Late Greencastle surge not enough
21 April 2012
Greencastle record their second defeat in the Tyrone ACL
KILLYCLOGHER clung on frantically in the closing stages to clinch their first league victory of the season at rainy Ballinamullan yesterday after- noon, Greencastle's gutsy comeback falling just short.
Four unanswered points in the last quarter helped St Patrick's cut the deficit to the bare minimum but they had left themselves with just too much to do and couldn't restore pari- ty before the final whistle.
The hosts were relieved to sneak across the winning line at the end up having appeared at one stage on course for a fairly convincing tri- umph. With Simon O'Neill and Leo Meenan looking lively in attack and Eoin Bradley and captain Carl Don- nelly shoring up their defensive ranks, they were the better team for much of the contest, until the visitors belatedly sprung into life.
Despite a fisted point from John McCullagh in the opening few sec- onds, Greencastle laboured to find any cohesion or purpose for much of the first half, as Killyclogher wrested the initiative. Conal McCann levelled matters up with a well-struck '45' and then two close range O'Neill pointed free eased the home side in front.
They could have opened even fur- ther daylight in the eighth minute as it took a brilliant save from 'Castle custodian Colin Tuohey to deny Leo Meenan a goal but in the driving rain Killyclogher continued to press for- ward.
Martin Conway's free helped keep Greencastle in contention but an ex- cellent Leo Meenan score, and sharply taken James Carlin point, af- ter being fed by Conal McCann, stretched Killyclogher three in front.
The hard-working Sean Warnock shirked off a few hefty tackles to fire over for Greencastle, however two late scores from Leo Meenan and O'Neill with a terrific effort, ensured that the hosts were very much in the ascendancy at the break leading 0-7 to 0-3.
A well-taken score by Emmet Clarke, who was to spearhead Green- castle's fightback, was just the start to the second period that Sean
Teague's men needed but with Meenan and O'Neill (free) again split- ting the posts at the other end there was no immediate indication of a turnaround in fortunes.
McCullagh managed to carve out a shooting opportunity for himself in a congested space but by the 45th minute Greencastle were starring at a double scores deficit, 0-10 to 0-5, after the fourth of O'Neill's converted frees.
Killycogher however were held scoreless for the remainder of the en- counter, as Barry McGarvey, Cahir McCullagh and Emmet Clarke helped turn fortunes in favour of Greencas- tle.
Clarke collected the loose ball from sub Plunkett McAleer's high delivery to swivel and fire over before Cahir McCullagh registered a brace, one a free and the other a class left footed attempt from distance.
With Killyclogher beginning to wilt, Tyrone star Dermot Carlin (recover- ing from injury) was brought in from the bench to try and stabilise the situ- ation, but another Cahir McCullagh free left just the one in it.
Greencastle had one last chance to draw level with an injury time McCullagh free, but his effort dropped short and Carlin swept up the danger on the goal-line.
Killyclogher: Simon O'Neill (0-5, 4 frees), Leo Meenan (0-3), James Carlin, Conal McCann (0-1 each)
Greencastle: Emmet Clarke (0-3), John McCullagh (0-2), Cahir McCul- lagh (0-2,1 free), Sean Warnock (0-1), Martin Conway (0-1, free),
Killyclogher: Mark O'Kane, Danny Gorman, Niall Bradley, Conor Hegarty, Carl Donnelly, Eoin Bradley, Gary Wallace, Ryan McAleer, Tiernan Mc- Cann, Conal McCann, Conor Meenan, Sean O'Kane, James Carlin, Leo Meenan, Simon O'Neill. Subs used: Ryan O'Neill for D Gorman (47 mins), Dermot Carlin for J Carlin (53)
Greencastle: Colin Tuohey, Pearse Warnock, Mark Conway, Niall Holly- wood, Barry McGarvey, Conor Carson, Shane McCullagh, Enda Clarke, Cahir McCullagh, Sean Warnock, Mark Carson, Emmet Clarke, John Mc- Cullagh, Kevin Ferrity, Martin Conway. Subs used: Peter Teague for K Ferrity (h-time), Plunkett McAleer for P Warnock (h-time), Noel Con- way for M Carson (43)
Referee: Martin Mohan (Eglish)