DERRY GAA: Foreglen relegated amid unsavoury scenes at Owenbeg

Paddy Bradley was once again the focal point of the Mitchel's attack as they kept alive their hopes of staying in Division One with victory over Foreglen.
Paddy Bradley was once again the focal point of the Mitchel's attack as they kept alive their hopes of staying in Division One with victory over Foreglen.

Glenullin 3-07, Foreglen 1-05

Foreglen 1-05

Foreglen probably created more chances but it was Glenullin who proved more adept at putting the ball over and under the bar to end up convincing winners in a game that had an unsavoury ending.

Foreglen finished with 13 men and Glenullin sub Ruairi Boylan took advantage of the extra space to get a third and clinching goal in the 60th minute.

Foreglen shot 10 wides and spurned three clear cut goal chances. Glenullin registered five wides, got three goal chances and took them all in style. After 52 minutes Glenullin were enjoying a somewhat shaky two point lead and Foreglen were still very much in the game.

Just prior to that John Duffy picked up a second yellow card and with five minutes remaining their goalie, Gary McGee, got a straight red for an altercation with referee, Alan Nash.

They were in total disarray when Boylan slipped in his team’s third goal just seven minutes after Ruairi Bradley had got on the end of a slick move to put his team 2-7 to 1-5 in front.

With both teams a bit short on match practice it was never going to be a classic but it was always interesting until those two late goals. As full time approached players, substitutes and some spectators became involved in an unsavoury incident.

Glenullin now face Claudy in another play-off with the winner plying their trade in Division One next season and the loser dropping to, or staying in, Division Two.

Last year Michael O’Kane managed Glenullin, now he is in charge of Claudy and will have three brothers and a number of cousins in the opposing team.

Glenullin’s experience counted for a lot. They crafted their scores well, taking their time in the build up while Foreglen tried to do everything at high speed and took pot shots from difficult angles.

While Foreglen were guilty of some awful finishing, a lot of credit must go to the Glenullin defence who closed down the space at every opportunity. They were particularly solid in the third quarter when Foreglen, mainly through the McCormick brothers at midfield, took a grip on the game.

It was then that John O’Kane, Barry Mullan, Eunan O’Kane and Gerard O’Kane showed their experience. Neil McNicholl began to show at midfield in the latter stages of the game and his driving runs played a big part in the victory.

Paddy Bradley was the glue that held the forward line together and while his accuracy deserted him at times he was the player that Foreglen always had to keep a close eye on.

Oisin Duffy played his heart out for the losers but he did not have enough support in the vital areas. The attack was a bit disjointed and easy frees were squandered. Eunan McFeely who was surprisingly substituted late in the game was probably their main danger. Mark McCormick and his brother Gavin were a strong force at midfield while Oisin Duffy was best supported at the back by John and Ruairi Duffy.

Glenullin scorers: Eoin Bradley 1-2 (1f), Ruairi Bradley and Ruairi Boylan 1-0 each, Gerard O’Kane and Paddy Bradley 0-2 each and Chris Dempsey 0-1

Foreglen scorers Mark McCormick 1-0pen, Eunan McFeely 0-2, Gavin McCormick 0-1f, Martin Farrell and James O’Kane 0-1 each

Glenullin: Cathal Og Mullan, Mark O’Kane, John O’Kane, Barry Mullan, Eunan O’Kane, Gerard O’Kane, Donal McNicholl, Neil McNicholl, Tarlach Bradley, Ruairi Bradley, Eoin Bradley, Brian Mullan, Chris Dempsey, Paddy Bradley, Dermot O’Kane. (Subs) Chrissy Dempsey for D O’Kane (48), Ruairi Boylan for T Bradley (50)

Foreglen: Gary McGee, Cathal O’Hara, Patrick Cunningham. Ruairi Duffy, John Duffy, Oisin Duffy, James O’Kane, Mark McCormick, Gavin McCormick, Eoghan Duffy, Kevin O’Connor, Cairan McFeely, Eunan McFeely, John O’Dwyer, Martin Farrell. (Subs) Caolan O’Connor for E. McFeely (50), Pauric Morahan for J O’Kane (51) Marius O’Doherty for P Cunningham (54)

Referee: Alan Nash (Doire Trasna)