Con Magees edge out Stinson’s in thrilling final

Doherty Woodshavings Breslin Cup Final – South West Antrim Under-16 Football Championship

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Con Magees Eoin Hynds celebrates his team’s win over Sean Stinson’s in the Breslin Cup final at Slemish Park, Ballymena

Con Magees Glenravel 1-11 Sean Stinsons 1-8

Con Magees Glenravel won the Breslin Cup for the first time when they beat a very good Sean Stinson’s side before a large crowd at Slemish Park, Ballymena. Brilliantly led by their star man Sean McKay the Glenravel boys led by 1-6 to 0-4 at half time, after playing with the aid of a fresh breeze. Despite their five point lead they knew that they faced a tough task in the second half if they were to get their hands on the silverware, and so it proved as Stinson’s clawed their way back into contention, boosted by a goal by full-forward John O’Kane. With the lead down to the minimum with ten minutes still to play the game could have gone either way but the boys in green sealed the win with two late points from the Hynds brothers Cathal and Eoin.

With the breeze at their backs Con Magees dominated the early exchanges and two pointed frees by Eoin Hynds had them two clear after three minutes. Sean Stinson’s were finding it hard to get out of their own half but when they did they showed what a talented forward line they had and two excellent points from Conor Paul Crossey and Colla McDonnell had them level by the fifth minute. Con Magees when back in front when right-half forward Rian Lennon struck a great point from a free thirty five metres out on the right and they went two clear again in the twelfth minute when Lennon (who was a member of the Co. Antrim team who had won the Super Cup Junior tournament two days previous) added another, this time from nearly forty metres. An exchange of points from Stinson’s Aidan McAleese and Glenravel’s Sean McKay kept the gap at two and that is how it remained as Glenravel’s Eoin Hynds and Stinson’s Conor Marron swopped scores in the 21st and 22nd minutes. With half time fast approaching it was clear Glenravel would need more that a two point cushion going in the half time and the got the break they needed in the twenty-fourth minute when Sean McKay combined with full forward Callum Higgins to find the Stinson’s net. They could have had another one just minutes later when the same two combined by a great smothering save at the feet of Higgins by Stinson’s ‘keeper Daniel McNicholl kept his team in contention at the break.

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When the Con Magees grabbed the first score of the second half through centre back Declan McAuley the Stinson’s task was even more difficult, but they never panicked and two quick points from centre back Ruairi MGuigan and the excellent Colla McDonnell brought them right back into contention. A McKay point eased the pressure on the Con Magees, but the game was back in the melting pot when full forward rose high in the Glenravel square to palm the ball to the net and cut the gap back to just two. Both teams missed chances as the slippery underfoot conditions left shooting difficult. The exciting was heart stopping as the Ahoghill-Portglenone combination cut their deficit to a single point, and they could well have levelled the game on a couple of occasions only to see good chances slip wide of the target. A resolute Glenravel defence were throwing everything at the ball to keep their opponents at bay as the game entered injury time and there was great relief for their fans when the Hynds brothers grabbed two late points to seal the win.

Con Magees

Rory McCloskey, Rory Watson, Sean McCusker, Jude Scullion, Declan McCloskey, Declan McAuley, Cathal Hynds, Christopher Laverty, Shane O’Boyle, Eoin Hynds, Rian Lennon, Daragh Donaghy, Conor McAuley, Callum Higgins, Sean McKay.

Sean Stinson’s

Daniel McNicholl, James Lennon, Kevin O’Kane, Ruairi McAleese, Patrick Dougan, Ruairi McGuigan, Conor Marron, Oisin Doherty, Conor McGarry, Jack McAleese, Conor Paul Crossey, Ruairi Hagan, Colla McDonnell, John O’Kane, Aidan McAleese.

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