A BRACE APIECE by Sean Little and Conor Gormley fired Loreto Community School, Milford into the Ulster Senior Schools semi-final after an absorbing contest with St Eunan’s College this afternoon.
Loreto Community School, Milford 4-3 St Eunan’s College, Letterkenny
St Eunan’s twice came back from two goals down in the second half to make a real fist of it, but Padraig Curley’s Loreto boys had done more than enough to deserve their win.
Picture caption: The Loreto Community School team. Picture courtesy of Stephen Doherty.
They ought to have been more comfortable winners, but a combination of some wayward shooting and a couple of good saves from St Eunan’s goalkeeper Conor Blaney kept the tie poised on the knife’s edge.
It was a gripping tie at the Aura Centre that could have gone all the way, but Loreto just about made the game safe.
The game burst to life in the final ten minutes when four goals were scored.
Beforehand, Little’s double, either end of a Sam Murphy equaliser, had Loreto marginally in front.
Gormley made it 3-1 in the 80th minute when he steered home from Adam Serrinha’s pull back.
Adrian Delap had been the architect. The tricky Derry City player was the best player on show. His pace and skill proved a real headache for St Eunan’s, who struggled to contain the livewire.
St Eunan’s pulled one back when Jordan Ryan’s brilliant finish gave Shane Graham no chance after he was played in by Murphy’s magnificent first-touch pass.
Ryan still had work to do, but he pulled a fine right-footed effort across Graham into the far corner.
Shane McNamee forced Blaney into a save after he weaved his way around Caolan Murray.
Milford did add a fourth when Serrinha slipped Gormley through and, although he appeared marginally offside, Marty Quinn waved play-on. Gormley did the rest, but it wasn’t game, set and match just yet.
Straight from the kick-off, St Eunan’s (pictured below) broke for a third as Luke Nelis jjinked his way through a glut of bodies before firing low past Conor Blaney.
There were nervy moments late on for the Milford students, but they clung on to book a spot in the semi-final against Patrician College from Carrickmacross.
The game opened in a similarly lively fashion and Loreto went ahead when, in the seventh minute, Little neatly shot beyond Blaney after Delap burst clear on the left flank before squaring invitingly.
Shane Blaney nodded a header off the base of the post as Eunan’s sought an equaliser while his namesake, Conor, in the Eunan’s goal saved brilliantly from McNamee at point-blank range.
Blaney clawed away from Serrinha before Eunan’s drew level on 15 minutes.
Murphy was fed by Nelis and, although his initial attempt was blocked he managed to steer in from the tightest of angles.
Delap continued to weave his wand for Milford, but it wasn’t until the 58th minute that they went in front again.
Indeed, St Eunan’s might have been ahead by then, but Graham turned over from a well-hit effort by Dylan McCroary, who injured himself in the process of foraging his way through – and his absence was a hammer blow for the Letterkenny scholars.
Loreto regained the upper hand when Little slid in to finish after Gormley’s free dropped invitingly in the area.
When Gormley added the third, it seemed as if it was all done, but they were made sweat it out in an end-to-end finale with Loreto eventually prevailing.
Loreto Community School, Milford: Shane Graham; Paddy Carr, Enda McCormick, Derek Edwards, Adam Salhi; Adam Serrinha, Conor Gormley, Ryan Toye, Shane McNamee (Mark Wilson ’86); Sean Little, Adrian Delap.
St Eunan’s College, Letterkenny: Conor Blaney; Caolan Murray (Ruairi Friel ‘88(, Ciaran Kelly, Paul Ferry, Adam Byrne; Jordan Ryan, Shane Blaney, Matthew McKinnon, Dylan McCroary (James McSharry ’51); Luke Nelis, Sam Murphy.
Referee: Marty Quinn.Tags: