DERRY GAA: Steelstown claim historic Intermediate Reserve Championship title
Glenshane Coach Hire Intermediate Reserve Football Final
Steelstown 3-13, Desertmartin 0-5
Desertmartin had simply no answer to the pace and team work of an impressive Steelstown in the Intermediate Reserve final at sunny Owenbeg on Sunday afternoon.
With Ruairi McKeever outstanding in the No. 11 shirt, the Brian Ogs took control midway through the first half and with a nine points interval lead, the veteran laden St. Martin’s were never going to catch up.
McKeever, just back from injury, hit 1-5 from play in a ‘man of the match’ performance and could have had more but often laid inch perfect passes off to a colleague. This was the first adult football championship the city club has ever won and they will be hoping to pick up ‘big brother’ at the same venue next Sunday when they meet Castledawson in the Intermediate final.
From early on, the older Desertmartin team were struggling on the big Owenbeg pitch as they lost out in all the key areas, except goalkeeping where Christopher Scullion pulled off some smart saves. For his part Steelstown keeper Diarmuid McKane had a holiday with pay!
It proved quite a day for well known Derry tenor, George Hutton, who is involved in the management of the Brian Ogs. He came off the bench to play a part in the victory and before the senior reserve final gave a hair raising rendition of Amhran na bhFiann. George is soon heading Stateside to further his singing career with a county championship medal in his pocket.
The teams exchanged early points before the lively Oran McIvor gave the Brian Og’s a lead they were never to lose. With McKeever conducting the orchestra, the city side were off and running when McIvor played in Rory Maguire for a superb goal.From the resultant kick out McKeever returned the ball over the bar.
In the 21st minute Sean Fullen got the St. Martin’s second score only for McIvor, McKeever and Scallan to open up a 1-8 to 0-2 interval lead.
Desertmartin needed a good start to the second half but Steelstown ended the game as a contest with a quite brilliant goal from McKeever who ran on to a Darragh McFarland pass. Martin Breen and Sean Fullen responded with points for the St. Martin’s but in the remaining 25 minutes they just got one more score as the Brian Ogs tightened the screw.
By the three quarter stage it was 2-11 to 0-5 and the winners then added a quick brace from substitute James Jackson and corner forward McIvor.
Both teams knew the outcome by now and no hamstrings were over worked. After a period of going through the motions Steelstown opened up again. Maguire slipping a ground shot to the net for his second goal and a most emphatic victory.
All the winners total came from open play as all Steelstown eyes now turn to Sunday’s Intermediate Final showdown against Castledawson at Owenbeg.
Steelstown scorers: Ruairi McKeever 1-5, Rory Maguire 2-0, Oran McIvor 0-4, Conor McGurk 0-2, James Jackson and Brian Scallan 0-1 each.
Desertmartin scorers: Dermot Bradley 0-2frees, Sean Fullen 0-2 and Dermot Breen 0-1.
Steesltown: Diarmuid McKane, Michael Doherty, Andrew Deane, Liam McGurk, Darragh McFarland, Conal Sweeney, Brian Connolly, Kieran Brown, Cahir O’Connor, Emmett McDaid, Ruairi McKeever, Rory Maguire, Oran McIvor, Brian Scallan Conor McGurk. Subs Gary Cunningham for C McGurk (35) Cairan Flanagan for B Connolly (37) James Jackson for B. Scallan (39), David O’Doherty for K Brown (48) George Hutton for C Sweeney (49) Eoghan McGuigan for M Doherty (55)
Desertmartin: Christopher Scullion, James Breen, Patrick Kidd, Peter Donnelly, Brian McElhennon, Ryan Murray, Ronan Devlin, Johnny McGovern, Gerard Murray, Mark Kidd, Dermot Breen, Stephen Trainor, Sean Fullen, Dermot Bradley, Ryan McGuckin. Subs Jimmy McElhennon for P Donnelly half time, Aidan McGovern for M Kidd (44) Declan Connery for J McGovern(50).
Referee: Mark O’Neill (Claudy).