The 2012 Derry Junior Football Championship decider will be contested by old rivals Ardmore and Drum.
Ardmore were level with Magilligan at half-time (1-02 to 0-05), after Barry Gormley converted a first minute penalty, but they then blitzed St. Aidan’s with a three goal barrage between the 32nd and 37th minutes to crush their hopes - Magilligan failing to raise a flag in the second half.
Barry Gormley had given Ardmore the dream start with a goal from a penalty in the opening minute but last year’s defeated finalists failed to build on that ‘major’ as they added a meagre two points from William ‘Al’ McLaughlin during the last five minutes to take the sides to the interval all square.
Magilligan refused to panic at the concession of that early goal and came back strongly to tie the score with points from Conor Canning, Conor Logue and Ciaran O’Hare. Brian Butcher put Magilligan 0-04 to 0-03 ahead as did Eoin Canning from a free in the 25th minute before McLaughlin pointed to tie the scores at 0-05 to 1-02.
Ardmore boss, William McLaughlin, was not impressed with the failure to build on Gormley’s quick goal. “We did not build on the early goal. We are slow starters, but we got the three goals after half-time and that took the wind out of their sails. Those three quick goals killed them off,” he maintained.
“We were very lethargic in the first half. We knew that we had to get a bit of pace into the game; that we had to get going. We had to move the ball a bit quicker and the results were there for all to see when we did.
“We hit eight wides and although we held them scoreless, we only had nine scores ourselves. We were lucky that there were four goals in that but we got over the line. That’s all that counts.
“We will face tougher opposition in the final. People may say that we are the favourites but Drum are a dogged team, always there or thereabouts in a final. After last year’s disappointment, with the last minute penalty against Doire Trasna, we can take nothing for granted. But we got over the line.
“We were an aging team and we needed the injection of some young players. There’s still 13 of us involved from the 2000 final, so it’s time for the new generation to come through, Anthony Hargan, Eoin Dooher who has been injured all year - he got a ten minute run out - and Leonard Quinn, it’s time for new blood. The ‘auld fellas’ cannot go on forever. It’s nice to get into the final and, hopefully, we can go one better than last year.”
Game Killed Off
Within seven minutes of the restart the game was over as a contest as Ardmore hit Magilligan with a three goal blast. Danny Gavin crossed from the flank and Eddie Bell ghosted in at the far post to palm the ball to the net.
On five minutes William ‘Al’ McLaughlin took a pass from Danny Gavin and set up Dee McGee to blast the ball to the roof of the net and one minute later McLaughlin was again the provider setting up Ryan Storey who drilled the ball home for a 4-02 to 0-05 lead - the game was over!
Try as they did, there was no way back for Magilligan and Ardmore strolled to the final with points from Danny Gavin, Leonard Quinn and Peter McLaughlin adding to the lead as Magilligan failed to raise a single flag in the second half.
ARDMORE - Eoin Mailey; Brian McLaughlin, Barry Gavin, Shane Higgins; Leonard Quinn, Anthony Hargan, Peter McLaughlin; Gerard Storey, Dee McGee; Danny Gavin, James Cruickshank, Chris Gormley; Barry Gormley, William ‘Al’ McLaughlin, Eddie Bell. Subs., Ryan Storey for Chris Gormley; Eoin Dooher for Edie Bell; Cahir O’Kane for William ‘Al’ McLaughlin and Martin Loughery for Danny Gavin.
MAGILLIGAN - Cathal McLaughlin; Johnny Quigley, Barry Mullan, Michael McLaughlin; Sean McGonigle, Brian Canning, Colm McLaughlin; Paddy Gaile, Ciaran O’Hare; Ciaran Mullan, Conor Canning, Eoin Canning; Ryan Gaile, Brian Butcher, Conor Logue. Subs., Lee Guyler for Colm McLaughlin; Michael Doherty for Ciaran Mullan; Kevin Guyler for Barry Mullan and Johnny Guyler for Brian Butcher.
Referee - Mr. Tommy Quigley (Lissan).