Ulster U16 Quarter Final
St. Patrick's & St. Brigid's, Claudy 6-7
St. Paul's, Lurgan 0-1
A dominant display at a cold and windswept Mid-Ulster Sports Arena in Cookstown saw St. Patrick’s & St. Brigid’s Under 16 team advance to the last 4 in Ulster.
Playing into the breeze in the first half, the Claudy boys began with a spring in their step and an urgency which was not matched by their opponents, St. Paul’s from Lurgan.
An incisive move on 2 minutes saw Glenswilly marksman Ethan Sweeney find the back of the net. Minutes later he had again lost his marker and netted coolly past the ‘keeper. Claudy were rampant in the early stages and looked like scoring with every attack. At the other end, tenacious and strong defending repelled attack after Lurgan attack. Niall Cartin was particularly impressive, wining a lot of breaks and instigating the Claudy attacks.
Lurgan decided to employ a sweeper in an attempt to stem the tide but the movement from the Claudy full forward line, and Sweeney in particular, was too much to handle. The first half continued to be one way traffic and further goals from Sweeney, including a penalty, and Liam Brolly all but sealed the victory by half-time. Half-time score: SPB 6-4 St. Paul’s 0-0
The second half saw Claudy play with the strong wind but with such an imposing half-time lead, they clearly felt the game was won. They added a further 3 points despite being wasteful in front of goal. St Paul’s scored a solitary consolation point late on but the day was Claudy’s with Sweeney the undoubted man of the match with a personal haul of 5-1. Final score: SPB 6-7 St. Paul’s 0-1. The only fly in the ointment was an injury to captain Caolan O’Connor who suffered what appeared to be ankle ligament damage. St. Patrick’s & St. Brigid’s will be hoping he makes a speedy recovery before the next round.
They now march on to the Ulster Vocational Schools Semi-Final against either PCC Falcarragh (Donegal) or St. Joseph’s Enniskillen (Fermanagh).
Ethan Sweeney 5-1
Liam Brolly 1-1
Conor McGee 0-3
Caolan O’Connor 0-1
Cillian Higgins 0-1
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