Impressive Doire Trasna into Junior semi-finals after 16-point victory over Moneymore

Premier Electrics Derry Junior Football Championship

Doire Trasna's Caelan O'Connell wheels away in celebration after grabbing his side's second goal in Friday's Premier Electrics Derry Junior Championship quarter-final against Moneymore in Banagher.
Doire Trasna's Caelan O'Connell wheels away in celebration after grabbing his side's second goal in Friday's Premier Electrics Derry Junior Championship quarter-final against Moneymore in Banagher.

Doire Trasna 3-14, Moneymore 0-07

If momentum is key to any winning championship formula, Doire Trasna appear to be building a nice head of steam thanks to a statement quarter-final victory over Moneymore at Banagher on Friday night.

James McQuillan's men have taken the scenic route to the last four via last week's equally impressive victory over Ogra Colmcille but it doesn't seem to have done them any harm on this evidence. This was the Pearses best display of the season by some distance, clinical up front and controlled all over the pitch as they squeezed the life out of the Henry Joy's after two goals in one first half minute provided the platform on which to build. The final scoreline was emphatic but the first half was tight and a tale of two chances for each side: Trasna took their goals, Moneymore didn't.

That 60 second brace from Eoghan Quigg and Caelan O'Connell was the game changer but not the most impressive thing on the night from the Waterside men. That description belonged to a second half in which they bossed possession and managed tempo, displaying a maturity of performance they haven't always shown in the past. Turning around 2-06 to 0-04 in front, it simply never allow Moneymore a foothold in the game and all the while they ensured the scoreboard was ticking over.

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So often on a night like this, Eoghan Quigg, Caelan O'Connell, Michael Philson and Colin Murray hog the headlines and they all did their best with some eye catching displays but it was further out the field that Pearses were most effective. The midfield duo of Tom Casey and Pol Brown were outstanding, dominating the middle third and winning a huge percentage of Moneymore kick-outs as Pearses pressed high to force long restarts. Casey helped himself to four points, including three from play, but the best player on the pitch was one of the unsung heroes.

Sean Fleming is a players' player, the sort of team-mate everyone around him appreciates without ever being front and centre when the headlines are written. Against Moneynmore, 'Mandy' was superb, winning countless breaks and turnovers and doing the unseen work that allowed those around him to flourish, the kind of work that wins championship matches.

For Moneymore, there was only frustration. Well in the game in the opening half, the mercurial Maciej Orzel looked superb on the ball and frightened the life of Trasna every time he ran at them. His running mate, Tiernan O'Neill wasn't far behind him but those gilt edged goal chances which could have changed the complexion of the game got away from them. In the second half, Moneymore couldn't get the ball to them but Orzel in particular is a player with a huge potential.

The sides had traded early scores, Casey (2) and Philson wiping out Moneymore's advantage gained through Cian O'Neill and a Aaron Moore free. There were 14 minutes on the clock but little between the sides bar Trasna's dominance of the kick-outs until Casey won another and transferred the ball quickly to Murray. There didn't seem a great deal on, but Murray had spotted his side-kick, Quigg, off on an inside run and produced as good a pass as you're likely to see in this year's championship to place it in Quigg's stride and he didn't need a second invitation to find the net.

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If Moneymore were shell shocked they didn't show it. Another Moore free was their initial response but five minutes later Orzel picked up the ball just inside the Trasna half before setting off on a lovely slaloming run that took him past four defenders. He picked out O'Neill in space and the corner forward's shot was good but Gavin Bradley's save was better to get Pearses off the hook.

Another Moore free made it 2-03 to 0-04 before Orzel this time had a sight of goal. It was more difficult than the first opening and again he did well with his shot but like O'Neill, he found Bradley too big an obstacle to get passed. Those misses were compounded by a Quigg free and a brilliant Casey score but even at 2-06 to 0-4 at the break, there was the feeling the game still had plenty in it for Moneymore. That fact that it didn't owed everything to how Trasna managed the second period.

Within a minute Fleming had broke through to cap his own excellent display with a great point and that settled the city men. The began retaining possession and moving Moneymore about the pitch, frustrating the opposition and building their own confidence in equal measures.

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Pearses were indebted to a superb last ditch Shane Lyttle tackle on Stephen McGurk when he looked set to go clean through on goal four minutes in. A goal there may have kickstarted a fightback but after that, Trasna were rarely troubled. Their third goal arrived on 45 minutes with Philson turning to shot home for a second week running to highlight the increased attacking options now open to James McQuillan, options that will be crucial if the city club are to build on this in the semi-final.

Moneymore probably should have had a goal of their own with seven minutes left when referee Gregory McWilliams was marginally too quick to blow for a free after substitute Tiernan Kelly had been fouled but managed to free himself to get free on goal. It wouldn't have mattered though. By that stage Pearses had long since made the game safe and were well on their way to a semi-final in which the challenge will be to reproduce this level of quality.

Doire Trasna scorers: Eoghan Quigg (1-2, 2f), Michael Philson (1-2), Caelan O'Connell (1-1), Tom Casey (0-4, 1f),Sean Fleming (0-1), Colin Murray (0-1), Caolan Doyle (0-2), Sean McNaught (0-1)

Moneymore scorers: Aaron Moore, (0-5, 5f), Cian O'Neill (0-1), Tiernan O'Nell (0-1, f)

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Doire Trasna: Gavin Bradley, David Officer, Mark Healy, Tomas McCrossan, Shane Lyttle, Ciaran McGowan, Sean Fleming, Pol Brown, Tom Casey, Michael Philson, Damien McGee, Caelan O'Connell, Colin Murray, Caolan Doyle , Eoghan Quigg. (Subs) Sean McNaught for C Murray, 48mins; Dylan Deery for O Brown, 52mins; Ethan Kelly for S Lyttle, 56mins; Cillian O'Neill for S Fleming, 60mins.

Moneymore: Padraig Donaghy, Luke Moran, Ryan McAllister, Andrew Walker, Emmett Crozier, Kieran Moore, Cian O'Neill, Conan McCoy, Aodhan Conway, Rory Young, Maciej Orzel, Dean Kelly, Stephen McGurk, Aaron Moore, Tiernan O'Neill. (Subs) Oisin O'Neill for R McAllister, 27mins; Tiernan Kelly for A Walker, HT; Chris Marshall for C McCoy, 39mins; Darren O'Kane for A Moore, 48mins; Matthew McLoughlin for R Young, 48mins.

Referee: Gregory McWilliams