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Fixtures & Results 2010 - UIFC

31 Oct 2010
Rasharkin 1-10 v 0-11 Castledawson

Rasharkin’s train stays on track after dumping Dawson


St.Mary’s Rasharkin show no signs of hanging up the boots for the season following their defeat of St.Malachy’s Castledawson in the Quarter final of the Ulster Club Intermediate Championship. The Dreen men pulled clear of their South Derry opponents five times during the hour only trailing behind once after an injury time point from Conor Scullion at the end of the first half. The turning point was when Rasharkin half forward Brendan Etherson raised the green flag on sixteen minutes; this was followed by an impressive Declan McKay free to put four between the sides with twelve minutes left on the clock. The Dawson through everything they had at St.Mary’s defence but the Rasharkin lads showed great character and fitness to close out the Derry Champions.


With both clubs winning their respective Intermediate Championships, domestic leagues and gaining promotion to top flight football next season they qualified to represent their counties in the provincial championship. Neither side have participated in provincial football at this level, so both clubs would be breaking into new territory. Every club strives to be playing at the business end of the season and with the long season comes dreaded injuries and set backs of which both sides have fallen victim.


Castledawson have made one change from the side which beat Greenlough in the Division two league play off a week earlier Aidan McIlhone stepping in for Barry O’Kane. While Rasharkin Conor Hardy gets the nod from Paddy McNeill who replaces the injured Cahir O’Kane following the Championship final replay defeat of Dunloy.


The Antrim Champions came out of the hat first so Rasharkin were gifted home advantage on the blessed sod of head quarters Casement Park with Robbie O’Donnell from Donegal on the whistle.


St Marys Rasharkin made their usual start as they have been doing in recent games, taking off to an early lead.  Eamon McNeill converted the first score within the first minute, Decky McKay slotted over another on the fifth minute as the Antrim champions relaxed into the fixture.  Niall McNicholl of Castledawson was first to break the duck for his side on the ninth minute but back came Rasharkin; their early dominance was beginning to show on the score board as Joey Quinn converted on thirteen minutes.  The Dawson full forward Conor Scullion then clipped over a free a minute later before Niall McNicholl then pulled the tie all square on the eighteenth minute. 


Declan McKay nudged the Dreen men ahead after twenty but McNicholl who was becoming a thorn in the Rasharkin side converted his third point to level matters once more.  Brendan Etherson got this name on the score sheet after twenty two when he fired over a thirty yard strike.  The Derry champions pulled back all square for the third time through midfielder Ciaran McCoy who finished off an impressive move.  Conor Scullion sent Castledawson in with their tails up and a very valuable one point lead when he converted a twenty five yard free in the second minute of injury time at the end of the half. Half time score 0-6 to 0-5 in favour of the Lily whites.


Paddy McNeill must have worked his magic at half time as Rasharkin came out all guns blazing, ace forward Johnny McAleese carved out two massive points both from similar positions on the second and third minute to restore Rasharkin’s lead once more.  Rasharkin’s anchor man Paul Doherty landed a massive point after ten as the south west Antrim side looked impressive.  The Derry champions came back once more with points from Aiden McIlhone and Paddy Henry to level the tie for the fifth time. 


The pendulum then swung in favour of St Mary’s following a major on sixteen minutes. Eamon McNeill cracked in a forty yard free which dropped short onto the line, Colm Lavery fumbled possession on the line and star forward Brendan Etherson was in the right place at the right time to smash the ball into the roof of the Dawson net.  Declan McKay increased Rasharkin’s lead to four points a minute later following a free.


With thirteen minutes on the clock Paddy Linden, Castledawson manager, offloaded his bench throwing into the mix Declan Lavery, Barry O’Kane, Mark Hughes and veteran forward and All Ireland winner Dermot Heaney to try and turn the tide.  The closing stages of the half were very tense as both sides seeked possession. Conor Scullion reduced the deficit to three after a twenty two minute free.  The same player converted another after thirty to make it a one point game, however the Dawson were left to rue missed chances in the last quarter. The game was put beyond doubt when Decky McKay hand passed the ball over the head of Michael O’Kane on the Castledawson line to put two between the sides going into the third minute of added time.  Antrim champions Rasharkin held on to win 1-10 to 0-11 and progress to the semi final stage where they will meet Fermanagh champions Lisnaskea Emmetts.


This was one of Rasharkin’s best performances of the season, the character shown by this bunch of lads over the hour was remarkable.  Credit must go to St Malachy’s Castledawson who played to their strengths and threw everything into the fixture but may have been a little jaded following their busy league and championship schedule. 


Congratulations go to Rasharkin manager Paddy McNeill who made the right decisions. Donal McLarnon in goals had another good day out with smart use of his varied kickouts.  Michael Hasson, Aiddy Scullion and Thomas Doherty held the back well, Duirmuid Quinn, Sean Hasson, Conor Hardy and Cathal Mooney had impressive games around the middle, Paul Doherty pulled off a man of the match performance from centre field as upfront Eamon McNeill, Alan McNeill, Brendan Etherson, Decky McKay, Joey Quinn and Johnny McAleese can all feel proud of their efforts.


Castledawson can hold their heads up high with good performances from Ciaran Lavery, Paul Gribben, Dara Shivers, Ciaran O’Kane. Paul Heaney, Ciaran McCoy, Aidan McElhone and Ruairi Shivers with star performances from Niall McNicholl and Conor Scullion. 


Rasharkin: Donal McLarnon, Michael Hasson , Adrian Scullion, Thomas Doherty (Capt), Sean Hasson, Duirmuid Quinn, Conor Hardy, Paul Doherty and Cathal Mooney, Eamon McNeill, Alan McNeill, Brendan Etherson, Declan McKay, Johnny McAleese and Joey Quinn.


Subs: Shane Hasson for Joey Quinn


Castledawson: Michael O’Kane, Colm Lavery, Ciaran Lavery, Joe O’Kane, Paul Gribben, Dara Shivers, Kieran O’Kane, Paul Heaney and Ciaran McCoy, Niall McNicholl, Aidan McIlhone, Martin Heaney (Capt), Paddy Henry, Conor Scullion and Ruairi Shivers.


Subs: Declan Lavery for Martin Heaney, Mark Hughes for Christopher Gallagher, Barry O’Kane for Paddy Henry and Dermot Heaney for Ciaran McCoy.


Referee: Robbie O’Donnell (Dún na nGall)