Clan na Gael 0-13 Shane O’Neill’s 0-11
Clan na Gael advance to the last eight of the Intermediate Championship after seeing out their Camlough rivals by two points.
This game failed to live up to the pre-match hype and didn’t reach the level of intensity and pace one would have imagined.
The Clans game-winners Shane McPartlan and Stefan Campbell came to the fore in the end, but it was far from convincing for the Blues.
Indeed, McPartlan’s 66th minute score was the first time the Lurgan men had got their noses in front since the opening score, also from the boot of the talented corner forward.
Stefan Campbell slipped over the insurance score when he knocked over his third of the evening and sent Clans through to the Quarter Finals.
And that’s what it was all about. Getting through.
But Diarmaid Marsden and his men know they have a lot to work on if they want to press on for a tilt at the title.
For long periods Shane O’Neill’s looked like the team most likely to get the win, but wayward shooting let them down, hitting four wides in the opening five minutes.
Clan na Gael managed to win five of Shane O’Neill’s seven kick outs just after the second halves water break, registering two points that ultimately won the contest.
Shane’s raced into a four-point lead just before the interval and proved to be much the better team during the second quarter.
McPartlan and Paul O’Rourke traded frees while James French’s dead ball effort was matched by the first score from play, through Matthew Girvan.
Then Shane’s began to settle into their groove. Mark McCabe showed great pace to kick his side ahead while Ciaran Mackin hit the score of the night. A beautiful, outside-of-the-boot effort from near the side-line.
Connaire Mackin smashed over a 45 but Stefan Campbell hit a classy score in an attempt to halt the Shane O’Neill’s momentum.
The sides were once again matched score for score, O’Rourke (f) and Connaire Mackin (45) seeing their points cancelled out by Niall Henderson and James French (f).
This saw Shane’s head into the break the happier with a 0-7 to 0-5 lead, but they will now look back with regret, as there had serious opportunities to go further ahead.
The teams traded scores early in the second period, O’Rourke seeing his two efforts matched by Sean Ferran and Stefan Campbell (f).
The first real goal chance of the game fell the way of the then leaders, with Ryan Magennis sprinting off his line to protect his goal and clear the danger.
Clans broke up the field with Campbell bursting on to possession to assist Caolan Campbell who brought the gap to one.
Marsden’s men had a goal chance of their own. Ronan Austin fisting across the goalmouth, but his pass was too high to find Sean Mackle and the opportunity was gone.
They did grab a score to tie the game through the reliable McPartlan, but Shane’s quickly found the lead with Paul O’Rourke raising a white flag.
Two Clans frees, from Diarmaid Loney and McPartlan were split by an O’Rourke score with extra time looming.
It wasn’t to be however and although Clans gained the ultimate goal, they will hope to improve in the coming weeks.
An Port Mor 0-10 Tullysaran 0-11
It seemed for long periods that an upset was on the cards in Abbey Park on Saturday evening as An Port Mor took the challenge to Tullysaran.
All league form pointed to a convincing Tullysaran victory, but derby clashes don’t tend to follow the form book rules.
It was Port Mor who held the ascendancy at the interval, leading by the minimum of margins in a low-scoring first half, 0-5 to 0-4.
A penalty save from Port Mor net-minder Gary McCrilly suggested it was their day, but Tullysaran fought back to edge through by the minimum.
Corrinshego 0-11 Mullabrack 1-7
Mullabrack almost secured a famous win on Friday evening when they met Corrinshego in the first round of the Junior Championship.
Both sides were equally matched during the opening exchanges before Mullabrack raised the games only green flag, to secure a 1-4 to 0-3 half time lead.
The Thomas Davis men reacted well to the setback and game storming back into the encounter during the second period.
David Murphy led the line with his accuracy from the dead ball as Corrinshego began to build momentum.
It was end to end in a frantic finish, Murphy was ice-cool when presented with the opportunity to win the game and smash over a 45 to earn his side a one point win.
Belleek 3-18 Clady 3-8
This was a great example of a game of two halves as Belleek has stormed 16 points ahead by the interval.
They did enough to easy through the game, but Clady certainly gave them their fill of it in the second half, with three goals bringing them back into contention.
The eventual winners netted twice during the opening half, giving them a comfortable 2-13 to 0-3 lead at the break.
Clady were able to close the gap with their three second half majors, but it wasn’t enough as Belleek were able to keep them at arm’s length and win by 10.
Listen to our Preview Podcast of the rest of the Intermediate Championship!