St.Paul’s v Forkhill
St Paul’s 1-11
St Paul’s 1-11
This Sunday’s T-Met Intermediate Semi Finals double header began with the meeting of St Paul’s, league champions, and third placed Forkhill.
An Andy Murnin inspired St Paul’s side produced a great second half comeback to see off their South Armagh opponents in a game that looked to be heading away from the Lurgan outfit at half time.
Forkhill showed their early intent straight from the throw-in when the ball was played into Jemar Hall who gave St Paul’s ‘keeper, Ciaran Toman, an early tester with a right footed effort destined for the bottom corner. Toman responded with an equally impressive effort and produced an outstanding save at full stretch.
Some sustained pressure from the Forkhill midfield meant that they soon took the lead through Number 9, Patrick Burns. Burns then doubled both his side’s tally, and his own, with a well taken score 3 minutes later.
St Paul’s tried some long balls into their forward line but were unable to find their key men, only managing to hit the post with an effort. Forkhill broke up the field and Hall was fouled. The free being converted by Owen Donaghy.
St Paul’s then went on the attack from the following kick out. Charles Harte was fouled and from the resulting free St Paul’s Michael Shanks notched the Lurgan side’s first score.
Jemar Hall then won and took a free to increase Forkhill’s lead to 3.
A long ball played into Andy Murnin allowed the St Paul’s man to flick the ball down to his teammate Darren Fox who coolly slotted over.
Shortly afterwards the referee then waved away calls for a penalty for St. Paul’s before a black card for Peadar Nash after 20 minutes.
Forkhill ended the half the strongest as 3 more points from Hall, a free and 2 from play, along with a point from Captain Stephen Sheridan saw them go into the break with a 6 point lead.
The beginning of the second half saw St. Paul’s shoot out of the blocks.
They doubled their match tally with 2 points in the opening 50 seconds, one from Niall McParland and another by Andy Murnin, leaving 4 in it.
Darren Fox & Chris Lavery then added a point a piece, the latter converting a 45.
A stunning turn round was almost complete when a foul on Murnin meant the referee was left with no choice but to award a penalty. Unfortunately for St. Paul’s, McParland was unable to convert as, despite sending the ‘keeper the wrong way, he also sent the ball too far to the right and wide.
Another 45 for Lavery dropped short and Murnin rose highest to get his fist to the ball and leave a point between the sides.
Ryan Lawless then took a free for St Paul’s to level proceedings.
Both sides missed opportunities to take the lead until Barry Shannon helped Forkhill back in front with their first score of the half, 18 minutes in.
St Paul’s levelled again after another free from number 3 Michael Shanks.
2 minutes later St Paul’s retook the lead through Murnin and extended it when a speculative high ball into the box from Niall McParland lead to a goal, making up for his earlier penalty miss.
Forkhill ‘keeper Sean McDonnell was put under pressure in mid-air by another St Paul’s forward and this meant neither man got a touch on the ball and McParland’s effort went straight in.
Murnin then rounded off the scoring helping his St Paul’s side confirm their final place with a scoreline of 1-11 to 0-10.
St Paul’s now play the Grange in the T-Met Intermediate Final on the 12th of October.
Forkhill: S. McDonnell, P. Toner, B. Murchan, A. Coleman, J. Shannon, C. Adams, B. Shannon (0-1), S. Sheridan (c) (0-1), P. Burns (0-2), D. King, J. Hall (0-5, 3f), O. Donaghy (0-1, 1f), C. Toner, C. Smith, M. Byrne.
Subs Used: A. Canning for B. Shannon.
St Paul’s: C. Toman, D. McCluskey, M. Shanks (0-2, 1f), R. McCaughley, C.Harte, D. Toal, P. Nash, F. O’Neill, C. Lavery (0-1, 1 45), N. McParland (1-1), A. Murnin (0-4), R. Lawless (0-1, 1f), D. McDonald, C. Nash, D. Fox (0-2).
Subs Used: R. Gilmore for P. Nash.
Article BY Colm McGleenan
PHOTOS BY John Merry