GAA: Rock progress with win over Drumquin

Peter Girvan and Martin McCreesh in the mix for Rock as the St Patricks and Tones tussle for possession.
Peter Girvan and Martin McCreesh in the mix for Rock as the St Patricks and Tones tussle for possession.

Joint league table-toppers Rock got their championship challenge off to a flying start as they hit several superb scores in overcoming a battling Drumquin team.

In truth, this junior championship first round contest at Newtownstewart went the way of Rock from early doors.

A lively St Patricks side were fast into stride and soon peppered the Tones rearguard with a series of productive raids.

It was damage limitation time for Drumquin as the half wore on but the spirited Tones remained as competitive as they could be in the circumstances. Rock simply carried too much firepower for them.

Drumquin soldiered on to the finish, gaining some scoreboard reward but never enough to unsettle a Rock side that boasted some fine individual performances within a really solid team display overall.

Rock fired the ball about at speed and their accuracy in finding players proved top notch, excellent score-taking also featuring with centre-half forward Aidan McGarrity and full-forward Conor McCreesh well to the fore.

McGarrity contributed 1-7 to the final tally and all were harvested in open play, Conor McCreesh mixing place kicks and frees to finish on five and midfielder Martin McCreesh capped a first-rate display by adding three points from play.

Drumquin struggled to contain a free-flowing St Patrick’s side that were able to alter the style of their approach work, stay solid in defence and midfield plus plunder a rich harvest scores into the bargain.

But they will be aware that it’s the opening round and all they have won yet is a place in the quarter-finals.

McGarrity’s goal formed the centrepiece of a first half St Patrick’s salvo, McGarrity finishing coolly to the net as he complemented his points haul following decent build-up play and pass via Diarmaid Carroll.

There were also some really well worked and finished points from McGarrity and company as Ciaran Gourley, Enda McWilliams and team-mates drove forward with real purpose to put the over-worked Tones defence under increasing amounts of pressure.

Eamon Ward and Diarmaid Carroll got in on the points tally too, McAlynn and Barry Glackin finding replies later in the half for Drumquin who fluffed a few openings when limited chances present themselves.

Drumquin did get a short reprieve close to half-time when Glackin earned himself a penalty and Frankie McAlynn converted.

By the break, though, Rock had nine points to spare on 1-11 to 1-2 and the St Patricks pressed on after the restart through further scoring exploits from McGarrity, Conor and Martin McCreesh. Enda McWilliams, Liam Hoy and Karl Kolbolm tagged on scores as well.

Rock created some other goal chances but Tones keeper Enda Gormley responded well with a few fine saves, his opposite number Niall Mullan not as busy but proving sound when called into action.

McAlynn and Packie O’Kane pulled points back for the Tones but McGarrity, McCreesh and McGarrity again rounded up a pleasing performance with points in the latter stages.

Rock certainly played some excellent football during the course of this match and will look to maintain their challenge on both competition fronts as the season builds towards the business end.

Drumquin now must concentrate on the league and improving their position in the second half of the fixture programme.

Rock: Niall Mullan, Aidan Gervin, Peter Girvan, Ryan Crilly, Thomas Bloomer, Ciaran Gourley, Liam Hoy, Enda McWilliams, Martin McCreesh, Karl Kolbolm, Aidan McGarrity, Cathal McWilliams, Diarmaid Carroll, Conor McCreesh, Eamon Ward

Scorers : Aidan McGarrity 1-7, Conor McCreesh 0-5, Martin McCreesh 0-3, Enda McWilliams 0-1, Liam Hoy 0-1, Karl Kolbolm 0-1, Eamon Ward 0-1, Diarmaid Carroll 0-1

Drumquin - Enda Gormley, John Breen, Daniel McSwiggan, Stephen Gormley, Jamesie Winters, Liam Patterson, John Fahy, Brendan Gormley, Paul Sheridan, Frankie McAlynn, Barry Sheridan, Damien Aiken, Ryan McCrossan, Barry Gormley, Barry Glackin. Subs - Packie O’Kane for Barry Gormley, Matthew Walsh for L Patterson, Daniel Poyntz for B Sheridan, Calon Gormley for D Aiken

Scorers: Frankie McAlynn 1-4, Packie O’Kane 0-2, Barry Glackin 0-1

Referee: Hugo Devine, Owen Roes.