ARDMORE manager, William McLaughlin would have learned far more from watching Glack’s win over Magilligan than he did from his own team’s dominant victory over Doire Colmcille at Faughanvale on Saturday.
Standing huddled together on the steps beside the clubhouse, Ardmore stood and watched their future semi-final opponents, though they didn’t know at the time which of Glack and Magilligan they would be.
Magilligan it turned out, and they will be privately delighted. Not that they would particularly have feared Glack, for this is a fairly fearless championship in general. But Aaron O’Connor’s side showed them the way to defeat Magilligan.
As comfortable as this win over Doire Colmcille was, it was impossible to learn from it. It was so easy for them as Colmcille, with just six of the team that had lost their opening championship game to Drum by 16 points, put up little resistance.
Only for a couple of good saves by Ryan Devine, brief flashes of the talent that had Emmett McBride in the Derry minor panel earlier in the year and the efforts of Andy Quigley, the city side struggled all over.
Within two minutes, they were three points up. Then Ryan Devine misjudged Barry Gormley’s 45’ and it ended up in the net. That was that as a contest.
Philip Duffy and Emmett McBride replied with half of Colmcille’s tally in the space of two minutes.
There were eight minutes on the clock and Ardmore led by 1-04 to 0-02. Midway through the half, Barry Gavin, strolled through and finished his side’s second goal.
Al McLaughlin was an outlet all the time as part of a two-man inside line with Eddie Bell. Chris Gormley pulled out around midfield and started well enough but then suffered a leg injury that forced him off after just 15 minutes.
Danny Gavin also had a good first half but was replaced at half-time, but you could see the class that Ardmore’s forwards possess and that could win them another championship.
By half-time, all six of their starting forwards were on the scoresheet from play, as well as substitute, Dee McGee. They led by 2-12 to 0-03, with Odhran McCartney hitting Colmcille’s third point just before the interval.
Given that the only result that would have knocked Ardmore out would have been a 15-point defeat, and that they were that margin in front at half-time, and that their first two scores of the second half were goals, you could understand why they eased up completely after the break.
They started the flicks and tricks and their communication disappeared altogether, which is what happens against Colmcille.
Dee McGee popped up to score their third goal, though you felt sorry for Dermot Marlow, who flung himself to get a great half-block on the shot, only for the deflection to redirect it past Ryan Devine.
Then Al McLaughlin wriggled free to finish across the keeper and make it 4-12 to 0-03 after 35 minutes.
Ardmore added just a further five points to their tally, although Devine’s shot-stopping had a fair bit to do with that.
Colmcille created a bit more in the final 10 minutes but their only reward was a free from Emmett McBride two minutes from the end.
That didn’t even get the honour of being the final score of the game as Peter McLaughlin became the 10th Ardmore name on the scoresheet.
They had long since qualified for the semi-finals, where they will now face Magilligan. As much as Glack showed them the way to beat Magilligan, you would wonder if Ardmore will replicate it. But they should still have enough to make another final, their second in three years.
Ardmore: Eoin Mailey; Brian McLaughlin, Kevin Robinson, Martin Loughery; Leonard Quinn, Peter McLaughlin (0-01), Anthony Hargan (0-01); Gerard Storey, Barry Gavin (1-01); Barry Gormley (1-02, 1-00 45’), James Cruickshank (0-03), Danny Gavin (0-03); Al McLaughlin (1-03), Chris Gormley (0-01) , Eddie Bell (0-01).
Subs: Dee McGee (1-01) for C Gormley (16), Peter Harrigan for D Gavin (HT), Ryan Storey for Harrigan (blood sub, 32, reversed 35), Gareth Porter for K Robinson (42), Brendan McMenamin for Bell (51), Shane Higgins for Quinn (53).
Doire Colmcille: Ryan Devine; Eoghan Crocker, Declan McErlain, Vincent McCormick; Dermot Marlow, Emmett McBride (0-02, 0-01f), Mickey Molloy; Christy Gillespie, Philip Duffy (0-01); Odhran McCartney (0-01), Robbie Doherty, James Gillespie; Philip McLaughlin, John Devine, Andy Quigley
Subs: Paul Cutliffe for C Gillespie (15), Mark Chambers for J Gillespie (25), Sean Devlin for O McCartney (HT), Christy Gillespie for S Devlin (51).
Referee: Tom O’Kane (Castledawson).