Sports

St Maryís defeat Casementís to advance to final

Thursday, 24 November 2016

A WELL drilled St Mary's Aghagallon side had too much firepower for opponents Portglenone when the sides contested the first County under 21 semi final at a foggy Cargin.
At the end they had a comfortable 12 points to spare and will enter the final in confident mood in two weeks against the Belfast side Rossa.
Last year's beaten finalists Aghagallon, with almost that entire squad still available were pre match favourites and lived up to their billing with a lighting start when impressive Niall Mc Shane found himself well placed at the end of an intricate five man movement to blast home from short range for a goal within two minutes to set the tone for what lay ahead.
It was obvious that many of their side have benefited from a busy autumn schedule that saw them participate in the provincial intermediate championship as their fitness and ball handling was at a higher level than their opponents.
In contrast, Portglenone had a nervous start, narrowly missing the target from three scoreable positions before Corey Mc Laughlin opened their account with a well taken point after six minute.
The midfielder saw red shortly afterwards for an off the ball incident and left his teammates with an almost impossible task thereafter.
The St Mary's side play a running game, with terrific support play across the field and the loss of an opponent allowed the West Antrim side more space to combine their link up play. Niall Mc Shane added a second goal when oceans of space opened up, with his lethal finish to the corner of the net leaving Ryan O Neill with no chance.
Then shortly after, on 17 minutes county senior panellist Oisin Lenehan got on the end of yet another excellent combination to add a third goal and there was now considerable daylight, nine points in fact, separating the teams on the scoreboard.
*Read the full story in this week's Ballymena Guardian.

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