No excuses from Ardboe in Ulster semi

Barry Devlin of Ardboe in action
Barry Devlin of Ardboe in action

Glen 3-13 Ardboe 0-9

Glen, who are aiming for a record three-in-a-row of Ulster minor titles when they line out in the New Year’s Day final, took a 1-9 to 0-4 lead into the break, having played with a strong breeze in the first half, and sealed victory with their second goal six minutes after the restart.

“You get days like that in football. We were beaten by the better side; they got their tails up fairly early on and they didn’t relent.

They deserved their win, although I don’t think there is 13 points difference between that Ardboe team and Glen but we are disappointed,” said Hurl.

“We were well prepared, they were well prepared, we thought we were in with a squeak but we were well beaten in the end.

“Both Ardboe and Glen are two good footballing sides who can run the ball and we thought we would be able to do in the second half, that but we just didn’t get out hands on enough possession and we didn’t use it well enough.

“They had a lead built up and they defended it well and took their chances and got the goals in the second half that out the daylight between us. They could sit back and control the game and we were pressing all the time but it wasn’t reaping rewards.”

Glen opened the scoring through Danny Tallon on six minutes and held the lead throughout.

Ardboe’s first flag came through an Olly Mallaghan free but two minutes later Tallon had the ball in the Ardboe net for a 1-2 to 0-1 lead.

Michael Lynn’s fine effort closed the gap to three but the Tyrone champions failed to score for another 11 minutes during which Glen added five points to lead 1-7 to 0-2.

Oisin Devlin and Michael O’Neill (free) added scores before the break but Hurl’s side needed a good start to the second half if they were to claw their back into contention.

A Devlin point two minutes after the restart cut the gap to seven but Tiarnan Flanagan soon dashed any hopes of a comeback with Glen’s second goal.

The third arrived on the other side of a Barry Devlin point when Connor Convery punched to the net to make the score 3-10 to 0-6 in favour of the reigning champions.

Two more Barry Devlin frees completed Ardboe’s scoring.

“We’ve won two in a row in Tyrone, the only side to have won back-to-back championships in our club so you have to concentrate on the positives.

“Today is not a day for being critical, it’s a day for reflecting on how good a side we have. It’s easy to look at the negatives when you get a bad defeat,” added Hurl.