DERRY GAA: Murray inspired Doire Trasna too strong for Limavady Wolfhounds

Limavadys Ruairi OKane and Kieran McGlinchey attempt to close down Trasnas Caolan OConnell during their Intermediate championship game in Celtic Park on Sunday afternoon last.  DER3719GS - 001
Limavadys Ruairi OKane and Kieran McGlinchey attempt to close down Trasnas Caolan OConnell during their Intermediate championship game in Celtic Park on Sunday afternoon last. DER3719GS - 001

McFeely Group Intermediate Football Championship Semi-Final

Doire Trasna 1-18, Limavady Wolfhounds 1-07

Limavadys Harry McLaughlin bears down on Trasnas Colin Murray during their Intermediate championship game in Celtic Park on Sunday afternoon last.  DER3719GS  005

Limavadys Harry McLaughlin bears down on Trasnas Colin Murray during their Intermediate championship game in Celtic Park on Sunday afternoon last. DER3719GS 005

It was a result an emphatic as the scoreline suggests as a Colin Murray inspired Doire Trasna cruised past an out of sorts Limavady side that was never at the championship races.

Both sides went into the game slightly vulnerable, Trasna smarting from an end of season collapse that cost them the Division Two title and promotion while the Wolfhounds were still reeling from relegation from Division 1B.

But this was Championship where, as Banagher had proved less than 24 hours earlier at senior level, league form counts for nothing. This was a shot at redemption for whomever was willing to grasp it.

In the end though, it was never a contest. A tight opening quarter saw Pearses eventually wrestle control of the midfield which translated into total dominance of the game.

The Wolfhounds' cause wasn't helped by an early injury to full back Tom Deery, who absence necessitated Manus Quigley dropping back. That robbed Limavady of any real presence around the middle third and they paid a heavy price.

Limavady looked long in the opening stages with some decent ball fed in toward Cormac Quigley and Ruairi Hasson but too often the support was late arriving which left the front men badly isolated against a Pearses back line that never missed the injured Tomas McCrossan thanks to a brilliant display from Conlaodh Deeney.

In front of him, Caolan Doyle looked back to full fitness and revelled but the Pearses real difference arrived in the form of attacking duo Colin Murray and Eoghan Quigg.

Murray has been sensational all season. Whether as architect or executioner, Limavady couldn't get close to him and at times resorted to some heavy challenges to curtail the influence of the Pearses captain.

It didn't work, with Murray hitting four successive points for his side in a crucial 10 minute spell before half-time that effectively won the game.

His partner in crime, Quigg, affords Trasna a different dimension in attack with the pace and power to stretch defences. The two worked in brilliant tandem together and had too much for a Limavady side whose heads dropped as the game got away form them, with Ruairi Hasson seeing red following an altercation with Quigg.

The early stages did nothing to suggest the one sided contest it would become with Hasson shooting Limavady in front only for Quigg to equalise with the first of his four points.

The 12th minute loss of Deery though disrupted Limavady and they never really recovered from the reshuffle.

A superb Ciaran McGowan point edged Trasna in front before Sean Fleming sent over a huge effort with consummate ease for 0-3 to 0-1 with 15 minutes gone.

Ruairi O'Kane quickly matched that effort with a superb point of his own, only for Micheal McNaught to make it 0-4 to 0-2 as the run of lovely long range scores continued.

Eugene O'Kane brought it back to a one point game again with another fine score and things looked set for a close contest but that 18th minute score would prove Limavady's last of the half.

Quigg took it out to 0-5 to 0-3 before Murray knocked over with a fantastic solo effort. Three more scores from the Pearses captain suddenly gave the half-time scoreboard a different look as Trasna went in 0-9 to 0-3 up and well in control.

Richard King pointed within a minute of the restart but the expected Wolfhound fightback never materialised and 'Goose' McGowan had cancelled it out within seconds with his second of the game.

McNaught and Hasson swapped scores but the six point deficit would be as close as Wolfhounds would get as an audacious 50m point from Murray signalled the opening of the flood gates.

It was 0-15 to 0-6 when the game's only goal arrived with 12 minutes remaining and it illustrated how Limavady heads had gone.

With the Wolfhounds attacking, Trasna won a free along their own '65' line under the main Celtic Park stand. Looking up, Quigg couldn't believe his luck to see Murray the only player in the Limavady half. He fired it forward. Murray advanced, drew the keeper and popped it off the substitute Cormac Quigley who had got up in support, and he applied the finishing touch for 1-15 to 0-6.

Hasson saw red shortly after as Limavady frustrations boiled over and even a late Richard King penalty couldn't conceal they were a long way second best on the day.

Indeed, King had a second opportunity to add respectability from the spot but Conan Doherty's excellent low saved summed up the day.

Limavady were short and Trasna had two match winners in Murray and Quigg.

Doire Trasna scorers: Colin Murray (0-7, 1 forty-five), Cormac Carlin (1-0), Eoghan Quigg (0-4), Ciaran McGowan (0-2), Sean Fleming (0-2), Micheal McNaught (0-2, 1f), Caolan O'Connell (0-1),

Limavady Wolfhounds scorers: Richard King (1-0, 1pen), Ruairi Hasson (0-2, 1f), Ruairi O'Kane (0-2), Eugene O'Kane (0-1), Richard King (0-2)

Doire Trasna: Conan Doherty; Shane Lyttle, Conlaodh Deeney , Cathal McKane; Sean Fleming, Ciaran McGowan, Sean McNaught; Paul McNaught; Paul Quigley, Caolan Doyle; Caolan McConnell, Micheal McNaught, Colin Murray; Michael Kelly, Eoghan Quigg, Michael Philson.

(Subs) Daryl Mallett for M Philson, 23mins; Cormac Carlin for M Kelly, 42mins; Dee Starrett for C O'Connell, 60mins; Conall Guille for S Fleming, 60mins;

Yellow Cards: C Doyle, 41mins;

Limavady Wolfhounds: Dean McInness; Liam Boyd, Tom Deery, Callum Carton; Kieran McGlinchey, Ruairi O'Kane, Manus Quigley, Ben Deery; Oisin Hasson, Richard King, Sheagh McLaughlin; Aaron McGregor, Cormac Quigley, Ruairi Hasson.

(Subs) Eugene O'Kane for T Deery (inj), 11mins; Mark McGroarty for C Carton, HT; Eoghan Kelly for L Boyd, HT;

Yellow Cards: Kieran McGlinchey, 46mins;

Red Card: R Hasson, 49mins;

Referee: Emmet McShane (Steelstown)