Stabannon midfielder Colm Giggins takes flight. (Pic: Arthur Kinahan)
Junior Football Championship
Stabannon Parnells 5-16 0-5 Cuchulainn Gaels
Stabannon Parnells are through to the knockout stages of the Junior Football Championship as Group One runners-up following a comfortable 26-point victory over Cuchulainn Gaels in Louth Village on Friday evening.
Ollie McDonnell’s charges were helped in no small part by first-half goals from Daniel Bannon, Niall Cluskey and Dean Lynch which set them on their way to 3-6 to 0-4 points lead at the break. Aonghus Giggins also played a big part in this victory, kicking 0-8 over the hour.
Parnells led by 1-4 to 0-2 points inside 15 minutes. Shane Sweeney got the ball rolling before Giggins and Cian McDonald traded scores. Two more Giggins points made it 0-4 to 0-1 in Stabannon’s favour before David Cluskey set-up Bannon for his goal. Cluskey was then fouled moments later which resulted in brother Niall converting a penalty to give Stabannon a commanding lead.
McDonald and Rammie Phillips kept Parnells honest at least, but a further 1-2 before the break put Stabannon firmly in the driving seat.
Giggins scored from play at the start of the second-half before David Cluskey and Lynch again combined for the latter to grab Stabannon’s fourth major. Kieran McAteer scored Gaels’ one and only point of the second-half having been set up by the hard-working McDonald. Gaels only created nine scoring chances in the whole match which shows how much pressure David Thornton’s side were under.
Stabannon pressed on and scored 1-8 from the 37th minute to full-time with three of the points coming from Giggins along with a further 1-1 from the excellent David Cluskey.
Stabannon Parnells: Anto Byrne; Cathal Halpenny, Conor Fanning, Alan Lynch; Barry Lynch, Martin King, Ken Lynch; Niall Cluskey (1-0, pen), Colm Giggins; Shane Sweeney (0-2), Aonghus Giggins (0-8, five frees and one ‘45), Dean Lynch (2-0); David Cluskey (1-2), Daniel Bannon (1-2), Wayne Lynch
Subs: Fintan Martin, Paul Egan (0-1), Niall Clerkin, Colin Quinn, Liam Giggins (0-1)
Cuchulainn Gaels: Brendan O’Hagan; Peter Morgan, David Heaney, Brendan McKeown; Jordan Loye, John Morgan, Kieran McAteer (0-1); Francis O’Hagan, Michael McCabe; Cian McDonald (0-2), Eoin McDonald, Seamus McCabe; Rammie Phillips (0-2, frees), Brian Elmore, Jody Keenan
Subs: Martin Ward, Paul O’Hanlon, Peter McCabe, Chris Connolly, Calum Fearon
Referee: Ultan McElroy (Kilkerly Emmets)