Sports

Pomeroy stun reigning champions

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Pomeroy 1-9 Killyclogher 0-7

POMEROY pulled off the shock of the season with an inspired display to stun county champions Killyclogher at Dunmoyle.
The O'Neill Cup holders were sent crashing out of the championship by the newly promoted Plunketts in sensational fashion.
The reigning Ulster Intermediate champions performed with remarkable passion and intensity from start to finish as they snuffed out the threat of all the St Mary's danger men and hit them effectively on the break.
This may have been a low-scoring game, but it was always intriguing and compelling, and the courage and confidence of the challengers won the admiration of everyone who attended.
Pomeroy had many heroes all over the field, but they will need them all to stand up again when they face the might of Clonoe in the quarter-final.
John Loughran scored the only goal of the game in the first half, giving Martin Begley's side a valuable cushion which helped them see out the game late on against their 14-man opponents, who had defender Gary Wallace sent off in first half stoppage time.
“This bunch of lads have belief," said manager Martin Begley. "I think it's nearly up on 50 years since we have won a senor championship match. This has been put into these lads, how long it has been, and it's their day. It was up to them to start producing, and certainly they did that."
Killyclogher almost got in for a goal inside the opening game when James Carlin made the running and sent Mark Bradley in to have a shot at goal, which was brilliantly saved by john McCourt, and Denver Nugent executed a terrific block to deny PT Cunningham on the rebound.
They did open the scoring when Bradley collected Conall McCann's well directed free to swivel and stroke the ball over the bar.
But Bradley was well contained by the tight-marking Brendan Burns for the remainder of the half, just one of a host of defensive heroes in the Plunketts ranks, with Nugent, Kieran McGeary, Aidan Woods and Hugh Pat McGeary all playing like men possessed as they closed down their opponents and forced a series of turnovers.
The sides were level in the ninth minute when Kieran McGeary fed wing back Woods for a wonderful long range point, and getting 14 men behind the ball at times, the Plunketts continued to frustrate their opponents.
It wasn't until the 12th minute that the county champions managed to increase their lead, Feargal Meenagh's strong run setting up a score for Simon O'Neill.
But in the 15th minute, the O'Neill Cup holders were rocked back on their heels by a Pomeroy goal. Gavin Goodfellow combined with Ollie McCreesh, and it was John Loughran who collected at pace to send a screaming shot to the bottom corner of the net for a brilliant goal.
Denver Nugent was like a man possessed in the Pomeroy defence, breaking up another attack to send Woods in for his second point, and the men from Plunkett Park led by three.
Bradley, unable to escape the shackles of Brendan Burns, was forced to drift deep in search of possession, and the St Mary's countered for Feargal Meenagh to collect Aidy Kelly's pass and kick a point, before Simon O'Neill punished a foul on Conall McCann with a converted free.
They were now back to within a point, but suffered a massive blow in stoppage time when defender Gary Wallace picked up a second booking for a late challenge on Frank Burns, and the O'Neill Cup holders were down to 14 men.
Pomeroy led by 1-2 to 0-4 at the break, but Killyclogher pushed forward in numbers after the restart, cutting the deficit through Simon O'Neill.
When Pomeroy did break forward, they came up against the brilliantly resolute Martin Swift, who made a series of telling interventions to avert the danger and set his side back on the attack.
James Carlin sliced over a terrific point to edge Dominic Corrigan's side back in front in the 43rd minute, but the Plunketts countered again at pace for John Loughran to sweep over a point at the other end.
They continued to defend with purpose and intensity, with Ciaran McKenna making an important interception, and the ageless Nugent always on the alert and picking his moments to go forward.
Conall McCann drove forward from deep to try and kick-start the Killyclogher challenge, but time and again possession was turned over by the mighty Plunketts, and the dash and drive of the injured Tiernan McCann was badly missed by the county champions.
Sean Quinn sent Kieran McGeary in for a brilliant point from wide on the left, and Loughran added another to his tally as they went two ahead with 10 minutes to play.
As Killyclogher pushed forward, Pomeroy countered again for Loughran to hit the target again, while Frank Burns had much more to add to a mighty performance, hitting three late points, two of them from play as the Plunketts reached out for the finish line.
Pomeroy - John McCourt; Denver Nugent, Brendan Burns, Ciaran McKenna; Aidan Woods (0-2), Hugh Pat McGeary, Sean Quinn; Ryan Loughran, Frank Burns (0-3); Kevin Armstrong, Kieran McGeary (0-1), John Loughran (1-3); Ollie McCreesh, Justin McCaffrey, Gavin Goodfellow.
Subs - Chris Colhoun for Goodfellow, Jude Campbell for McCaffrey, Ronan Lagan for Armstrong, Damien Woods for Lagan (BC).
Referee - Stephen Campbell (Stewartstown).

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