McCollum leads St Louis to Leonard Cup glory

Danske Bank Leonard Cup Final

St Louis Ballymena 2-13 St Patrick’s Maghera 0-5

St Louis won the Danske Bank Leonard Cup for the first time when they beat St Pat’s Maghera in Monday’s final at Ahoghill. When the same team’s met six months ago in the Gallagher Cup decider the Derry school dominated from start to finish against a fancied St Louis side, but this time around the tables were turned after getting off to a good start they were in charge for most of the game and in the end they were not flattered by their fourteen point winning margin. St Pat’s had chances in the opening half when they were awarded two penalties in quick succession but Eamon Cassidy sent the first effort over the bar and had the second one saved by St Louis goalkeeper Ciaran McQuillan and what had the potential to be two goals ended as just a single point.

Ronan McCollum celebrates after scoring his team’s second goal in Monday’s Leonard Cup win over St Pat’s

After coming up short against the same opponents last season it was important for St Louis to start well and they really hit the ground running with centre forward Ronan McCollum leading the charge. He rifled in a great goal early on and added two quick points to build a platform for the win, and when St Pat’s failed to take full advantage of their two penalties the Kentullagh boys grabbed their second goal through Jack McCloskey who scrambled the ball over the line from close range. They kept on top for the remainder of the half and added a series of point to leave themselves in a commanding position at the break as they headed to the changing rooms with a ten point cushion.

Two quick points from Ronan McCollum and Jack McCloskey soon after the restart cemented their hold on the game. Adam McLaughlin, who started at centre back but was now playing on the 40, pulled a couple of points back for St Pat’s but St Louis soon stemmed the tide and got back on top again.  The scoring dried up in comparison to the first half but the Ballymena boys always had the upper hand and with man of the match McCollum keeping the scoreboard ticking over they sealed victory long before referee Darren McKeown sounded the final whistle.

St Louis goalkeeper Ciaran McQuillan saves the second St Pat’s penalrty

McQuillan was sound and secure in the St Louis goal while Kevin O’Boyle was a rock in the centre of the defence. Aodhan McGarry and Darragh Patterson held sway at midfield while up front McCollum, McGurk and McCloskey did the damage.

St Louis : Ciaran McQuillan, Conor McMullan, Fintan Brady, Daire Martin, Connor Laverty, Kevin O’Boyle, Michael Traynor, Aodhan McGarry, Darragh Patterson, Pierce Patterson, Ronan McCollum (1-9, 0-6 frees), Tom McFerran, TP McGurk (0-1), Oisin McCamphill, Jack McCloskey (1-3).

Subs : Conor Duffin for TP McGurk (46), Reece Haveron for J McCloskey (59)

St Patrick’s : Fintan O’Connell, Tiarnan McCormick, Eoin Scullion (0-1 free), Fionn McEldowney, Dara McGurk, Adam McLoughlin (0-2), Aimon Duffin, Joseph McCullagh, Jack McGroarty, Matthew Mullan, Jack Dunne, Conal Bradley, Eamon Cassidy (0-2, 0-1 pen.), Niall Barton, Oisin McNicholl

Subs : Danny Mc Dermott for O McNicholl (HT), Fionn Bradley (0-1) for C Bradley (40), Conor Coyle for M Mullan (55), Teagan Bradley for J  McCullagh (56).

Referee : Darren McDonnell (St Gall’s)

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