Coleraine 0-15, Ballinderry 1-08
Next Sunday’s Derry SFC final in Celtic Park will be between the 2010 champions Coleraine and current holders, Slaughtneil, after last night semi-finals saw Coleraine shocked Ballinderry shamrocks in Owenbeg on Sunday night.
Eoghan Rua came into this game as outsiders but got a couple of early scores before being rocked by a 7th minute Conor Nevin goal.
However they did not allow that setback to unhinge them as they matched the Shamrocks for the remainder of the half, Barry McGoldrick and Niall Holly edging out the midfield exchanges, their defensive unit doing an excellent job in curbing the Ballinderry attack, especially Conleith Gilligan who had scored 1-09 in the previous round.
Ciaran Mullan was rock solid at full-back and they would have been relatively happy that they were still well in contention at 1-05 to 0-05 adrift at the break.
That they outscored Ballinderry 0-10 to 0-03 in the second half tells its own story, Coleraine mostly dominant in that period but particularly in the final quarter after Ballinderry had threatened a comeback with two points to take a 1-07 to 0-08 lead in the 46th minute.
From there to the end, Coleraine steam-rolled Ballinderry with Stephen Coyles and Ruairi Mooney picking off some glorious points, late scores from Ciaran and Colm McGoldrick ensuring that Ballinderry did not have a chance of forcing extra time.
A composed Coleraine manager Sean McGoldrick expressed his delight at the way his side faced up to the huge challenge, “I’ve seen Ballinderry play this year and they have played some great football so I’m proud of the team and the way we matched them,” explained McGoldrick, “They played some great football and there were some great scores on both sides.
“I would love to have been a neutral watching the game because I thought it was a good game. Obviously that we came out on top adds to the enjoyment for me. We always believed that we could get to the final. We just had to get out and do it on the day.”
The Eoghan Rua manager said his players knew the task that faced them in the second half after a tough opening 30 minutes.
“The fellas were feeling it at half time. It was the hardest and closest championship match that we have played all year. So they really stepped up. They really wanted to get to the final and they’ve done it.”
It was put to McGoldrick that Coleraine seemed to have the legs on Ballinderry.
“The boys have trained well all year so we knew that fitness would not be a problem. We lasted out the game a bit better and maybe that was a factor.”
When asked if it was important to reach the final he remarked, “Yeah it’s important to get to the final but we strive to do that every year. It’s not through lack of effort that we don’t get there. You need luck to get to a final, with injuries and such.
“This time last year we lost Ciaran (McGoldrick), Sean Leo got a black card, luck went against us but this year we have had a bit of luck. We have not got a big panel but apart from a few niggles most of them are fit and healthy.”
Some of the lesser known players, Stephen Coyles, Ruairi Mooney, showed up as the Coleraine manager explained, “Yeah some of them stepped up and came into the game very well. They all worked very hard and they gained a bit of confidence they got from the first half performance in particular.
“Ballinderry were not pressing too hard on those players and that allowed them the extra yard or two to get the ball over the bar. Yeah there a few players who came in for scores that you might not have expected. They all played very well and worked very hard; it was a whole team performance.”
Sean Leo excellent
Ballinderry won 13 kickouts but Sean Leo McGoldrick won 9 himself and Coleraine really fought the ‘breaking ball’ battle well.
“You are always looking at your performance and at ways of improving it and that was one area that we were hoping to improve on, our own kick outs and the breaking ball on both sides,” added Sean mcGoldrick, “We constantly strive to improve.”
He did not accept that his team had become more attack minded since the defeat by Bellaghy.
“Not really! The first goal against Bellaghy was a bit of a fluke. It was a miss-kick and that set us back a bit. At that stage we were well in control. It knocked them back but I think they have learned from that. You learn from your defeats and maybe that did us no harm.
“We are still trying to play the same way. That day we were five or six points up when the goal went in and then our heads dropped. We are still playing the same way but we are learning lessons as we go along.”
The crucial score of the first half came in the 7th minute when Enda Muldoon crossed the ball from the left to the far post where Nevin palmed the back across the keeper and it came back off the base of the post and rolled into the net for 1-0 to 0-2, Coleraine having opened with the points from Barry McGoldrick and Gavan McWilliams.
The rest of the half was nip and tuck with Colm McGoldrick and Ryan Bell each scoring twice, the latter’s second point a massive effort from the left side line to give Ballinderry a 1-5 to 0-5 half time lead.
However, the second half saw the Bannsiders produce their best 30 minutes of the year with an outstanding attacking performance that proved simply too much for the Shamrocks who had no answer to the sweeping moves that produced a plethora of scores.
Stephen Coyles started the onslaught inside a minute from a Declan Mullan pass, Colm McGoldrick pointing a free to leave one between the sides in the 35th minute.
Coyles was on target again to level the scores but Ballinderry rallied momentarily with points from Kevin McGuckin and Ryan Bell by the 34th minute but thereafter Owen Roes upped the tempo and scored at will in the final quarter.
Two points from Gavan McWilliams levelled the scores, Coyles putting Coleraine in front in the 46th
Substitute Ruairi Mooney hit two points in quick succession, Ciaran McGoldrick and Colm McGoldrick adding points either side of a Gilligan effort to complete a commanding victory.
Coleraine scorers: Colm McGoldrick 0-04, (2f), S Coyles 0-03, G McWilliams 0-03, Ciaran McGoldrick 0-02, R Mooney 0-02, B McGoldrick 0-01
Ballinderry scorers: Conor Nevin 1-0, Ryan Bell 0-3 (1 ‘45’), James Bateson, Kevin McGuckin, Conleith Gilligan, Collie Devlin and Raymond Wilkinson 0-1 each
Coleraine: Ryan McGeough, Ciarán Mullan, Liam McGoldrick, Ciarán Lagan; Mark McTaggart, Sean Leo McGoldrick, Richard Carey; Barry McGoldrick, Niall Holly; Stephen Coyles, Declan Mullan , Ciarán Leneghan; Gavin McWilliams, Colm McGoldrick, Ciaran McGoldrick. (Subs) Ruairi Mooney for M McTaggart, 20 mins.
Ballinderry: Mickey Conlon, Ryan Scott, Conor Nevin, Daniel Bateson, Michael McIver, Kevin McGuckin, Raymond Wilson, Kevin ‘Moss’ McGuckin, Ryan Bell; Darren Lawn, Colin Devlin, Enda Muldoon,; Conleth Gilligan, Raymond Wilkinson, James Bateson. (Subs) Daniel McKinless for C Nevin 37 mins; Gareth McKinless for J Bateson 42 mins.
Referee: John Joe Cleary (Castledawson).