Our Lady’s Castleblayney 1:07 Vrs Our Lady’s Knock 0:09
Our Lady’s Castleblayney made it three wins from three in the Mac Larnon Cup with a hard fought victory over a committed Our Lady’s Knock in a hugely entertaining game played in an excellent spirit at Newry on Friday November 18th.
In the early stages of the game Our Lady’s Castleblayney struggled to deal with a very strong and physical Knock side and found themselves two points down after five minutes with the Knock scores coming from and their impressive half forward. After some wayward shooting the Castleblayney school eventually found their range and opened their account with a free which was won and converted by Mark Mc Guirk. Mc Guirk added another fine score from play after good approach play by Fergal Rafter and Shaun Buckley. With primary possession hard won in the middle third of the field it was Knock who took the lead with a score from midfielder S Grimley. Knock nearly increased their advantage further except for some good defending by Jason Murphy and a superb goal line clearance from Fergal Mc Geough after was put through. The decisive score of the game came 20 minutes into the game when a defence splitting pass from Barry Mc Ginn put Mark Mc Guirk through on goal and the Rockcorry man made no mistake with a clinical finish past a helpless Knock keeper. This was a lead that Our Lady’s went on to maintain for the rest of the game despite the Knock school enjoying their fair share of possession. Knock responded to this setback with another fine score from distance from before a Mc Guirk free after some excellent work from Shane Conlon and Mark Magee left Our Lady’s Castleblayney with a two point lead at half time on a scoreline of 1:03 to 0:04.
On the restart the Buckley and Magee midfield partnership for Our Lady’s Castleblayney started to impose themselves on the game against the towering Grimley brothers from Knock- a superb shoulder from Our Lady’s captain Shaun Buckley on his direct opponent at the start to the second half setting the tone for a very determined and workmanlike performance from his team. Despite enjoying most of the possession the first score of the second half came from a Mark Mc Guirk free after eight minutes. However at this stage Knock again took control of the game hitting two consecutive scores from midfielder Grimley and inside forward M Toner . With Fergal Rafter and Shane Conlon now coming more into the game in the half back line for Our Lady’s they replied with two score of their own from Mark Mc Guirk- one from play and the second from a free. A good Knock score from Toner made sure the game was still all to play for with ten minutes remaining as a fine point from play from B Malone left one point between the teams. At this stage the Our Lady’s rearguard was under severe pressure and it took some resolute defending from Fergal Rafter and Barry Hanratty with two fantastic blocks to keep the Knock attack at bay. A swift counter attack from Our Lady’s saw Mc Guirk add another score after Michael Geehan made a great interception and strong run out of defence. A point from Knock’s midfielder Grimley with one minute remaining ensured a nervy finish for Our Lady’s who held out for a one point victory which still leaves them at the top of their group.
In a great team performance Our Lady’s had excellent performances from Jason Murphy and Fergal Mc Geough in defence. In the middle third Shaun Buckley and Mark Magee competed well against two very formidable opponents. In attack Mark Mc Guirk gave a superb display of ball winning and finishing accounting for all of his teams’ scores. Mc Guirk received good support from the hardworking Ciaran Courtney who covered every blade of grass on the pitch while Barry Mc Ginn showed some clever touches when in possession.
For Knock in midfield the Grimley brothers pulled off some great catches while B Malone and K Toner were very impressive in a well balanced attack.
Our Lady’s Castleblayney: Simon Atkinson, Barry Hanratty, Jason Murphy, Fergal Mc Geough, Kevin Mc Vicar, Fergal Rafter, Shane Conlon, Mark Magee, Shaun Buckley capt, Ciaran Courtney, Michael Geehan, Niall Garland, Barry Mc Ginn, Joe Finnegan, Mark Mc Guirk 1:07.