Northern Switchgear Antrim Senior Football Championship, Group Four
Gort na Móna 0-12 St Gall's 4-15
ST GALL'S are safely through to the quarter-finals of the Antrim Senior Football. Championship as they secured second place in Group Four with victory at Gort an Móna on Sunday.
The Milltown Row outfit took charge early and apart from a five-minute spell after the break, were in full command throughout this game played in fine conditions.
Gort na Móna stuck to the task throughout, but just couldn't get close enough to make a fist of this clash and were perhaps over-reliant on Padraig McHugh in attack who top-scored on the day with eight points.
St Gall's enjoyed a dream start to this clash as Niall Burns had the ball in the net within the opening minute as Terry O'Neill sent a probing ball in behind the defence with Burns quickest to react to fire home.
McHugh replied with a fine point at the other end and then another after a good counter, but St Gall's were bossing the middle sector and began to go through the gears with Thomas Bunting firing over from range before Barra McCaffrey chipped in with a brace of points to make it 1-3 to 0-2 at the water break.
A Niall Malone free kept the Gorts in touch, but St Gall's finished the half well to put real daylight between the sides a Caolan Chada found his range and then on 21 minutes, goal number two arrived. Again it was Burns who saw his initial shot saved by Thomas McCaffrey, but the ball rebounded to Terry O'Neill who put Burns in for a second go and this time he made no mistake.
It was 2-5 to 0-3 at the half with Gort na Móna coming out in the second period reinvigorated as they rattled off four points in as many minutes.
McHugh curled over two beauties and Darren Boyd another from out on the left, while Patrick McCaffrey went so close to finding the goal his side needed when his rasping drive was tipped over by Chris Kerr.
Just as it seemed the hosts were right back in this clash, St Gall's again found a response with Terry O'Neill getting free to kick two points, while Chada and Mark Cummings were also on target as the gap was back out to eight.
McHugh answered back with one for the Turf Lodge men, but momentum was with the visitors as Eoghan McCabe burst forward to score and John McCaffrey added another to leave it 2-11 to 0-8 at the water break.
McCaffrey curled over an excellent point as play resumed with Chada and Cummings adding further points, while the Gorts had to be content with two from McHugh as this game had now gotten away from them.
There would be no let-up down the stretch for St Gall's as on 56 minutes they were in for their third goal when a fine move at pace started by Aodhan Gallagher saw him swap passes with Niall Burns before passing to McCaffrey who applied the finish.
A fourth major would follow two minutes later as the ball broke free and Cummings applied a soccer-style finish to the net.
Barra McCaffrey had the final say of this contest, but the outcome had been long decided as St Gall's join Creggan as quarter-finalists from Group Four.
GORT NA MÓNA: T McCaffrey; B Burns, T Keenan, C Donnelly (0-1); M Savage, N Henry, P Cournane; P McCaffrey (0-1), C Magee; N Malone (0-1 free), C Carson, S Campbell; D Boyd (0-1), P McHugh (0-8, 1 free, 1 mark), A McDonagh.
Subs: D McVeigh for S Campbell (HT), P Mulvenna for A McDonagh (36), S McStravog for N Malone (50), D Cahill for T Keenan (50), G McKenna for D Boyd (60+2).
ST GALL'S: C Kerr; T O Ciarain, C Brady, S O'Hagan; J McCaffrey (1-2), S Kelly, E McCabe (0-1); A Gallagher, T Bunting (0-1); C Chada (0-3), T O'Neill (0-2), C Stinton; N Burns (2-0), M Cummings (1-3, 0-2 marks), B McCaffrey (0-3, 1 free).
Subs: D Wilson for C Stinton (42), C McGirr for C Brady (42), R Irvine for C Chada (50), M Kelly for N Burns (50), C Murray for T O'Neill (53).
REFEREE: Patrick Tumelty (Lámh Dhearg)