National Féile, Quarter-Final

Pearses: 3-5 Naomh Moninne (Louth) 1-1: Report by Martina Donnellan. Our U14s advanced to the Semi Final of the National Feile with a stroll in the park againstNaomh Moninne of Louth in the Connacht GAA Centre of Excellence, Bekan this afternoon. From the word go, Pearses were the dominant force and were somewhat unlucky not to be more ahead at half time. We got off to a great start as the diminutive Cillian Fahy was dragged down and immediately the ref signalled a penalty. Although Conor Moran took his time placing the ball, he uncharacteristically struck low and hard to the left of the post. This didn’t detract from his or Pearses play though as Pearses stepped it up a notch or two.

Harry Mitchell made a great triple save and a foul on the hard working Anthony Feeney resulted in Paddy Kennys long clearance from the danger area. It took 9mins for Pearses first score – a great goal from the in-form Niall McDonagh who batted to the net after a Ronan Hynes delivery. Conor Moran’s goal bound effort took a deflection off the keeper while the resultant 65′ was quickly taken by Paddy Kenny who spotted the unmarked Moran and he tapped over Pearses first point.

Naomh Moninne clawed back a goal on 12mins when it looked like a combination of Jonah Donnellan and goalkeeper Harry Mitchell had done the necessary work but somehow the ball was bundled over the line. A minute later Darragh Roche’s crossfield pass to Conor Moran put Pearses in the driving seat with a fine point after which they never looked back. Moran converted a free after he himself was fouled and just before half time Jonah Donnellan and Orin Burke linked up as Burke’s high lobbing ball found Niall McDonagh who weaved himself into a more scoreable position but he blazed his effort wide and not very handsome! Half time score: Pearses 1-3; Naomh Moninne 1-0.

Straight from the restart Orin Burke sent a ball into space for Cillian Fahy to run on to; Fahy subsequently fed Ronan Hynes who drew a great save from the keeper. The resultant 65′ was a replica of the 1st half as Paddy Kenny spotted Moran unmarked and pointed his 3rd from play after he worked himself into a more scoreable position. 4mins into the 2nd half Niall McDonagh gathered a high lobbing ball but while his goal effort was batted out by the defence, it fell to Moran who whipped on the ground for a tonic goal to put Pearses 1-4 in front. The subsequent puck out was gathered by Paddy Kenny which found Ronan Hynes who made light work of his point from play.

It was 10mins into the 2nd half before the Louth side registered their first point from a free but there seemed to be no way back for them at this stage with a solid Pearses defence in command. Pearses last score was probably their best passage of play as Conor Moran played Ollie Laheen in the corner and with good link up play with Darragh Roche, the ball fell nicely for Niall McDonagh who finished superbly to the net with 3mins left on the clock.

This was probably the easiest of Pearses Feile victories thus far as they never looked to be in danger. However a tougher day lies in store tomorrow as they play Roscommon Gaels in Mullagh at 1.45pm in the National Feile semi final. Onwards and Upwards lads as we all look forward to another hurling feast tomorrow

Scorers: Conor Moran 1-4 (1F); Niall McDonagh 2-0; Ronan Hynes 0-1.