McGahan spares blushes
Cookstown needed two late James McGahan frees to edge their way past Augher into the Intermediate Championship last eight on Sunday afternoon, writes Seamus Donnelly.
McGahan a substitute for the injured Owen Mulligan early in the second half showed composure beyond his tender years as he helped guide his team to a fully deserved victory.
Cookstown had dominated the game for almost it’s entirety but two second half goals from Augher saw them close a seven point gap to draw level with the Fr Rock’s with three minutes to play.
Fr Rocks began the game best and established an early lead with Owen Mulligan opening his championship account with an excellent point from play in the 7th minute.
Augher hit back with Sean Hackett and then Jamie Donnelly gave the St Macartan’s the lead with 10 minutes on the clock.
Cookstown dominated much of the possession but some poor shooting kept Augher in the game. The Fr Rock’s kicked nine first half wides including seven in the opening twenty minutes, which helped keep Augher in the contest.
Having registered a string of wides they eventually got on level terms with Connor O’Hare kicking a simple point from play from 25 metres.
The Fr Rocks then went on a scoring burst playing some scintillating and direct football with John Gilmore, Shea McGarrity, Martin Murray and Jason Quinn all kicking some excellent scores from distance as Cookstown established a healthy six point half time lead.
Augher in comparison struggled as a result of some laboured build up play and sloppy passing as the Cookstown defence was clearly on top.
The second half began as the first ended with Owen Mulligan kicking a point from play after just 70 seconds.
The departure of Mulligan several minutes later gave Augher some hope and they got their third point through Aidan Cassidy with seven minutes played.
Two more points in as many minutes close the gap to four as Jamie Donnelly from a free and Patrick Treanor from play lofted points for the St Macartans.
The gap was back to just one with thirteen minutes of the second half played when Treanor managed to set up Aidan McElroy who made no mistake finishing past Marty Rea in the Cookstown goal.
McGahan and Shea McGarrity again opened a three point gap for Cookstown, McGarrity’s effort from play coming with 50 minutes played.
Martin McElhatton of Augher and McGahan again exchanged important points before Augher got the game back all square as county minor Sean Hackett shot low to Marty Rea’s right with just three minutes left in the game.
With the game in the balance, Cookstown didn’t panic and James McGahan hit two late free-kicks, the first a brilliant effort from the right wing and the second an equally superb effort from the left to push the Fr Rocks into the last eight of the championship.
Cookstown: Martin Rea, Brian Kelly, Stephen Monaghan, David Hughes, Ryan Pickering, Martin Murray, Martin Hughes, Connor Mullan, Connor O’Hare, Shea McGarrity, Barry Hughes, Jason Quinn, Paddy Kelly, Owen Mulligan John Gilmore. Subs: James McGahan for Mulligan, Barry Mulligan for Quinn, Brian Mulligan for Gilmore, Ruairi Mullan for Kelly.
Scorers: James McGahan 0-4, Shea McGarrity 0-3, Jason Quinn 0-2, Owen Mulligan 0-2, Martin Murray 0-1, Connor O’Hare 0-1, John Gilmore 0-1
Augher: Christopher Holland, Finbar McQuaid, Damian McElroy, Colin McKenna, Declan Connolly, Emmett Neeson, Raymond McElroy, Aidan Cassidy, Aidan McElroy, Dara Donnelly, Francis McMeel, Martin McElhatton, Francis McElroy, Sean Hackett, Jamie Donnelly. Subs: Patrick Treanor for McKenna, Paul Treanor for R. McElroy, Kevin Hackett for McMeel.
Scorers: Sean Hackett 1-1, Aidan McElroy 1-0, Jamie Donnelly 0-2, Aidan Cassidy 0-1, Martin McElhatton 0-1, Patrick Treanor 0-1.
Referee: Sean Quinn, Brackaville
Attendance: 1,500, approximately
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Thursday 23 May 2013
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