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Belcoo End Ulster League With Victory
Mar. 3, 2013
Ulster Senior League Group A: Belcoo 3-10 v 2-10 Steelstown (Derry)
Belcoo finished their Ulster League Campaign with a 3-10 to 2-10 win over Derry side Steelstown at home on Sunday. The O'Rahilly's were full value for their victory on the day in what was another tough encounter.
The hosts produced a magnificent opening half to hold a 2-6 to 0-3 interval lead before a spirited late fightback from Steelstown reduced the final margin of defeat to just three points. It was a first loss of the season for Steelstown however they had already done enough to advance from the group as winners. Belcoo's 2nd place finish wasn't enough to see them into the Semi Finals as best runner up.
Ciaran Flaherty of Belcoo embarks on another surging forward run PIC: Tim Flaherty
The visitors started brightly moving forward in numbers and creating some decent opportunities which talisman Stephen Cleary converted. Two early points from the full forward were canceled out by Ciaran Flaherty and Ronan Ferguson scores from play.
Belcoo began to assert themselves on the contest and would find the net twice within 5minutes of each other midway through the half. Flaherty gathered possession at pace and broke through on goal before confidently finishing to the net while Declan Leonard added a second having ran onto a flick from Stephen Maguire to apply a neat finish.
Stephen Maguire offloads the ball under pressure from Steelstown defenders PIC: Tim Flaherty
Well in control of the tie at 2-2 to 0-2 Belcoo continued to prevent the opposition creating many scoring chances from play over the remainder of the half, a sole Cleary free was all the visitors could muster before the interval.
Belcoo on the other hand landed a string of good scores from distance, Seamus Conlon arrowing over the first before Ronan Ferguson launched one over the black spot. Paul McGrath strode forward to add another before Shain Gallagher completed an impressive opening 30minutes from the home side with a score from an acute angle.
Stephen Cleary would again find the target from a dead ball however Stephen Maguire responded in kind for Belcoo. Darren McDaid broke forward from midfield to land a score while substitute Daniel Jackson also pointed to leave it 2-7 to 0-6 early in the second half.
Steelstowns James Jackson been closed down by Leonard brother Philip & Eoin PIC: Tim Flaherty
Steelstown's Darren McDaid was denied a goal after been fed by James Jackson, the recovering Niall Leonard using his feet to clear McDaid's low drilled effort off the line. This scare sparked Belcoo back into action and Ronan Ferguson finished a neat move with a fine score before John Carrigan added a close range free kick.
Cleary was again on target with three close range free kick as Belcoo remained 2-9 to 0-9 ahead with 10minutes to play. The hosts seemed to kill the contest 8minutes from time when Ciaran Flaherty netted his second goal of the day. Aaron Dolan found Flaherty 20yards from goal, his rifled drive rebounded off the crossbar and straight into his path where he coolly finished at the second time of asking.
A keenly contested kickout with several players on hand for the break ball PIC: Tim Flaherty
To their credit Steelstown continued to press forward and were rewarded with a goal from James Jackson, the forward palmed the ball into the net after a well worked move before Cleary popped over another free. Belcoo's John Carrigan landed his sides last score from a free before a stoppage time penalty was converted by Stephen Cleary to leave the final score Belcoo 3-10 v 2-10 Steelstown.
The Derry side face Ardboe of Tyrone in next weeks Semi Final while Belcoo return to training before the Fermanagh Senior League gets underway on 14th April.
Team: James McGrath, Ryan Leonard, Niall Leonard, Ryan McGovern, Paul McGrath (0-1), Philip Leonard, Eoin Leonard, Seamus Conlon (0-1), John Carrigan (0-2), Ronan Ferguson (0-3), Ciaran Flaherty (2-1), Declan Leonard (1-0), Shain Gallagher (0-1), Stephen Maguire (0-1), Kieran Leonard. Subs Used: Stephen Nolan and Aaron Dolan.
FINAL STANDINGS IN GROUP A
MORE OF TIM's PICTURES CAN BE SEEN IN THE PHOTO GALLERY ON THE LEFT HAND SIDE OF THE PAGE
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