Ulster Colleges Year 8 Hurling Blitz
A goal just seconds from the end of Friday’s Ulster Colleges Year 8 Hurling blitz final saw St Louis snatch victory over St Killian’s at Slemish Park, Ballymena. Just a minute earlier it looked like St Killian’s had grabbed the winner when Mark McSparran had fired in a brilliant goal to his team the lead for the first time but with the cheers still ringing in their ears right half forward Dara Martin rescued the game for St Louis with an equally good goal at the other end.
In a busy day’s hurling St Louis, St Killian’s CPC Ballycastle, St Mary’s Belfast and St Pat’s Maghera all played each other in a round robin qualifiers. When the dust settled St Louis were through to face CPC in the semi-finals and with the strong breeze at their backs in the first half they raced to a 1-4 to 0-0 half time lead, the goal coming from joint team captain Ronan McCollum. CPC created a few chances in the second half but not breach the St Louis defence while their forwards added two more points to seal a final place.
In the other semi-final again made good use of the first half breeze as they pulled clear of St Pat’s and while they came under a lot of pressure in the second half they held out safely to book their place in the final with a 2-4 to 1-1 victory.
In the final St Louis again had wind advantage in the opening half and they made the perfect start when Darragh Patterson struck a great goal within thirty seconds of the start. Soon afterwards stylish midfielder Tom McFerran cleverly steered a ball past the St Killian’s goalkeeper to help his team to a 2-0 to 0-1 half time advantage, despite having lost Ronan McCollum through injury. In the second half St Killian’s came storming back and a goal and a point from Brogan O’connor
left them trailing by just a single point. The St Killian’s supporters must have felt they had sealed the win when McSparran hit his great goal in the final minute, but there was enough time for one more attack for St Louis and young Tir naOg forward Dara Martin made good use of the chance to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat