St Killian’s book place in McNamee final

Danske Bank MacNamee Cup semi-final

St Killian’s Garron Tower 2-12 Cross and Passion Ballycastle 1-4

Holders St Killian’s Garron Tower have reached the Danske Bank MacNamee Cup final for the fifth time in six attempts after yesterday afternoon’s semi-final in Cushendun that was a lot more competitive than the final scoreline suggests.

St Killian’s started with the aid of a strong breeze blowing straight down the pitch into the sea and Orrin O’Connor fired over an opening point after two minutes. Five minutes later Joseph McLoughlin cleverly dummied a shot to turn on his other side and shoot to the Cross and Passion net.

However Ballycastle were set up fairly well defensively during that opening half and there were no further goal chances for the Tower although they did hit the next seven points, three of them from McLaughlin frees, before CPC got off the mark in the 22ndminute.

Conor Donnelly ran at the left side of the St Killian’s defence and then lobbed goalie John Mitchel for a goal. A couple of minutes later Tiago McGarry added a point from a free to put his side back in contention, with the breeze to come in the second half.

EA7I9309St Killian’s Niall Hynds in action against CPC’s Gavin McToal during Monday’s McNamee Cup semi-final in Cushendun

Ciaran McCarry fired over a point inside 15 seconds of the re-start and Tiago McGarry a second less than two minutes later. However the Tower half-backs, midfield and half-forwards crowded the middle third and held them scoreless for the next 15 minutes while Peadar McDonnell and Joseph McLaughlin (free) cancelled out that great start.

Mark Christie needed to save sharply from Oran McCambridge just before McGarry narrowed the gap again. But time ran out on Ballycastle and a minute into injury-time Oran McCambridge walked the sliotar over the line to seal victory.

The second semi-final is in De La Salle Park, Milltown at 1.30pm today Tuesday between St Mary’s CBGS and Our Lady’s and St Patrick’s Knock.

St Killian’s : John Mitchell, Niall Magee, Niall Hynds, Cathan Graham, Cailin Devlin, Stephen McAuley, Austin Birt, Cormac McKeown (0-1), Callum McIlwaine, Peadar McDonnell (0-1), Orrin O’Connor (0-1), Charlie McAuley, Joseph McLaughlin (1-7, 0-6 frees), Phelim Ward (0-1), Oisin Woodhouse (0-1).

Subs : Oran McCambridge (1-0) for P Ward (39), Callagh Mooney for O Woodhouse (52).

Cross and Passion : Mark Christie, Conor Mort, Ronan McLaughlin, Ryan Watson, Oisin Healy, Ben McGarry, Charlie O’Hagan, Cahir Donnelly, Darragh Kelly, Tiago McGarry (0-3, 0-2 frees), Ben O’Kane, Dara Donnelly, Conor Donnelly (1-0), Ciaran McCarry (0-1), Gavin McToal

Subs : Eoin McGarry for R Watson (HT), Callum Kane for C McCarry (50).

Referee : Vincent Boyle (Dunloy)

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Pics by John McIlwaine

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