Emyvale (Monaghan) 2-23, Ardmore 2-8
Emyvale are on course to emulate the feats of the 2009 team as they eased their way into the semi-final of the junior club championship when they proved too strong in almost every department for Derry champions, Ardmore in Clones on Sunday.
Played in good, if somewhat greasy conditions, this was a game Emyvale got to grips early on with only the concession of a gift goal and a few points from frees interrupting their flow.
Both sides enjoyed ‘gift’ goals in the opening minutes, Emyvale when Ardmore keeper Calvin McGowan spilled Michael Flannery’s fisted centre over the line in the opening minute and then two minutes later a centre from a free by William “Al” McLaughlin deceiving Emyvale keeper Gerard McCaffrey. Thereafter though it was almost all Emyvale as Ryan McAnespie, Daniel McMahon and Daithi Colton led the Ardmore defence a merry dance as they built up a half time lead of 2-13 to 1-05, Colton with their second goal in the 19th minute.
In the second half Emyvale continued to dominate although the loss of Ryan McAnespie through injury did disrupt their rhythm but they got to grips again and only allowed Ardmore to get to within seven points at one stage.
There after normal service was restored with a couple of Emyvale substitutes, notably Paul McCarron and Gavin McKernan helping to ease them to a comfortable, if not comprehensive 15 points victory that now makes them the team to beat in the competition.
Following Emyvale’s fortuitous opener, Ryan McAnespie added a point in the second minute to put then Monaghan champions four in front. It was then Ardmore’s turn to enjoy the local hospitality when a free by Al McLaughlin found the Emyvale net in the third minute. That though was as good as it got for the Derry champions as Emyvale rattled over three points, two by Ryan McAnespie who was cutting through the Ardmore defence at will, and Marty McAree, from a free, for a foul on David Bellew to open a four points lead.
Ardmore midfielder Dee McGee, who was one of St. Mary’s better players on the day, hit the first of his six points, but only one from play, in the 10th minute to reduce the margin to three but by the 19th minute Emyvale had added a goal and five points with McGee pointing a free in that period for their only response.
Daniel McMahon, whose trusty left boot registered eight points on the day, converted a free in the 11th, Colton was on target in the 14th minute, McGee pointing a free for the visitors in the 15th minute with Emyvale then hitting an unanswered 1-3 between the 17th and 19th minutes, Marty McAree with a point in the 17th minute, Colton with 1-1 in the 18th and 19th minutes and McMahon again, also in the 19th minute, Ryan McAnespie the playmaker in chief for most of those scores as Emyvale opened a 10 points lead.
There then followed a slightly careless period by the eventual winners when they conceded three frees in quick succession for fouls on Barry Gormley in the 21st minute, McGee in the 23rd and Al McLaughlin in the 25th, all of which were converted by McGee to reduce the deficit to seven points.
However by half time normal service had been restored as Emyvale tagged on four unanswered points in the final four minutes through Daniel McMahon from a free, Colton then with two from play and another excellent contribution from Ryan McAnespie to leave the half-time score Emyvale 2-13, Ardmore 1-5.
Within two minutes of the resumption Emyvale extended their lead through Daniel McMahon but only after Michael Flannery had almost plundered a second goal. McGee converted a free for the visitors in the fourth minute and they poached their second goal three minutes later when a centre by Eoghan Dooher looked to have been safely gathered by Emyvale keeper Gerard McCaffrey, but Al McLaughlin was on hand to fist to the Emyvale net to reduce the margin to eight points. A point by Gormley in the ninth minute of the half reduced the margin to seven points but Ardmore were only to score one further point for the remainder of the match as Emyvale took over almost completely and but for a bit of wasteful finishing they could well have won by more.
Entering the final quarter Emyvale had extended their lead to nine points with points by Daniel McMahon and Marty McAree with Ardmore then registering their final score of the game in the 50th minute through substitute Christopher Duddy.
Ardmore legs were now visibly tiring and a more youthful Emyvale who had also sent in fresh legs in the shape of substitutes Gavin McKernan, Paul McCarron and Stephen Askin, with the latter two contributing on the scoresheet as Emyvale racked up seven unanswered points in the final nine minutes from Martin McAree, Colton, three from Daniel McMahon and one each by substitutes Paul McCarron and Stephen Askin with Ardmore barely offering token resistance at this stage.
EMYVALE - Gerard McCaffrey, Mervyn Browne, John Flannery, Michael Flood, Brendan Askin, James Bellew, Sean McMeel, Colin Hughes, David Bellew, Michael Flannery (1-0), Ryan McAnespie (0-4), Gareth McQuaid, Daniel McMahon (0-8, 3f), Martin McAree (0-4, 1f), Daithi Colton (1-5). Subs: Paul McCarron (0-1) for R McAnespie, Ciaran Connolly for M Flannery, Gavin McKernan for G McQuaid, Fintan McKenna for B Askin, Stephen Askin (0-1) for M McAree.
ARDMORE - Calvin McGowan, Brian McLaughlin, Barry Gavin, Kyle McColgan, Peter McLaughlin, Richie McGrotty, Eoghan Dooher, Anthony Hargan, Dee McGee (0-6, 5f), Barry Gormley (0-1), James Cruickshank, Leonard Quinn, William ‘Al’ McLaughlin (2-0, 1f), Aaron Gallagher, Edward Bell. Subs: Christopher Duddy (0-1) for A Gallagher, Gerard Storey for E Dooher, Gary King for L Quinn, Kevin Hartop for E Bell.
REFEREE - Mr. Ian Molloy (Donegal).