GAA: Heartache for St. Joseph’s College, Coalisland in Irvinestown thriller

Aaaron Doherty Colaiste na Carraige finds his way blocked against against St.Joseph's Coalisland in Irvinestown on Friday. Photo Thomas Gallagher INDP1602 Colaiste na Carraige TG5
Aaaron Doherty Colaiste na Carraige finds his way blocked against against St.Joseph's Coalisland in Irvinestown on Friday. Photo Thomas Gallagher INDP1602 Colaiste na Carraige TG5

St.Joseph’s Coalisland’s quest for the Arthurs Cup ended at the quarter-final stage at Irvinestown on Friday afternoon when they lost in heartbreaking fashion by the minimum margin against Donegal champions Colaiste na Carraige.

The Tyrone champions looked to be coasting to victory when they held a seven point lead with only a dozen minutes left to play but, just as they showed in the recent Donegal final, Colaiste na Carraige never know when they are beaten.

Full forward Pauric O’Neill began the comeback with the first goal and in the next attack the same player charged through the centre of the St.Joseph’s defence before offloading for Oran Doogan to fire to the net.

Worse was to follow for St.Joseph’s as almost immediately they were reduced to fourteen men when centre half back Tyler Devlin picked up a second yellow card.

Tomas Carney, who was outstanding for the Tyrone champions in midfield, tried to steady the ship with a converted free but with six minutes to go O’Neill found the net again.

Paul Donnelly brought the sides level but efforts from Aaron Doherty and O’Neill got the Donegal champions over the line despite an injury time Carney score. The first half had been a drab affair with St.Joseph’s leading 1-1 to 0-3 at the break, Carney with a brilliant eighth minute goal, Shane Gillespie and O’Neill with points for the Donegal lads.

St.Joseph’s enjoyed a blistering start to the second half with two Carney points coming either side of a Ryan O’Neill goal as the gap rise to seven after only ten minutes.

Colaiste na Carraige were struggling to get the ball out of their own half but the experience they learned from their Donegal final win over Abbey stood to them as they mounted that superb comeback to book a semi-final meeting with St.Malachy’s Castlewellan.