Greene and Quigg take the major plaudits on Minor front
A stunning contribution of 2-2 from substitute Gavin Greene helped to propel Enniskillen Gaels into the Ulster Minor Club Tournament semi-finals at the expense of Cavan champions Crosserlough.
Conal Quinn’s five points had not been sufficient to give the Gaels a half-time advantage —they trailed by 0-6 to 0-5 — but midway through the second half Greene roared into the action by flighting home a goal from some distance before cleverly chipping in a second to thrust his side into the driving seat.
With Quinn and John Reihill also prominent, the Gaels withstood late pressure from Crosserlough to book a meeting with either Burren or Dunloy who meet next weekend in the last of the quarter-finals.
And just as Greene stamped his imprint forcibly on Gaels’ win, Paddy Quigg took centre stage as Derry title holders Kilrea surprisingly terminated the hopes of Crossmaglen Rangers on a 1-14 to 0-13 scoreline.
Quigg’s impressive 1-6 return ensured that Kilrea kept their noses in front for the most part although it was Larry Kielt who swung over a couple of majestic points in the closing stages.
Rian O’Neill worked hard to keep the Rangers in touch and his seven points (four frees) helped to maintain their momentum, especially in the first half.
They were still hot on the heels of Kilrea as the second half progressed and when Aaron Smylie, Shane McConville and the accurate O’Neill landed a triple blitz of points within a matter of minutes there was only one point separating the sides at 1-11 to 0-13.
But Kilrea kept their nerve even though they were under considerable pressure.
They appeared to momentarily lose composure, though, when Quigg was uncharacteristically wide with a couple of efforts, but he showed considerable composure by joining Kielt in ushering the Derry side over the line with three late points.
Tournament organiser on behalf of the St Paul’s club Billy McLarnon predicts that the event is building up to a thrilling climax.
“The standard of play to date has been superb and we believe that there are some terrific matches to come,” says McLarnon.
“The commitment of the teams so far has been incredible and I think that this is proving a great shop window for the province’s emerging talent.”
Meanwhile, Donegal skipper Michael Murphy has become the inaugural winner of the Seamus MacGeidigh Memorial Award.
The presentation was made to Murphy at Saturday night’s county banquet in the Abbey Hotel, Donegal town.
MacGeidigh was a highly-respected GAA journalist with Raidio na Gaeltachta who died suddenly in July.
He left an indelible impact on the sport in Co Donegal and the accolade bearing his name will now be presented on an annual basis to the person deemed to have done most to further the cause of the GAA within the county.