THERE was disappointment for the minor footballers of Ardboe as their Ulster Minor club championship ambitions came unstuck against a very impressive Watty Graham’s, Glen side at St Paul’s, Belfast on St Stephen’s Day.
The Derry side were the champions 12 months ago and they demonstrated their skill and class with a tremendous performance against the loughshore lads.
The game was played in atrocious conditions with the rain falling steadily on the west Belfast venue but the weather did stop Glen turning in a power packed performance.
The defending Ulster champions began the game as they meant to go on racing into a three point lead with their defence in particular proving very difficult for the Ardboe lads to break down.
As the opening half drew to a close the Glen danger man Danny Tallon, a Derry minor in 2012, got on the end of Glen attack to fire the ball into the bottom corner of the Ardboe net and stretch the Derry side’s lead to six.
Ardboe did respond however with Michael Cassidy kicking a beautiful free and corner forward David Mulgrew on target to reduce the half time gap to four points.
If the Loughshore side were still in touch at half time an early blitz from the Derry champions soon left them languishing as four points in the opening minutes of the second half threatened to kill the game off as a contest.
Glen forwards Ciaran McFaul and Stephen O’Hara were proving a thorn in the side of the Rossas, the danger men kicking 8 points between them for their side.
Ardboe were struggling greatly but centre half back Peter O’Neill and midfielder Oisin Devlin were battling bravely for their side.
Michael Cassidy was also posing Watty Grahams a threat and he pointed again from a free but Ardboe were fighting an upward battle as McFaul and O’Hara were again on target.
Any faint hopes the Rossa had of getting back into the game were all but extinguished as Danny Tallon again fired to the net after his initial effort had rattled the post.
Cassidy did reduce the gap slightly in the closing minutes but Glen were never in danger as they progressed to their second consecutive Ulster Minor club final against Killeavy.
The Enda Gormley managed side will head into the New Year’s Day encounter with plenty of confidence.
Watty Graham’s, Glen
C Glass, C McDevitt, R McDonnell, O Hegarty, C Glass, C Carville, C Mulholland, R Dougan, C Gallagher, T Convery, C McFaul, S O’Hara, P Gunning, C Convery, D Tallon
Subs: T Flanagan for T Convery, C McCabe for Tallon, M Doole for McDevitt, J Doherty for Gunning, K McErlean for C Convery
Scorers: D Tallon 2-0, C McFaul 0-4, S O’Hara 0-4, C Convery 0-3, C Carville 0-1
Ardboe O’Donavan Rossa
C Quinn, D Brady, P Sheeky, E Sheeky, R Sheeky, P O’Neill, C Canavan, A O’Neill, O Devlin, M Lynn, M O’Neill, B Devlin, D Mulgrew, M Cassidy, K Coney
Subs: M Laverty for Brady
Scorers: M Cassidy 0-4, B Devlin 0-4, D Mulgrew 0-1.
Referee: J White- Donegal