Ardmore face up to Pearses in semi-final

It was a stroll in the park, Celtic Park on this occasion, for holders Ardmore as they cruised to victory over a Colmcille side that showed plenty of spirit but were simply out-played in virtually every department.

Ardmore will now meet Doire Trasna in the semi-finals of this year’s competition but Ardmore laid down a bit of a marker that they won’t be relinquishing their title easily.

Colmcille gave no shortage of effort and their commitment to a lost cause was admirable but these are difficult times for them, and for all their exertion, it was never going to be enough against a strong Ardmore outfit.

But this day was all about Ardmore, and they look a side more than capable of retaining the title they won last year in memorable circumstances.

Five minutes into Saturday’s game, Ardmore were five points clear and it already looked game over with Barry Gormley and a brace apiece from Peter McLaughlin and Al McLaughlin creating the gap. The first sight of goal for Colmcille was a long time in coming but it arguably could have ended in a goal, but Andy Quigley took the point when a goal could have been his with a bit more belief.

That score was brief respite for Colmcille who continued to ship points at the other end, Anthony Hargan, Eddie Bell and another two from Peter McLaughlin taking the score to 0-09 to 0-01 with barely a quarter of the game played.

Colmcille to their credit never threw in the towel and in that bleak spell for Ardmore, they managed two further points from Mickey Nash and Sean Nangle while Quigley forced a save from Kevin Robinson in the Ardmore goal.

Eddie Bell had the last say of the half for the leaders but William McLaughlin was far from content with his team as they left the field at the break, leading 0-11 to 0-03.

Their coach’s words during the interval had the desired effect as Ardmore scored the game’s opening goal two minutes after the restart, Peter McLaughlin feeding Aaron Gallagher who hooked the ball in from close range.

Mark O’ Kane hit another superb score before Ardmore went on another blitz, Bell, O’ Kane, Al McLaughlin, Gormley, Peter McLaughlin and Eoin Dooher taking the deficit to 1-18 to 0-03.

There was no respite for Colmcille and Al McLaughlin finally got the goal he deserved with a clever finish from close range. Substitute Kevin Hartop hit a quick double which Peter McLaughlin replicated before another substitute James Cruickshank got amongst the scores to leave the score 2-23 to 0-03.

Al and Peter McLaughlin were having their own battle for ‘Man of the Match’ and the former hit another 1-04 in the space of 90 seconds before the latter took his tally for the game to 0-08.

The final say was Barry Gavin’s, who was thrown forward to see if he could do what the wasteful Eddie Bell couldn’t. And he did, placing the ball under Aodhan Campbell and into the net to ensure that tonight’s training session at McCourts will be unbearable for Ardmore’s No. 13.

Ardmore: Kevin Robinson, Anthony Hargan (0-01), Michael Friel, Karl McLaughlin, Mark O’Kane (0-03), Paddy Storey, Eoin Dooher (0-02), Gerard Storey, Chris Duddy, Barry Gormley (0-02), Dee McGee, Peter McLaughlin (0-08), Eddie Bell (0-03), Aaron Gallagher (1-00), William McLaughlin (2-04). (Subs)Kevin Hartop (0-02) for A Gallagher; Martin Loughery for Dee McGee; James Cruickshank for Gerard Storey; Barry Gavin (1-00) for Eddie Bell; Paul Hardtop for Mark O’Kane

Doire Colmcille: Aodhan Campbell, Fergal McCormack, Eamon Gillen, Philip McLaughlin, Patrick Flanaghan, Mickey Nash (0-01), Michael Molloy, Paul O’Donnell, Paul Cutliffe, Daniel Whoriskey, Emmett McBride, Stephen Kelly, Ciaran Mullan, Robbie Doherty, Andy Quigley. (Subs): Sean Nangle (0-01) for E McBride