All change at St. Peter’s as Devlin returns
St. Peter’s illustrated a week can be long time in football, when they parted company with their manager Franco Duffy and placed former boss Mickey Devlin in charge, all in time to defeat Culloville at Freecrow on Sunday.
In fairness to their departed boss, the Whites had played the most of their games this season without the services of Niall McConville and Aaron Findon, the midfielder was rested on against Wicklow, but McConville lined out for his club side grabbing an all important second half goal, the build up of which will take some beating this season.
The North Street sides bench had been somewhat thread bare recently, but on Sunday they had bigger numbers to chose from and the subs used, namely Glen Flanagan, Terry Flynn and in particular Shane McCaughley all did well.
St. Peter’s have still several players who will be returning before they play An Port Mor in the Championship, and their win over Culloville will be particularly satisfying considering the Freecrow men defeated their South Armagh opponents in the cup following a replay.
Mickey Devlin was the manager of the Whites a number of years ago, before taking charge of both Eire Og and Wolfe Tones and his ethos was evident on Sunday when the Whites worked themselves tirelessly for every single ball.
Keeper Darren Kelly made a couple of outstanding point blank saves, his stop at the feet of Kieran Hatzer on 28 minutes was sublime, Emmett Haughian, Sean O’Neill and the brilliant Robbie Geary all stood out as did the half back trio Conor Keegan. Young Thomas Byrne and Ciaran McCavigan at centre half the best player on the day.
The towering John Kingham caused the Lurgan side many problems, he rose to knock home his sides first goal on 22 minutes which put the South Armagh men in front, Culloville’s second goal from Gerard Conlon which came from a Kingham assist arriving 10 minutes after the break and at a time when the eventual winners appeared to be pulling away.
The visitors led by a single point at the break, with Hatzer and Colm Watters threatening with scores, the Whites kept them selves in touch with points from Niall McConville, Michael Gogarty and a couple of great efforts from Keith Totten.
It took the winners just four minutes after the break to hit the front, Totten and McConville shot over, before the County player added to his impressive tally. Gerard Conlon beat Kelly at his near post, but now just leading by a single score the Whites rallied to finish strongly.
Centre half Ciaran McCavigan capped a fine performance as he belted over a smashing score on 51 minutes, his effort was followed by a converted Emmett Haughian 45, a point from Fergal Moore which came from good support play by Thomas Byrne and a converted free from Niall Mc Conville which brought his personal tally to 1-04 .