St. Mary’s edge out Maghera in Foresters opener

Danske Bank Foresters Cup

St. Mary’s CBGS 6-05-3-09 St Pat’s Maghera

From Kevin Herron at Allen Park

St. Mary’s and St Pat’s served up a cracking game in their Foresters Cup opener at Allen Park this afternoon and it was the Glen Road side who edged home 6-05-3-09.

Played in blustery and snowy conditions it was St. Mary’s who started on the front foot – claiming the opening goal through Dubhaltach Wilson with less than a minute gone and a second through Barie Burns moments later.

A point then followed from defender Ben McCauley, but whilst St. Mary’s were making the most of their wind advantage in the opening half- Maghera couldn’t get to grips with things and hit five wides from frees in the opening 30 minutes.

They eventually hit back through Cormac Mullan’s 12th minute strike on goal– though Wilson converted a free and in the aftermath Niall Fallon struck to the net and Diarmuid Rogan added a further point as St. Mary’s led 3-03-1-00.

James Friel converted a free for Maghera in response but Adam Churchill hit St. Mary’s fourth goal of the half.

The lead would be cut before the interval as St. Pat’s battled back through superb points from Conor Murtagh and Niall Dougan.

Midfielder Calum O’Kane then burst forward and rifled the ball to the net to ensure his side trailed 4-03-2-03 at the midway point- with a strong wind advantage in the second period.

Maghera immediately closed the gap through a Niall Dougan goal within a minute of the restart and substitute Peter McCullagh then converted a free.

Diarmuid Rogan conjured up a point in response before St. Mary’s restored their two-goal lead after Barie Burns followed up on Dubhaltach Wilson’s effort which was parried by Paddy Reid.

McCullagh (free) and Conor Boyle then traded points as two-goals separated the sides midway through the second period.

Maghera would half the deficit through McCullagh- having already landed two frees since his introduction at the break- he sent three further placed balls over the bar to leave the score 5-05-3-08 with just minutes remaining.

St. Mary’s eased any worries with a sixth goal through Adam Churchill, though it came with an element of luck as Paddy Reid appeared to have batted the ball behind and over, only for it to drop to the net.

Peter McCullagh landed a further free to bring his personal tally to 0-06; though the final whistle sounded in the aftermath as St. Mary’s edged to an opening day victory in the Foresters Cup.

St. Mary’s scorers: A Churchill (2-00), B Burns (2-00), N Fallon (1-00), D Wilson (1-01, 0-01f), D Rogan (0-02), C Boyle (0-01), B McCauley (0-01).

St Pat’s Maghera scorers: J Friel (0-01f), C O’Kane (1-00), C Murtagh (0-01), C Mullan (1-00), N Dougan (1-01), P McCullagh (0-06f).

Referee: Stephen McGuigan (Slaughtneil)

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