DERRY GAA: Foreglen a bridge too far for Doire Trasna

Kevin O'Connor was again instrumental as Foreglen progressed to the Intermediate Championship semi-finals.
Kevin O'Connor was again instrumental as Foreglen progressed to the Intermediate Championship semi-finals.

McFeely Group Intermediate Football Championship Quarter-final

Foreglen 0-18, Doire Trasna 1-06

The championship pedigree of Foreglen proved a bridge too far for Doire Trasna in a one sided quarter-final at Watty Graham Park.

Anyone who knows Derry football knows you get nothing easy from Foreglen and while they can never be considered Championship dark horses such is their rich history, they have flow under the radar this season to arrive at a semi-final meeting with Casteldawson.

However it would take a brave man to bet against them now with the mouth-watering prospect of a derby final against Claudy still a possibility.

They controlled this one from start to finish using all their considerable championship experience against a Pearses side who never did themselves justice on the big stage.

The city side’s cause wasn’t helped by the fact playmaker Colin Murray went in severely hampered by injury and unable to exert his usual influence but it’s doubtful even a fully fit Murray could have stopped the O’Brien’s in this mood.

Oisin Duffy was superb from start to finish, Kevin O’Connor displaying all his attacking nous to pull the Trasna defence into places they didn’t want to go in order to create space for any number of willing runners.

Foreglen cleverly kept ball for spells, starving Trasna of possession which resulted at Pearses snatching at chances or making wrong decisions when opportunities did present themselves.

And they did have chances, notably 20 minutes in when Murray’s sublime ball dissected the O’Brien’s defence and put Micheal McNaught in for a gilt edge goal chance that he sent only inches wide of the far post.

A goal at that stage would have made it 1-1 to 0-5 and possibly settled the Waterside men. Instead Foreglen turned the screw, taking the game away one point at a time and never looked in any danger.

Indeed it took a superb championship debut from Luke Durkan, to stop the O’Brien’s winning even more convincingly, the Pearses minor keeper pulling off a number of excellent saves and one breathtaking stop from Oisin Duffy to keep his goal intact.

Durkan, however, could do nothing about the steady flow of points. Kevin O’Connor, Oisin Duffy and Mark McCormick were all on target before Trasna registered their first score from mcNaught on 13 minutes, Cahir O’Connor Kevin Dunne and Kevin O’Connor then making it 0-6 to 0-1.

Sean Fleming’s lovely point stopped the flow but 0-9 to 0-2 at half-time told the story with Foreglen’s kick-out going largely unchallenged and Trasna stuggling to gain any meaningful possession from theirs.

The second half was better from Eoghan Carlin’s men but Foreglen always had another gear if they needed it. Murray’s injury time ‘45’ was bundled into the net by a combination of Foreglen defender and Cormac Carlin but it only served to give the scoreboard a marginally better look. Foreglen had long since departed for a semi-final they will be hard to stop in.

FOREGLEN: Tiarnan Burke, John Duffy, Cathal O’Hara, Shane Duffy, Pauric Morahan, Oisin Duffy (0-3), James O’Kane, Liam O’Hara (0-1), Mark McCormick (0-2, 1f), Eoghan Duffy, Kevin Dunne (0-2, 1f, 1’45), Sean O’Connor (0-2), Cahir O’Connor (0-3), Kevin O’Connor (0-4, 3f), Caolan O’Connor.
Subs: Ruairi Duffy for J Duffy (40), Ciaran McFeely (0-1) for S O’Connor, Eunan McFeely for Caolan O’Connor (49), Patrick Cunningham for C O’Hara (53), Johnny O’Dwyer for K Dunne (54).

DOIRE TRASNA: Luke Durkan, Conal Guile, Conloadh Deeney, Shane Lyttle, Caolan O’Connell (0-1), Sean McNaught, Sean Fleming (0-1), Caolan Doyle, Paul Quigley, Michael Kelly, Ciaran McGowan, Colin Murray (1-1), Eoghan Quigg, Pol Brown, Micheal McNaught (0-3, 1f)
Subs: Michael Philson for M Kelly (25), Daryl Mallett for P Brown (40), Darren Harkin for C Guile (53), Dee Starrett for M Philson (53), Cormac Carlin for E Quigg (53).
Yellow Cards: C Doyle (19), P Brown (38).

REFEREE: Harry Tohill (Greenlough)