St.Nicholas 3-05 v 3-10 John Mitchells
HT 2-03 v 3-05
Ref; Ultan McElroy
In a rain soaked Stabannon the Nicks and the mitchells played out a hard-fought opener in Group 3 of the Junior championship. Ultimately it was the Ardee men who left with the two points. A lively Mitchells full forward line opened the scoring with two points from play, the nicks pulled one back through Paudi Downey. John Mitchells extended their lead when their full forward found the back of the net. The nicks quickly drew level 1-2 each following a point from Murray and a fine solo goal from Sam Reilly. Following the water break the Mitchells extended their lead with two goals from play and two points from free kicks. Even after the two goals conceded the Drogheda men didn't back down. A late penalty converted by Downey and a Brian Carter point kept them within touching distance at the break.
St.Nicholas started the second half better with Jimmy Murray to the fore. He added a point from play and it was his driving run that left the Mitchells no option but to foul him in the square, the resulting penalty dispatched by Downey. Either side of the water break John Mitchells added four unanswered points to leave the gap at five with time running out. Both teams exchanged points, Reilly again for the Nicks, but even with mounting pressure in the final minutes the Nicks couldn't work the goal chance their perseverance deserved.
St.Nicholas team; Shane Finnegan; Stephan Finnegan, Declan Heeney, Darren Thornton; Aaron Flanagan, Johnny Carter, Adam Rooney; Alex Finnegan, Brian Carter (0-1); Evan Byrne, Jimmy Murray (0-2), Rian Farrell; Stephan Hodgins, Sam Reilly (1-1), Paudi Downey (2-2, 2 pen, 1f)
Subs; Nuel Onianwa for Heeney, Vinny O'Hare for Byrne, Kevin Newman for Flanagan, Shahin Houshidari for Hodgins
Best for the Nicks; Murray, Brian carter and Rian Farrell