JAY BURNS, ST. MARY’S FIRES HOME THE FIRST OF HIS FOUR GOALS AGAINST ST LOUIS AT THE VALLEY LEISURE CENTRE TODAY
Ulster College’s Leonard Cup
St. Mary’s 12-11 St. Louis 3-4
Despite a one sided victory for the Glen Road college, St. Louis Ballymena and Thursday’s opponents, St. Mary’s CBGS advanced to the semi-finals of the Leonard Cup following this very one sided game at Valley Leisure centre today. St. Mary’s went into this game as odds on favourites against a St. Louis side fielding quite a number of second years but the Kintullagh side made a bright opening against their bigger and more powerful opponents.
Their number 14 Cola McDonnell looked very impressive during the opening exchanges as he fired the Ballymena college into a 0-4 to 0-1 lead and there was little indication at this stage of what was to follow. St. Mary’s settled into the game however and despite losing a player to a red card offence at the end of the opening quarter, they were soon to take control.
And it was St. Mary’s Number 14, Jay Burns who was eventually to prove the star performer of the game finishing with an impressive 4-5 of his side’s total as the Belfast college went on to lead 6-6 to 0-4 at the short whistle.
There was little indication of what was to follow when Burns got his first in the 17th minute but when Mick McDade followed with another and Burns hit his second within minutes the balance of play had swung very much in favour of St. Mary’s.
The dismissal of Caolan Duffin for a bad pull on Rory McCluskey did little to help St. Louis cause as 14 men St. Mary’s continued to press forward with Jay Burns running rampant. Burns was unstoppable, bringing his personal tally for the first half to 4-3 with Niall Fallon getting the other two goals.
There was no respite for the Kintullagh side after the break though they kept plugging away and fought to the final whistle against impossible odds. Eoin Trainor, Marcus Toner, Jay Burns and Toner again hit early second half points before Liam Carr and Mick McDade struck with goals to open up a massive 30 point gap.
Rory Hunter, Conor Sullivan and Liam Carr (2-0), brought the goal tally to 12 as St. Mary’s emptied their bench and in the closing stages St. Louis did enjoy some reward for their efforts when Colla McDonnell struck a hat-trick of goals and indeed the Ahoghill youngster might have had another but had his penalty shot saved by Aodh Mullan.
St. Mary’s are a strong side and look favourites to go on and claim the Leonard Cup. Paul McLaughlin and Daniel Murray were strong at the heart of a solid defence with Ruairi Murray and Eoin Trainor dominant at mid-field. Jay Burns was the star of the side at full forward finishing with 4-5 while Liam Carr, Niall Fallon and Mick McDade were others to shine in a very potent attack.
St. Louis were well beaten in the end and were giving away a lot of height and age difference in a lot of positions but kept going to the end. Rory McCluskey, Aodhan McGarry, Finn Henry and Daire McMullan did all in their power to stem the St. Mary’s tide in defence while Colla McDonnell was their top forward getting all his sides scores while Connall McCloskey and Ronan McCollum were others to catch the eye.
1-Aodh Mullan 2-Dubhltach Wilson 3-Paul McLaughlin 4-Aaron Carey 5-Dylan Magee 6-Daniel Murray 7-Caolan Duffin 8-Ruairi Murray 9-Eoin Trainor 10-Marcus Toner 12-Liam Carr 16-Niall Fallon 13 Conall McCabe 14-Jay Burns 15-Michael McDade Subs: 17-Ruairi Hunter 18-Dairmud Rogan 19-Ciaran McShane 21-Barry Heggarty 22-Conor Sullivan 23-James Devlin 24-Antoin McLaughlin
St. Louis: 1.Callun Mullan 2.Aodhan McGarry 3.Rory McCloskey 4.Finn Henry 5. Joel Dudley 6. Daire McMullan 7. Conor Dickson 8. Ronan McKillop 9. Paudie McGilligan 10. Ryan Mort 11. Patrick Dougan 12 . Conall McCloskey 13. Ronan McCollum 14 Colla McDonnell 15. Eoin McFerran.
Referee: Brendan Toland (Lamh Dhearg)