Maghery 1-12 Pearse Ogs 0-10
Maghery secured their place in the 2020 Senior Championship Final with a five-point win over Pearse Ogs on Saturday evening.
It’s been three years since the Lough Shore men last appeared in the decider but got through to this one in convincing fashion.
It was the second quarter when the game flipped on its head and Maghery took complete control of the contest.
Trailing by two at the first water break, 0-5 to 0-3, they rattled off an unanswered 1-5 during the remainder of the half.
Ronan Lappin caused serious bother on the edge of the square during the opening period and the big full forward earned a spot kick for his side.
Lappin latching on to a high ball played in by John Mackle, a common tactic for Finnian Moriarty’s men, and was pushed to the ground as he attempted to get a shot away.
Up stepped Stephen Cusack to rifle home the game’s only goal. Although Ryan Kearney guessed the right way, he couldn’t get a strong enough hand on the shot.
Maghery pressed hard and put the Ogs net minder under severe pressure, winning the next two kick outs, resulting in points for Cusack and Stefan Forker.
Forker’s point was the last of a trio of huge scores the wing half forward landed in the opening period, all coming from at least 45 metres from goal.
The opening quarter saw both teams filter men behind the ball but that didn’t take away from the end to end action.
Both sides favoured kicking forward to their respective attacking units, although admittedly aimlessly at times.
James Freeman and Anto Duffy caused the Maghery rear-guard problems early on as the Ogs looked to take the initiative.
The sides were tied on the twelfth minute mark, 0-3 each, before the men in green and gold captured the lead with points from Paul and Ruairi Duffy.
The water break halted the momentum the then leaders had built up and Maghery shot ahead with an impressive third quarter.
By the time the half time whistle sounded, the Ogs were well behind and had a huge mountain to climb in the second period, trailing 1-8 to 0-5.
The margin was stretched to seven as early as the second minute. Brian Fox showed great pace to power through the defence and curl over his first point of the evening.
Shane McConville’s side were determined to get back into the game and rallied with three points on the trot through Ruairi Duffy, Niall Boyle and Conor Clarke (free) to narrow the gap to four.
Fox once again split the posts to put further distance between the sides as the Ogs fought valiantly to close the deficit and remain in contention.
They pulled one back through a Conor Clarke free, but his score was matched by Oisin Cushnahan while a point form John Mackle put the result beyond doubt.
Jack Duffy did land a late point for the Armagh city side, but it proved too little too late and Maghery deserving booked their place in this year’s showpiece.
They will watch on with interest as Crossmaglen take on Killeavy today and they will face the winner of that encounter in the showpiece.