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Relief for St Galls after narrow win

St Galls 0-12 Mayobridge 2-5

The reigning Ulster champions are still in the hunt for the Seamus McFerran Cup but they got the fright of their lives at Pairc Esler before holding out for a single point win against Mayobridge.

The Down champions came out a transformed side in the second half and St Galls manager James McCartan will be concerned that his team, who had dominated the first half so comprehensively, found themselves hanging on at the end.

Underdogs Mayobridge had wind advantage in the first half and they got off to a dream start. Eoghan Woods knocked the ball down from the throw in and was picked up by team Michael Walsh, the team captain showing great vision delivered an impeccable pass to Benny coulter who had moved out on the left wing. Coulter left full-back Andrew McClean for dead then delivered the pass to Ronan Sexton who had the simplest of tasks to shoot to the net.

The Mayobridge defence held out until the thirteenth minute the 'bridge keeper Liam Coulter was probably the busiest player on the field saving from Karl Stewart, Ciaran Gallagher and C J McGourty in the first quarter.

The Antrim side owned the ball but kicked four wides before Karl Stewart opened their account with a point from a free after thirteen minutes.

Ten minutes later they had scored six unanswered points, two of them long range efforts from C J McGourty were worth the admission money.

Mayobridge were a transformed side in the second half and within six minutes of the restart they had gone 2-03 to 0-7 ahead, Coulter applying the finishing touch after a delightful build up by substitute Magee and Sexton and a delightful final pass from Walsh.

Three unanswered points in the final quarter from C J McGourty (2) and Kevin McGourty put the Antrim champions back in front but they were still living dangerously.

Mixed emotions of anguish and relief resonated around the ground when substitute John Quinn had a chance to level the scores but with the last kick of the game pulled his free wide.

St Galls: R Gallagher, Brady, McClean, Kelly, Veronica, Kelly, Healy, Burns, A Gallagher, O'Neil, CJ McGourty, Niblock, C Gallagher, Kevin McGourty, Stewart. Subs used: Kieran McGourty for C Gallagher (45min) Kennedy for Veronica (52min) McGowan for Burns (56min) Niblock for Stewart (60min).

Mayobridge: Coulter, Barry, Garvey, S Grant, B Grant, O'Hare, Lively, Woods, Caldwell, R Sexton, Walsh, N Sexton, Brady, A Barry, B Coulter. Subs sued: Magee for O'Hare (35min), Quinn for B Grant (45min), Fegan for Brady (55min)

Referee: Martin Sludden (Tyrone)

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