St Joseph’s debut season at the elite level of colleges GAA continues to exceed all expectations. On Thursday night in front of a large crowd at Fr Peter Campbell Park they ruthlessly despatched Abbey CBS.
Having to start the contest without injured talisman and captain Conor O’Neill, any nerves were quickly extinguished when Darragh Donaghy expertly found the net in the opening minute. Abbey who had the benefit of a play off victory last week, responded with a brace of points, but this was as good as it got for the Newry school, as St Joseph’s moved into a different gear.
The midfield of Mattie McNally and Fionn McHugh gave St Joseph’s the perfect platform and Abbey could never get to grips with the movement of Noah Grimes or the probing passes of Leo Hughes. Joseph Rafferty had an excellent hour at full back while his club mates Darragh Donaghy, Joseph Corrigan and Eoghan O’Neill caused havoc up front.
By the midpoint of the opening half Donaghmore’s lead was four following points from Donnacha O’Neill, Grimes, Donaghy and Eoghan O’Neill. St Joseph’s completed dominated the second quarter adding three further goals. Mattie McNally, a wonder strike from Joey Clarke and a fisted effort on his home pitch by Donnacha O’Neill saw Donaghmore create an unassailable lead of 4-7 0-3, at the short whistle.
Any hopes of a revival from Abbey were quickly ended when Jamie McCarthy fired home a fifth goal in the 33rd minute.
Donaghmore had the luxury to giving much needed game time to their replacements and cruised to the finish line. Abbey scored a consolation goal when Finn Donnelly forced the ball over the line midway through the second half, but they had no answers on the night to a hugely impressive St Joseph’s side.
St Joseph’s now awaits the winners of the St Patrick’s Academy and Patrician Carrickmacross quarter final on Saturday, setting up the potential of a huge local derby in the semi final.