Cathair Doire put on an impressive second-half display to knock out Scoileanna Inis Eoghain in the Danske Bank Ulster Schools MacLarnon Cup Semi-Final at Celtic Park.
Report by Shaun Keenan at Celtic Park
Cathair Dhoire 1-10 Scoileanna Inis Eoghain 1-07
It was a brave effort from Aidan Mulholland’s side against Cathair Dhoire amalgamation who will now play Red High (St Patrick’s Downpatrick) in the MacLarnon Cup Semi-Final on March 18.
Impressive displays from Fergal Mortimer and Ben McCarron, to name a few, ensure Cathair Dhoire put on a gallant display.
It was Inis Eoghain who got the contest underway with a slick point from Josh Conlon but three scores from Cathair Dhoire’s Ryan Brown, Fergal Mortimer, and Eoghan Cassidy was enough for them to secure a foothold in the game.
Playing against a heavy wind in the first half, Dhoire’s were limit to chances until midway through the first half.
Inis Eoghain looked determined and with superb integrate play Conlon scored two free-kicks either side of a well-worked goal to give Inis Eoghain a three-point advantage.
Cathair Dhoire’s Matthew Stephenson made a hash of Jonathan Toye’s long-range effort opening up a glorious chance for Christopher McDaid, who pounced, and made no mistake to give Inis Eoghain the first goal.
However, just before the interval Cathair Dhoire’s restored some of the impetus, taking the game to the Donegal side as Eoghan Cassidy epitomised that feat with a bursting run past the reliant Oisin Devlin to get an impressive point.
As Dhoire pulled one back, Inis Eoghain conceded a cheap foul after 27 minutes to slender their lead to one score as Steelstown schoolboy Ben McCarron hit a close-range free-kick just before half-time.
Josh Conlon repeated his actions of the first-half, starting proceedings in the second period with his fourth free-kick of the contest but, Mortimer, with a free-kick of his own, responded in typical Dhoire fashion.
With Inis Eoghain still in control with 15 minutes remaining, Anthony Doherty fouled McCarron inside the area with Antrim’s Sean Laverty in no mood for the mercy, awarding a penalty to Cathair Dhoire.
McCarron, who had a turbulent game, was back to his best for the penalty, ruthless, as he propelled the home side into the lead for the first time since early in the first half.
With time against them, Inis Eoghain needed a score to give themselves a fighting chance and it came after 52 minutes when Rory Hirrell shrugged off a salvo of charges from the rugged Dhoire defence to earn another fierce point.
Their determination proved dividends as Matthew Mulholland sprung into action as the Derry amalgamation took their foot off the gas momentarily, to level the scoreline – a fantastic point for Mulholland who showed good determination to get beyond the Dhoire backline.
Other chances presented themselves for Inis Eoghain but they failed to take them, accumulating five wides in a game of narrow margins.
On the other hand, Dhoire had 12 wides to their name but, unfortunately for Inis Eoghain, it didn’t come back to haunt them as three more scores furthered their lead.
Mortimer, McCarron and Tieran O’Kane showed their grit, with the help of heavy wind, to guide themselves into the final stage of the competition.
Inis Eoghain didn’t make it easy for them, however, as Donal Doherty knocked another point over, with assistance from the crossbar, at a time when only a goal would be sufficient to get themselves back level.
Dhoire sealed their fate when substitute Jude Óg Moore added their final point and a clash with St Patrick’s Downpatrick next month, while Scoileanna Inis Eoghain can hold their heads firmly high.
Cathair Doire: M Stephenson, Peter O’Flaherty, Naoise O’Mianain, Michael Lynch, Jude Mullan, Shane McElhinney, Conor McLaughlin, Cormac Mooney, Oran McGrath, Shea Browne, Ben McCarron (1-2 1F), Fergal Mortimer(0-3 3f), Ryan Browne (0-1), Eoghan Cassidy (0-2), Cahir McMonagle
Subs: Tiernan O’Kane (0-1) for J Mullan 16′, Jude Óg Moore (0-1) for Cahir McMonagle 42′, Oran McMenamin for R Brown 55′.
Scoileanna Inis Eoghain: Daniel McCallion, Evan McCallion, Matthew Mulholland (0-1), Oisin Devlin, Gavin McDaid, Donal Doherty (0-1), Josh Conlon (0-4 4f), Christopher McDaid (1-0), Johnny Toye, Rory Hirrell (0-1), Conor Carlin, Oisin Kelly, Ben Bradley, Conor O’Donnell, Anthony Doherty
Subs: Luke Doherty for Ben Bradley (Blood substitute) 26′.