Desertmartin U16s played host to Banagher in Round 1 of the U16 Championship on Thursday 11th. Playing into the breeze during the first half Desertmartin did well to curtail a strong Banagher team to a five point lead at the break. But resolute defending by the visitors and Desertmartin failing to take advantage of the wind in the second period saw St Mary’s progress to the second round.
Desertmartin started sharply with Cormac McCallion scoring a goal within two minutes of the throw-in. But Banagher were immediately on their game and hit four unanswered points by the tenth minute. Shortly afterwards Gavin Donnelly won the ball behind the Banagher defence, threw off a tackle and from close-range rifled his shot over the bar. Banagher rattled off three more points in as many minutes to lead by three on the fourteenth minute. Desertmartin competing well scored another point from a free by Eunan McElhennon. Banagher moving smoothly notched a further 1-1 to lead by six after nineteen minutes. Then Desertmartin after moving the the ball deep into the Banagher defence won a penalty which Eunan McElhennon dispatched to the net with consummate ease. Buoyed by their revival in fortune Eunan popped over point in the twenty-second minute to cut the deficit to two. But Banagher lead seige to the Desertmartin rearguard and scored four more points approaching half-time. But Desertmartin kept foraging for possession and ended the first with a pointed free from Eunan McElhennon to trail by five at the break.
Desertmartin with the wind in their backs started the second-half confidently when Eunan McElhennon scored his fourth point. But Banagher were determined to retain their hard won first-half lead. Tackling strongly and preventing Desertmartin any easy shooting Banagher reduced Desertmartin’s scoring opportunities to a minimum. With Desertmartin pushing forward the visitors were always dangerous on the break and scored another three points by the thirty-seventh minute. Desertmartin meanwhile, despite having most of the play were forced to shoot from distance resulting in repeated wides. Banagher scored another point on the forty-fifth minute to lead by eight with five minutes to go. But Desertmartin’s determination to reduce the deficit was admirable. They spent the remaining minutes of the game encamped in the Banagher half scoring two further points, one from Eunan McElhennon the other from Michael McLaughlin. This brought the scoring to an end with Banagher winning 1-16 to 2-7.
Desertmartin: G Fullen, D McGovern, C Croskery, O Campbell, M McLaughlin, D O’Connor, M Mackle, E McElhennon, O Murray, C Kelly, C Ormsby, L Murray, C McCallion, K Meharg, G Donnelly.
Subs used: R McElhennon and S Kelly.