in the 48th minute. Brian McDermott got his second goal soon after. He collected a high ball and beat his opposite number before dispatching the ball to the back of the Belleek net. Matthew Mulligan pointed as the game drew to a close and Matthew McGrade sealed the victory with two frees to secure a memorable win.
For the victorious St Pat's team there were many fine performances. Cathal O'Neill, Enda Tierney and Shane Heaney were all solid in defence. Captain Johnny O'Reilly and Colin Logan at midfield won a lot of possession and in attack Matthew McGrade showed well with five points and he was ably supported by Kevin Curran and Brian McDermott.
Erne Gaels are a young side and most of this team will be eligible next year. Best for them were Caolán Keown, Shane Mimnagh and Brian Shaw in defence. Up front Tommy McCaffrey was their main threat all evening.