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Burren v St Galls
Sat, 03 Nov 2018
Burren 3-14 v St Galls 0-06

After overcoming current Paul McGirr holders Kilcoo in the Down final, Burren got their Ulster campaign off in impressive style with an emphatic 3-14 to 0-06 over Antrim champions St Galls at a resplendent Gardrum Park on Saturday afternoon. Star of the show for Burren was talented corner forward Niall Toner who accounted for 1-10 (1-09 from play) of his sides total in a man of the match display that will live long in the memory of the large crowd in attendance. Right from the throw in Toner was causing endless headaches for a stretched St Galls defence as he accounted for their first three points, all from play. St Glass replied with a pointed free from Odhran McDonald as well as two efforts from rampaging full back Oisin Crawford and Dubhaltach MacLiam, it was at this stage of the game that Burren manager Aidan Woods made a few switches and Tony Magee and James Kelly in particular at the back for Burren nullified the much vaunted St Galls attack. A quick fire 1-01 from full forward Zach Murdock gave Burren a lead that they never relinquished for the rest of the game, the goal was a result of some great build up involving Toner and Aaron Murdock. A further two points from Toner and a third from Ryan Magill left the Down champions 1-07 to 0-03 ahead at the short whistle.

Full back Oisin Crawford who had a superb game throughout drove forward to earn a free that Niall Fallon converted to reduce the deficit but Toner was still proving a thorn in St Galls side with two tremendous efforts stretching the lead before the inspirational Crawford replied with a stupendous score from near the sideline. Toner then put the game beyond any doubt with a mazy run close to the end line rounding three defenders and crashed the ball to the back to the St Galls net much to the delight of the large travelling Burren support. The introduction of U14 star Eoin Loughran caused further heartache for an already struggling St Galls defence, Loughran showing a glimpse of his talent when adding Burren’s third goal. Toner tagged on three more points to mark a commanding display for a Burren outfit who are looking to emulate the Burren team of 2014 who annexed the first Paul McGirr title for the resurgent Down club. Manager Woods was understandably delighted with his sides display but felt that thee is even more to come from his charges ‘Going to Ulster level you are going into the unknown and getting over the first hurdle is key, now that we are over that hurdle I think our lads will loosen the shackles. The first goal really steadied us but there is no doubt we will have to be more ruthless as we progress in the competition, we have a panel of 31 players and its great to have those options on the bench, we will get our heads down now and prepare for the semi final whoever it may be.’

St Galls – Louis McCormick, Adam Churchill, Oisin Crawford (0-02), Sean Anthony Kelly, Joshua Quinn, Conall McCabe (0-01), Fergus Donnelly, Aodh Mullan, Eoin Burke, Connla Maguire, Odhran McDonald (0-01 1f), Niall Fallon (0-01 1f), Dubhaltach MacLiam (0-01), Dara Delaney, Conall McGirr – Subs – Aodhan Murray for Mullan, Peter Devine for Kelly, Joseph Diamond for MacLiam, MacLiam for Delaney

Burren – Colm Grant, Sean Downey, Tony Magee, Aaron Cole, James Kelly, Patrick McCarthy, Ryan Magill (0-01), Odhran Murdock, Conlin Bradley, James Duggan, James McCann (0-01), Aaron Murdock, Tiarnan Ryan, Zach Murdock (1-01), Niall Toner (1-10 1f) – Subs – Eoin McKernan for Bradley, Eoin Loughran (1-01) for O Murdock, Niall Somerville for Ryan, Eoin Cassidy for Kelly, Harry Price for Z Murdock