Our Lady’s Castleblayney 3-16 St Pius Magherafelt 1-21 AET
Our Lady’s Castleblayney Boys Senior GAA team qualified for the first ever Irish News Cup Final in dramatic circumstances last Friday at the Dub in Belfast. Playing against a very strong St. Pius X Magheafelt team, Our Lady’s dug deep in the second period of extra time to secure a place in the league final.
Our Lady’s looked in real trouble when St Pius X Magherafelt playing with a strong wind started the second half of extra time with two quick points. However they didn’t add to their tally between then and the end and points from Josh Mone, Declan Courtney and a superbly measured pressure free from Stephen Mooney took Our Lady’s Castleblayney through to meet Loreto Milford in ten days’ time.
In an absorbing contest, St Pius X seemed to be in control early in the game until a goal from Our Lady’s looked to be giving them momentum, but then it was level at half-time, full-time and extra-time and seemed to be heading for penalties when Mooney with his 12th point secured the ticket to the final against Loreto Milford.
Our Lady’s free-taker, Stephen Mooney was in superb form over the hour hitting ten frees in total.St Pius X took a 0-4 to 0-2 lead after 12 minutes playing into the breeze. However a goal from Conor Eccles in the 15th minute lifted Our Lady’s and Mooney added three frees as his side went 1-5 to 0-5 up.
In the minutes before half-time St. Pius X rattled off four unanswered points to leave it all square at the change of ends, 0-9 to 1-6.In the third quarter Magherafelt led 0-13 to 1-7. But Mooney hit back with two frees before a fine move involving Eccles and Declan Courtney ended with Josh Mone’s cool finish to the corner of the net and Our Lady’s went back in front. Three late points from St. Pius X moved the tie into extra time at 0-16 to 2-10.
In the first half of extra time, Jason Duffy slipped a low shot under the keeper for a Castleblayney goal and Mooney added points put them four up.
But St. Pius X hit back with a goal, and added a point and once more the sides changed ends on level terms.
However despite a good start to the final ten minutes from St Pius X, Our Lady’s finished stronger and Mooney’s final pressure score edged a terrific game of football. At the end it meant Our Lady’s advancedand means that they now get the opportunity to lift the first piece of silverware of the year, when they face off with Loreto Milford in a fortnight’s time for the Irish News Cup. Best of luck to the boys in the final.
Our Lady’s : Josh Mone (1-3), Conor Eccles (1-0), Jason Duffy (1-0), Stephen Mooney (0-12, 0-2 frees), Declan Courtney (0-1).
Our Lady’s : Ciarán Duffy, Seán Hamill, Gavin McSkeane, Sean Callan, Shay Duffy, Darren McMahon, Joey Hughes, Rory McGlynn, Declan Courtney, Barry John Grimley, Conor Eccles, Jason Duffy, Jason Carragher, Stephen Mooney, Josh Mone
Subs : Eoin Gorman, Gerard Quin