Gormley uPVC Senior Football Championship First Round
Scotstown 2-11 Castleblayney 1-11 24/7/11
Scotstown edged past old rivals Castleblayney in Clontibret on Sunday evening after an exciting finish to their SFC first-round game. A brace of superbly-taken goals by Kieran Hughes proved decisive for Scotstown, who led by seven points with just three minutes remaining but were forced to hang on at the end after a late comeback by Blayney, who were left to regret a tally of 13 wides. A Brendan McElroy goal kick-started Blayney’s revival, but they missed two great chances in the dying minutes which could have given them at least a draw. Kieran and Darren Hughes, Paul Grant, Eddie Beggan and Emmet Caulfield showed well for Scotstown, while Dermot Malone, Ciarán Hanratty, Mark Treanor and Francis Moore were best for Blayney.
Blayney started brightly with a point by Ciarán Hanratty after a pass by Marty McElroy, who doubled the Faughs’ lead following good approach play by Marc McHugh and Francis Moore. Kieran Hughes got Scotstown (who had lost Mark Duffy to injury in the second minute) off the mark on ten minutes with a fine point after a Paul Grant free and he equalised when he fired a goal chance over the bar, following good work by Francis and Conor Caulfield. Hughes put Scotstown ahead in style on 15 minutes with a superb opportunistic goal after he got on the end of a long ball from Emmet Caulfield and they stayed in front all the way from then on. Grant added a point, before Francis Caulfield made it 1-4 without reply for Scotstown after David McCague had made a good catch from a wayward Kieran Hughes shot. Blayney rallied strongly, however, with four straight points. Hanratty and Dermot Malone kicked fine points from play, before Hanratty linked up with McElroy for another nice point. Keith Hill booted over a 50-metre free for a foul on Patrick Tavey to close the gap to the minimum at half-time: Scotstown 1-4 Blayney 0-6.
Scotstown enjoyed another purple patch at the start of the second half, scoring an unanswered 1-3 in the first seven minutes. Grant kicked a good point at the end of a well-worked move involving James Turley and Shane Carey, before Kieran Hughes ghosted through for a coolly-taken second goal. Conor Caulfield won a long ball from McCague and laid it off for Carey to tap over, before McCague joined the list of scorers, having been well-placed by Kieran Hughes. Malone lifted the siege after Ryan Treacy had won a high ball from Hill, but Emmet Caulfield replied from a 25-metre free, following a foul on Brian McGinnity. Treacy was again involved, along with Paddy Mallon, in creating a goal chance for Hanratty, only for his shot to fizz over the bar, before Hill pointed a 30-metre free for a foul on Cormac Brady. Carey responded with a well-taken point after a one-two with Conor Caulfield, but a fine score by Dermot McArdle kept Blayney in touch. Another lovely point by Grant kept Scotstown in control and sub Nicholas Corrigan won a high ball from Emmet Caulfield (getting away with a nudge on his marker) to add a point, but the last five minutes was all Blayney as they desperately tried to salvage something from the game. They got a goal three minutes from time when sub Brendan McElroy linked up with his brother Marty to find the net and the SFC debutant could easily have had a second just a minute later when a high centre from Moore was broken down to him by Treacy, but this time his shot flashed past the post. Martin McElroy converted a 20-metre free for a foul on Hanratty to make it a three-point game and Blayney had a glorious chance to level it deep into injury-time when Kealan Duffy burst through, but his powerful shot crashed off the crossbar and out and Treacy’s follow-up was blocked, so Scotstown hung on to set up a meeting with either Ballybay or Truagh in the next round.
Scotstown: P Maguire; E Beggan, D Hughes, D Morgan; F McPhillips, M Duffy, E Caulfield (0-1f); F Caulfield (Capt., 0-1), J Turley; S Carey (0-2), D McCague (0-1), P Grant (0-3); K Hughes (2-2), C Caulfield, D McArdle.
Subs: B McGinnity for Duffy (inj., 2 mins), N Corrigan (0-1) for K Hughes (55), S Sherry for C Caulfield (58).
Castleblayney: P McNally; M McHugh, M Treanor, C Brady; K Duffy, P Mallon, D Malone (0-2); C Hughes (Capt.), F Moore; P Conlon, M McElroy (0-2, 1f), P Tavey; C Hanratty (0-4), D McArdle (0-1), K Hill (0-2f).
Subs: R Treacy for Tavey (37), B McElroy (1-0) for Hill (45), M Hanratty for Conlon (47), D Hughes for McArdle (58).
Referee: M McNally (Corduff).