McConville’s praise for Saints

Feidhlim O'Neill has enjoyed a great season for St Paul's.INLM40-120
Feidhlim O'Neill has enjoyed a great season for St Paul's.INLM40-120
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St Paul’s manager Shane McConville praised how his players “refused to panic” despite facing a six-point half-time deficit against Forkhill.

Sunday’s Intermediate Championship semi-final finished with a superb success for the Saints but the opening stages proved difficult following a strong start by Forkhill.

St Paul’s produced a thrilling fightback at the Athletic Grounds in Armagh to turn the tables and reclaim control.

Andrew Murnin - a former county player at minor level - stepped out of the shadows at full forward to create problems for Forkhill across the second half.

“Andrew is a very good player,” said McConville. “He was a big part of our plans to reach the final and, thankfully, when things were not working for us in the first half the fact that we didn’t panic proved very rewarding.

“It was very simple, we were going out of the Championship.

“We had trained hard all season and were determined to reach the final so we knew that we had to go out in the second half and prove ourselves.”

St Paul’s now have a league-and-championship double in sight but McConville is determined to maintain focus across the squad.

“We won the league but decided not to make too big a deal of it,” said the St Paul’s boss. “We sort of came from under the radar to beat Forkhill and it certainly wouldn’t have helped our case to have over-celebrated winning the Second Division.

“We can take our second-half performance into the Championship final.”