DERRY SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIP SEMI FINAL 2017
Odhrán Crumley Reports From Owenbeg
Ballinascreen booked their place in the Derry Senior Football Championship Final after a cagey contest in dire conditions at Owenbeg.
Screen opened the scoring in fantastic fashion Benny Heron somehow getting out in front winning the ball before firing a rasping effort between the posts. Shane Mulgrew doubling the advantage from a free minutes later.
The ever reliable Niall Loughlin got his sides opening score, their first ever in a senior championship semi-final from a free. Loughlin levelled the game in the eleventh minute dispatching a beauty using the outside of his weaker right boot much to the delight of the huge Greenlough delegation.
It was three from three for Loughlin after twelve minutes this time curling a sublime effort off of his trusted left boot. Shane Mulgrew would tie the game from the next attack a huge score from out near the side line.
Barry Grant would get the next two scores of the game turning and firing over the top, clipping over his second in the twenty first minute. Carlus McWilliams brought the lead to three tapping over after a strong run.
Both sides would kick wides before the half time whistle would blow, Ballinascreen leading at the break on a score line of 0-6 to 0-3.
Greenlough raced out of the blocks Enda Lynn pointing his first of the game after ten seconds. Shane Mulgrew replied for Screen after a patient build up to fire over the top.
Niall Bradley fielded the ball from his own kick out starting a direct move before getting on the end to finish over the bar. Niall Loughlin made it a one point game with a trademark free kicked from the surface.
Enda Lynn levelled proceedings with twenty minutes to play from a free setting up an exciting finish. Niall Loughlin popped up five minutes later to nudge his side in front kicking an absolute beauty in front of the stand.
Screen would kick two wides before almost having the ball in the net Kevin McNally blocking Barry Grant’s effort. Benny Heron would step up to kick the equaliser in from the tightest of angles admits a packed defence.
With the clock running out both side’s needed heroes Kieran Conway had that in spades winning a vital break before tapping over the bar, giving his side the most slender of advantages. Shane Mulgrew would hold his nerve to point a free as the men in red struggled to get out of their half.
The drama would continue with only two minutes to go a through ball as Loughlin appeared to be in on goal stopped dead on the cut up Owenbeg surface.
One minute into injury time as Enda Lynn cut the deficit to one. In the sixty third minute Shane Mulgrew kept his dead eye to point another free restoring the two point lead.
Injury time was up when Greenlough won a thirteen yard free as they went in desperate search of a goal, Loughlin was tasked with beating a sea of bodies only too be blocked down, the final whistle sounded immediately afterwards.
Ballinascreen booking their place in the final on a score line of 0-11 to 0-9. They will now face the winners of Slaughtneil and Glen on the Sunday September 24th.
Ballinascreen: Niall McGlade, Philip McGlade, Dermot McBride, Eoghan Gilmore, Kieran Conway, Michael McShane, Philip Bradley, Paul Burns, Anton Kelly, Carlus McWilliams, Shane Mulgrew, Brendan Heron, Benny Heron, Ronan Murphy, Barry Grant.
Subs Used: Gary Conway.
Scorers: Shane Mulgrew (0-4 2f), Benny Heron (0-2), Barry Grant (0-2), Kieran Conway (0-1).
Greenlough: Kevin McNally, Christopher Lagan, Brian McCallion, Paul Quinn, Stefan Lynn, Christopher Kearney, Mark Tohill, Enda McNally, Niall Bradley, Damian McTeague, Caolan Diamond, Conor Madden, Matthew Bradley, Niall Loughlin, Enda Lynn.
Subs Used: Cormac O’Neill, Christopher McIvor.
Scorers: Niall Loughlin (0-5 2f), Enda Lynn (0-3 1f), Niall Bradley (0-1).