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Galbally set up intriguing final duel

By Paddy Hunter

They may have waited over 60 years for a maiden Tyrone Championship title but now Galbally Pearses find themselves in a first Ulster Club intermediate final as they eased to a 1-22 to 0-11 win over Donegal side St Nauls at Celtic Park.

John Moylan’s side will now face Magheracloone in the final, who ended the hopes of Down side Glenn on a 0-13 to 0-7 scoreline.

At Celtic Park, Cormac Donaghy’s goal just before half-time left Galbally 1-9 to 0-5 ahead as St Nauls struggled to cope with Ronan Nugent, Daniel Kerr and Rafferty. Donaghy  turned in an excellent display, but joint-manager Kevin Kelly admitted it was a team effort.

“We are delighted with the win, we worked hard and we are especially pleased with the performance from the team as a whole. This was very much an all-round good team performance, it was what we would have hoped for,” he explained.

The Tyrone side had got off to a bright start and pulled three points clear before St Nauls replied with a brace of points, the impressive Kerr, Mark Donnelly and Nugent among the Pearses points.

They kept the scoreboard ticking over through the second period and maintained the momentum until the end, the Donegal side offering little resistance as 10 different Galbally players got on the scoresheet.

Magheracloone, meanwhile, were always in control against Glenn. They led by five points at the break, Jack McCartan and Cain Lyons among the points with experienced Monaghan star Tommy Freeman and talisman Michael Metzger leading the way.

Glenn never really threatened Magheracloone, who finished the contest five clear. Twelve of their 13 points came from play with Freeman, Alan McCaghey and Killian Rudden all getting scores and causing the Down champions no end of trouble.

Glenn did rally and added scores through Joe Sands, Michael Turley and Patrick Brookes but they could never reel the Monaghan side back in and in all reality Magheracloone should have won by a bigger margin with top performances from Peter Ward, McCartan and midfielder Gavin Doogan, who pulled the strings throughout.

The final is set to be an interesting clash. Both teams have been amongst big scorelines through the Ulster campaign and just last week Galbally added the Tyrone Division Two title to their ever-bulging trophy cabinet. Magheracloone have been involved in Ulster before but as far as the Pearses are concerned, it’s a whole new ball game.

The final is set for a fortnight’s time.

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