DERRY JFC: Improved second half sends Magilligan through against Doire Colmcille

Dean Curran's first half goal was not enough to keep Doire Colmcille in the Junior Championship as Magilligan progressed. DER0615-122KM
Dean Curran's first half goal was not enough to keep Doire Colmcille in the Junior Championship as Magilligan progressed. DER0615-122KM

Magilligan 1-16, Doire Colmcille 1-06

Doire Colmcille’s hopes of causing an upset lasted until half time when they were 0-08 to 1-02 adrift but with the wind at their backs in the second half.

In that opening period they recovered from a poor start that saw Ciaran O’Hare post the first point from a free inside a minute, Conor McFeely adding another five minutes later.

The city side had plenty of possession but they were unable to turn it into scores against a well organised Magilligan defence, Dean Curran prominent without getting on the scoreboard.

Midway through the half a strong run from midfield by Cathal McCrudden led to a third point but excellent work by Curran on the end line kept the ball in play and he then placed Conal Duffy for their first point.

Conor and Brian Canning responded with points for 0-05 to 0-01 but then in the 25th minute the ball ran loose in the Magilligan goalmouth and Dean Curran reacted quickly to toe-poke it to the net to cut the lead to 0-05 to 1-01.

Magilligan hit back with a flurry of points from Conor McFeely, Conor Logue and Conor Canning extended the lead to four points before Dean Curran landed a free when Paddy Gaile fouled Ciaran O’Hare.

However Doire Colmcille’s hopes received a huge setback within a minute of the restart when Cathal McCrudden put James Payne through the middle and he beat the advancing Doire Colmcille keeper with a delightful lob that arched the ball over his head to the unguarded net for 1-08 to 1-02.

From that to the finish it was very much one way traffic Malachy Campbell pointing in the 38th minute, Colmcille’s only score of the half until the closing minutes after Magilligan and raced into a 1-16 to 1-03 lead with Ciaran O’Hara (3), Brian Canning (2), James Payne and Conor Canning all on target after Marty McIvor had pointed a 32nd minute free when Conor Canning was fouled.

Credit to Colmcille as they did not drop the heads and Thomas McBride, Michael McCallion and Dean Curran from a free pointed.

I suggested to Magilligan manager Darren McShane that his side had struggled in the first half but had been more fluent in the second period and he agreed, “ We got to grips with Doire Colmcille a lot better in the second half. We were a good five yards off the pace in the first half and we really did not get anything going but we were able to win primary ball in the second half and got going from there with a bit of pace and we improved massively in the second half against the breeze.”

Magilligan had taken some excellent scores in the second half, McShane stating, “Definitely! We took some very good scores, some very good team scores. We were definitely pleased with that aspect of our play. But we know that we still have a lot to do but I’m just happy right now to still be in the next round after the poor performance of the first round game. It’s been an improvement but we still have a lot of work to do.”

I put it to Doire Colmcille manager Brian Duffy that it had been a spirited performance from his side but they had still come up short in the scoring department.

Agreeing he commented, “When we came out for the second half we definitely thought we could turn the game around with the breeze at our backs.

“The results this season have been horrible as everyone can read in the papers but the team that we are developing in this club will come on and will succeed

“I have done my best and the players have done their best but they are a very young group of players.

“In the last seven or eight years, bar the last couple, teams have come to play Doire Colmcille and been guaranteed points. But this last couple of years teams have come to realise that they are not guaranteed points, that they have to battle for them.

“I think that Magilligan would agree that they had to work hard for that ten point victory. It is a big margin but we gave it our best shot.

Doire Colmcille players seemed to give away the ball too easily in the scoring zone the Colmcille manager pointing out, Yeah maybe in the last quarter when we needed to try and score goals. Yeah there were a few scoring issues, but we had a lot of young Under 21 and Minor players out there who are still in the development stage and in their first year in senior football.

“There were mistakes made but that’s football and we will be back.

I suggested that with their own base now at Páirc Cholmcille the future is bright for the city side, the Colmcille manager responding emphatically, “Without a shadow of a doubt the future is brighter for Doire Colmcille. The Underage structure is there in the club, we are all developing, we are all behind the club.”

He emphasised, “It is a club. A pitch does not make a club. People make a club. But it’s great to have a pitch, to have somewhere to go, to train in and to develop. We will get better.”