Crossabeg-Ballymurn cruise into last four

Shane Bradley

Published 17/11/2015 | 00:00

Solid defending by Donal McDonald of St John's Gaels as Cian Lambert makes the tackle
Solid defending by Donal McDonald of St John's Gaels as Cian Lambert makes the tackle
St John Gaels' Micheal Murphy and Paddy Devereux of Crossabeg-Ballymurn
Pádraig Foley of Crossabeg-Ballymurn retains possession despite this strong challenge from Robert Farrell (St. John’s Gaels)

Crossabeg-Ballymurn eased past an amalgamated Clongeen/Bannow-Ballymitty side in the Greenstar Under-21 football Premier championship quarter-final in Clongeen on Saturday.

Crossabeg-Ballymurn 2-9 St. John's Gaels 0-4

Conditions were very poor as wind and rain made for a low standard game throughout. Crossabeg-Ballymurn had the aid of a strong wind in the first-half, and midfielder Paddy Devereux opened the scoring on three minutes after a fine shot with the outside of his right boot from 30 yards out.

At the other end St. John's Gaels almost bagged a goal after Jon Reville shot just wide. Full-back Ronan Devereux was brought up for a long-range free and he split the posts from 45 yards out as Crossabeg-Ballymurn took a 0-3 to nil lead after ten minutes.

St. John's Gaels' first score came after twelve minutes when Adam Diskin slotted over a close-range free against the breeze. Cormac O'Rourk,e who was the stand-out player for the winners, blazed over from 14 yards when a goal seemed imminent.

Diskin reduced the arrears to two after a placed ball, but the first goal came on 26 minutes when a point attempt from Andy Butler dropped short and goalkeeper Ricky Rochford spilled the greasy ball. Bill Eviston was on hand to tap home from close range and Crossabeg-Ballymurn led by 1-4 to 0-2. Cormac O'Rourke added a free just before half-time as they moved six clear at the break.

With a strong wind behind them, onlookers would have expected St. John's Gaels to make a comeback, but it was a very disappointing performance from the Ross District side in the second-half.

Jack Faragher scored a fine point from distance as his looping shot just made it over the bar, but they struggled to create chances after this as Crossabeg-Ballymurn dominated possession.

Centre-back Conor Devereux found himself in an advanced position and he pointed from 35 yards to extend the lead. O'Rourke had a shot on goal saved by Rochford, but he turned and tapped over the rebound, and his side now led by eight with 15 minutes remaining.

Conor Shovlin was set up nicely by O'Rourke and he was taken down, with Sam Kelly stepping up to take the penalty and making no mistake as he shot low to the net to put the visitors in an even more commanding position (2-8 to 0-3).

All that St. John's could muster was an Adam Diskin point in the last few minutes.

Cormac O'Rourke topped off the scoring with a fine left-footed point from distance as the Under-21 hurling Premier champions eased through.

Crossabeg-Ballymurn: Ben Turner; Martin Redmond, Ronan Devereux (0-1 free), Shane Whelan; Cian Lambert, Conor Devereux (0-1), Sam Kelly (1-0 pen.); Pádraig Foley, Paddy Devereux (0-1); Oisín Foley, Andy Butler, Conor Shovlin; Conor Maddock, Bill Eviston (1-0), Cormac O'Rourke (0-6, 3 frees). Subs. - Robert Byrne for Shovlin (50), Dylan Ring for Whelan (52), Conor Gormley for Maddock (53), Aaron Lambert for O. Foley (57).

St. John's Gaels: Ricky Rochford; Donal McDonald, Martin Reville, Declan Redmond; Conor Neville, Paul Curtis, Paudie Cahill; Micheál Murphy, Robert Farrell; Adam Diskin (0-3, 2 frees), Leon Stafford, Jamesie Rochford; Joe Toomey, Jack Faragher (0-1), Jon Reville. Subs. - Eric O'Grady for Redmond, black card (15), James Crosbie for J. Rochford (45), Ryan Stafford for J. Reville (55), Tom Donovan for O'Grady (57).

Referee: Anthony Tobin (Geraldine O'Hanrahans).

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