Pearses pay price for wasted chances

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If games were won on possession then it would be Doire Trasna facing Limavady in the semi-final of the James O’Hagan Cup.

Trailing by ten points early in the second half, the Waterside outfit looked set for a hammering staging a superb fightback to take complete control of the final 20 minutes.

Caolan Doyle and Paul Quigley dominated the middle of the field and while Trasna hit 1-04 without reply, that tally could and should have been doubled

They shot wide after wide and that, allied to some great defensive work by Stephen Mullan, Johnny Barry and Brian Deighan in the home full back line, kept them at bay.

In the first half with the wind behind them, Ballerin played some excellent attacking football, picking off a string of points from all angles and distances. They started the second half well enough but a collapse in the middle of the field and the loss of centre half Mark Ferris with injury combined to see Paul Simpson’s big team simply bombard them.

When the gap was down to a manageable three points and the time almost up, the Ballerin attack conjured up a great move totally against the run of play which ended with impressive teenager Shane Ferris hitting a fine goal to seal a semi-final spot.

Both teams were short handed in what was a game of contrasting styles. Ballerin played a clever game in the first half packing their defence and hitting long balls to their dangerous front men, Cathal Faulkner and Shane Ferris. Faulkner was particularly impressive with his free taking. Pascal Mckay went through a lot of hard graft and scored two superb points.

Doire Trasna have enough good players to get out of the junior ranks if they can brush up on their team work. They did manage a few good moves but all too often a player would shoot from an impossible angle with a better placed colleague inside.

They have an imposing midfield in Quigley and Doyle and at half back Conor Houston was outstanding, often pushing up with the attack to put further pressure on the over worked home defence.

Captain Eoin Carlin at centre half and Barry McKenna in the attack also caught the eye and young Darryl McDermott did reasonably well at full-back.

Such was the domination of the visitors in the final third of the game that Ballerin were forced to move full-back Johnny Barry out to the troubled area and he helped to stem the tide.

Facing the wind, Doire Trasna had a lot of early pressure and went in front with a well struck fourth minute Carlin free. Ballerin equalised two minutes later from a Faulkner free and quickly went in front from a similar situation as the visitors were giving away some cheap frees.

Pascal McKay, with a spectacular effort, opened up a two point gap and then the game began to drift away from the Pearses as Faulkner converted three more frees to open up a five point lead at the end of the first quarter.

Teenager Ferris, in only his second senior game, then hit two neat points and McKay, from another great run, made the score 0-09 to 0-01. Eoin Carlin then ended a 20-minute drought for the under pressure visitors by converting a free for a foul on Kevin McKenna.

Ballerin ended the half strongly with another Faulkner point and a superb score from Ferris to lead by 0-11 to 0-02 at the break.

Trasna Revival

Trasna manager Paul Simpson introduced Gerard Collins and Colin Murray early in the second half for Denis McLaughlin and Enda Lindsay and in the 35th minute Houston had their opening score of the half. Ballerin hit back with a Faulkner free and a fine long range effort from Willie McGilligan and the game looked over as a contest but Doire Trasna had other ideas.

At the three quarter stage, Gavin Kelly hoisted the ball into the Ballerin goalmouth and Paul Brown got a touch from close range to throw them a life-line. They failed to take advantage of ample chances and when Michael McNaught picked up a poor pass out of defence the margin was down to six points. Houston then sent over a superb free and sub Gerard Collins cut the gap to four with five minutes left.

Cailean Doyle was fouled cutting from the left and he converted his own free and the chance of a shock was on.

However Ballerin still had enough left in the locker for a sweeping move that ended with that well worked goal.

Ballerin scorers: Cathal Faulkner 0-07, 0-06 frees, Shane Ferris 1-02, Pascal McKay 0-02, Willie McGilligan and Paul Ferris 0-01 each

Doire Trasna scorers: Paul Brown 1-0, Eoin Carlin 0-02f, Conor Houston 0-02, 0-01free, Gerard Collins, Michael McNaught and Cailean Doyle free 0-01 each

Ballerin: Leigh Ferris, Stephen Mullan, Johnny Barry, Brian Deighan, Gareth Mullan, mark Ferris, Enda Mullan, Willie McGilligan, James Cassidy, John Bradley, Ryan Deighan, Pascal McKay, Paul Ferris, Cathal Faulkner, Shane Ferris. (Subs) Eugene Mullan for Mark Ferris; Pascal Hull for Shane.Ferris

Doire Trasna: John McGilloway, Dee Doherty, Darryl McDermott, Neil Callan, Conor Houston, Eoin Carlin, Gavin Kelly, Cailean Doyle, Paul Quigley, Denis McLaughlin, Barry McKenna, Sean McNaught, Paul Brown, Kieran McKenna, Enda Lindsay.

(Subs) Colin Murray for Denis McLaughlin; Gerard Collins for Enda Lindsay; Michael McNaught for Sean McNaught

Referee: Kevin Martin (Castledawson).