Junior Football Championship Quarter-Final: Glen Emmets 2-17 Naomh Malachi 2-9

The form book held as the favourites, Glen Emmets advanced to the semi-finals of the Junior Football Championship on Saturday evening at the expense of a gallant Naomh Malachi outfit.

The sides shared the opening four points, before the impressive Pierce Caherty edged the border outfit in front in the 6th minute. However, the Tullyallen men responded when Ian Cusack netted before Ronan Grufferty and Damien Grimes extended their advantage further. Ronan Greene and James Butler traded points before the Mals were awarded a penalty when goalkeeper Fergus Barnett fouled Meegan. Greene netted at the second attempt, before Barnett was given his marching orders for an off-the-ball incident. This proved to be a turning point though, as the Emmets kicked on and scored four unanswered points to take a commanding lead at the break through Ronan Grufferty, Sean Byrne, Cusack, and Butler who was supremely accurate throughout.

Butler and Cusack continued where they left off after the break before Shane Rogers opened his account in the 42nd minute for the men in red. Butler remained a constant thorn in the Mals’ defence and contributed to the scoreboard with two fine efforts. Padraig Moley and Grufferty exchanged points before Rogers scored the Mals’ second goal in the 53rd minute. The Emmets responded well though and raised white flags through Grufferty and Butler. Caherty claimed another fine long-range score but the Mals’ hope was extinguished when Louth Minor, Keelan O’Neill netted in the closing stages. Caherty rounded up proceedings with a brace of well-taken points in injury time but it was to no avail as the Tullyallen men advance to the semi-finals.

Glen Emmets: Fergus Barnett; Keith Boylan, Tom Grimes, Niall Hackett; Evan English, Aidan Monahan, Joseph Farrelly; Mark Garvey, Ronan Grufferty (0-5, 3f); David Bracken, Derrick Johnson, James Butler (0-7, 2f); Damien Grimes (0-1), Seán Byrne (0-1), Ian Cusack (1-3).

Subs: Keelan O’Neill (1-0) for Johnson, Shane Noone for English, Daniel Whyte for Boylan, Robert Byrne for Garvey.

Naomh Malachi: Ronan Lynch; David Begley, David Rogers, Conor Gonnelly; Seán Gogarty, Ronan Greene (1-1, 1 pen and 1f), Stephen Burns; Pádraig Moley (0-1), Pierce Caherty (0-5); Donal Begley, Ronan McElroy, Noel Donaldson; Jamie Kelly, Shane Rogers (1-1, 1f), Mark Meegan (0-1 1f)

Subs: Colin Hoey for Meegan, Collie Rooney for Gonnelly.

Referee: Noel Hand (Hunterstown Rovers)