Glack cruise into Championship favourites’ spot

Sean Dolan's Odhran O'Kane gets away from Glack's Oran Canning and Evin King at Celtic Park on Saturday afternoon last. DER3419GS ' 051
Sean Dolan's Odhran O'Kane gets away from Glack's Oran Canning and Evin King at Celtic Park on Saturday afternoon last. DER3419GS ' 051

Premier Electric Derry Junior Championship

Glack 3-16, Sean Dolan’s 0-10

Cormac Boyle is blocked by Sean Dolan's Paul Melaugh, Conor McCosker and Joseph Gallagher at Celtic Park on Saturday. DER3419GS ' 052

Cormac Boyle is blocked by Sean Dolan's Paul Melaugh, Conor McCosker and Joseph Gallagher at Celtic Park on Saturday. DER3419GS ' 052

For the second Championship match in succession, two wildly contrasting halves of football from Sean Dolan’s contributed to a damaging defeat for the Creggan men as Glack strolled to the Junior semi-finals.

With Drum securing the other Group A qualifying spot by defeating Doire Colmcille, the quartet of Moneymore, Magilligan, Drum and Glack will go into the semi-final draw unless Ardmore manage to cause the shock of this or any other championship when they meet St. Aidan’s in the competition’s outstanding game next week.

If the last-four line-up is predictable enough, Dolan’s first half was anything but and the frustration was, just like against Drum, they failed to build on a hugely encouraging first 30 minutes.

That may be because Glack, many people’s favourites for this Championship, had finally decided to come to the party after an opening half that had passed them by at times.

Odhran McKane was superb for Dolan’s in the first half, hitting 0-7, and dragging the Glack defence all over the place with first Oran Canning and then Ryan O’Kane, attempting to curtail his influence. The latter enjoyed more success than his team-mate but that had as much to do with his team stepping up a gear and stopping the supply line than any individual battle.

When Paul Melaugh stretched Dolan’s half-time lead to 0-10 to 0-7 seconds into the second half, they had a platform on which to build a shock but it came crashing down inside 60 seconds.

Melaugh’s point was followed by Kevin Nixon sending a fierce shot off the post before, inside the same breath, Nixon raced clear to force James McLaughlin into a smart save with his legs.

Had either hit the net Dolan’s could have been clear and gone.

Instead, McLaughlin’s save sent Glack away down the field in a flowing move that ended with Niall McGowan superbly hitting the Dolan’s net and the game was tied. From there, the O’Connor’s never looked back.

The goal brought the previously quiet McGowan into the game and he dominated the second half. When McGowan is firing Glack are a serious unit, as Dolan’s discovered.

That Melaugh point would be the Creggan men’s last score of the game as a championship match which had been in the melting pot at half-time descended into a routine victory for the favourites.

It wasn’t all plain sailing though as Edward McLaughlin saw red for a black card offence having already been booked but any numerical advantage Dolan’s had lasted only four minutes with Caoimhinn McChrystal following McLaughlin for a second bookable offence.

Indeed Dolan’s would finish with 13 after half-time substitute Alan Grant was dismissed for a high tackle on Martin McGonigle.

In between all that, Cormac O’Boyle set up Adam O’Kane for Glack’s second goal - another smart finish - and Liam O’Brien hit his side’s third.

It was academic though. Glack had long since departed for the semi-finals where they look the team to beat.

Sean Dolan’s scorers: Odhran McKane (0-7, 3f), Gary Fisher (0-1), Ryan Deery (0-1, 1f), Paul Melaugh (0-1).

Glack scorers: Niall McGowan (1-4, 1f), Adam O’Kane (1-1), Liam O’Brien (1-1),Cormac Boyle (0-2), Ciaran Carmichael (0-2), Finbar O’Brien (0-3), Aaron Moore (0-1), Eoin Mackey (0-1)

SEAN DOLAN’S: David McGilloway; Ryan McCallion, Sean O’Donnell, Caoimhinn McChrystal; Caoimhinn Thompson, Ryan Deery, Conor McCosker; Eamon McGinley, Paul Melaugh; Gary Fisher, Joe Gallagher, Mark Cooke; Odhran McKane, Tiarnan Gallagher, Kevin Nixon.

(Subs) Caolan McCosker for G Fisher, 49mins; Alan Grant for Sean O’Donnell, 32mins; Ryan O’Donnell for M Cooke, 42mins; Brian Houston for T Gallagher, 55mins; Ryan McCloskey for P Melaugh, 56mins.

GLACK: James McLaughlin; Oran Canning, Ciaran O’Brien, Evin King; Ryan O’Kane; Ciaran Carmichael, James O’Connor; Martin McGonigle; Edward McLaughlin; Finbar O’Brien, Niall McGowan, Liam O’Brien; Aaron Moore, Cormac Boyle, Adam O’Kane.

(Subs) Caolan Roddy for R O’Kane, 49mins; Paul King for F O’Brien, 51mins; Luke McLaughlin for E King, 53mins; Eoin Mackey for A Moore, 55mins; Niall Carmichael for J O’Connor, 57mins; Ronan O’Kane for C Carmichael, 58mins; Fred McKenna for A O’Kane, 60mins;

REFEREE: Damian Harkin