St Killian’s defend their title against St Mary’s in Randalstown

Danske Bank MacNamee Cup final

Thursday, 1.45pm in Randalstown

St Killian’s Garron Tower v St Mary’s CBGS Belfast

WHEN St Killian’s Garron Tower met St Mary’s CBGS more than a month ago in the first game of the Danske Bank MacNamee Cup, the north Antrim school won by 2-8 to 1-4.

St Killian’s, the holders, have remained unbeaten for the remainder of the competition, seeing off their neighbours Cross and Passion Ballycastle in a closer semi-final that the 2-12 to 1-4 score-line suggests.

Their second goal, from sub Odhrán McCambridge, came in the last minute of injury time and they scored just three points, two from Joseph McLaughlin frees, during the second half.

McLaughlin however with 1-7 to his name was a key player for the Tower and he is one of six survivors from last year’s derby final win over St Louis Ballymena.

The others are Cathan Graham and Cailin Devlin in defence, Cormac McKeown at midfield and Orrin O’Connor and Phelim Ward with Oisin Woodhouse making an appearance as substitute.

These are the key players in this season’s push for a fourth title in six attempts, although players like Stephen McAuley and Niall Hynds have stepped into central roles in defence to great effect.

St Mary’s recovered well from that early set back and wins over St Louis Ballymena, St Patrick’s Maghera and, on Tuesday, Our Lady’s and St Patrick’s Knock have taken them back into a showdown with St Killian’s.

The form of their three Davitt’s defenders Conor Corr, Odhran Cosgrove and Caoimhin Rainey has been a feature of that run, while Enda McGurk did very well at the back as well against Knock.

James Wilson and Michael Darragh have gelled well at midfield while Fionn Jemfrey and Cormac Austin are the key men up front.

The holders will be favourites to retain the title given the result between the teams at the start of the campaign. But St Mary’s have improved a lot and they could well upset the odds.

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

Subs : Odhran McCambridge, Callagh Mooney, Eamon Ward, Oisin Mort, Thomas McLaughlin, James Kearney, Cahir McNaughton, Colla Ward,Daniel Douthart, John Scullion, Joseph McKay, Aodhan Campbell, Alex McCambridge, Fintan McKillop

St Mary’s CBGS : Joshua Southern, Enda McGurk, Odhran Cosgrove, Conor Corr, Michael Marlow, Cormac Austin, Caoimhin Rainey, Michael Darragh, James Wilson, Daire Cunningham, Fionn Jemfrey, James Duffy, Niall May, Gareth McBurney-Heggarty, Lorcan McCallin

Subs : Eoin Mullan, Fiacra Clennaghan, Callum Fegan Lappin, Sean Bellew, Jude Collins, Connall Shortt, Shea O’Connor, Ruari McDonagh, Ben Crawford, Shea Cunningham, Aaron Mackle, Oisin Brown, Cormac Barnes, Fintan McKinney, Conall McGarry, Patrick Graham

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