The St Patrick's & St Brigid's Claudy team pictured before their Pat King Cup semi-final win over De La Salle Downpatrick.
PAT KING CUP SEMI-FINAL (U16.5 'D' FOOTBALL)
St Patrick's & St Brigid's Claudy 4-11
De La Salle Downpatrick 3-6
Holders St Patrick's & St Brigid's Claudy took another step towards retaining the Pat King Cup with a comfortable win over De La Salle Downpatrick at Allen Park on Tuesday afternoon.
Early goals from Niall McGonagle and Rian McCormick gave Claudy the perfect start after five minutes.
Downpatrick replied with a Dara O'Shea goal in a crowded penalty area and with Rian Burns adding another goal on one of his many forays from wing-back, De La Salle were in control.
Adam Murphy was in fine form at midfield for the winners as they dug themselves back into contention but trailed 2-6 to 2-2 at the interval. It could've been more, but Downpatrick had a third goal disallowed for square ball.
Brian Rainey's men were the better team overall. With Niall McGonagle playing anywhere from centre-back to full-forward, they had a leader. In Tiarnan O'Connor, they had the perfect inside forward with his movement and vision.
Tiarnan O'Connor scored
0-6 for Claudy.
Two fortunate goals from midfielders Murphy and Oisin Kearns-Madden early in the second-half turned the game.
Downpatrick replied when James Crangle bagged a goal from the rebound after his penalty was acrobatically saved by Claudy goalkeeper Cahir Melaugh.
Led by Oran Carton and Ben Cooke, Claudy's defence then shut up shop with a determination that meant there was only ever going to be one winner.
Downpatrick lost Nathan Kelly on a second booking and with Tiarnan O'Connor and substitute Niall Barr linking well in attack, Claudy advanced to the final.
They now face the winners of the second semi-final between Castleblayney College and St Clare's Ballyjamesduff.
Recently retired Monaghan star Vinny Corey was among those in attendance and will have a handle on what Claudy have to offer.
He will have saw Niall McGonagle limp off with a heavily strapped leg. The Dungiven man now faces a fitness battle over the Christmas holidays ahead of the final.
For a full report, grab a copy of next week's County Derry Post, in shops on Monday, December 23.
CLAUDY: Cahir Melaugh, Caolan McKinney, Oran Carton, Ben Cooke, Daniel Johnston, Conor Donaghy, Jack McGee, Adam Murphy (1-1), Oisin Kearns-Madden (1-1), Cahir Gormley, Sea Watson (0-1), Keelin Hasson (0-1), Tiarnan O’Connor (0-6, 3f), Niall McGonagle (1-1), Rian McCormick (1-0).
SUBS: Jamie McCloskey, Fergal O’Kane, Ruairi O’Neill, James Donaghy, Niall Barr, Tom Quirk, Owen Murphy, Connor Davies, David Moore.
DOWNPATRICK: Aidan Quinn, Eoin Kelly, Brendan McKenna, Nathan Kelly, Harry O'Bank (0-1), Kyle Brogie, Rian Burns (1-1), James Crangle (1-1, 1 '45'), Jack O'Shea, James McConkey, Louis Ward, Patrick Shearer (0-2), Dara O'Shea (1-0), Daiti Ennis (0-1), Adam O'Dywer.
REF: Colm McDonald (St Gall's)
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