St Louis won their first Mageean Cup in 1988

1988-1989 Mageean Cup
Final played on Saturday October 29th 1989 in Glenariffe

St Louis Ballymena 7-11 St Mary’s CBGS Belfast 1-0
THERE probably has not a more emphatic first time win for a school than that achieved by St Louis Ballymena over three-in-a-row chasing St Mary’s in Glenariffe as the competition reverted to an autumn schedule.
While they were dominant almost from the throw-in St Louis did not take command of the tie until almost 20 minutes in when Loughgiel’s Garry McCollam hit the first of his five goals. The corner-forward had scored two more goals before the break and Brian Gillan, also from Loughgiel, in the other corner added four points to turn the teams around on a 3-5 to 0-0 score-line.

Fr Alex McMullan presents the Mageean Cup to St Louis captain Declan Heggarty after his team’s win over St Mary’s CBGS in the 1988 final in Glenariffe.

St Mary’s were already a player down when Gaeil Uladh referee Tom Donnelly produced the first of three red cards just before the break but their cause was already lost despite stubborn resistance from captain Terry Grego, Hilary McDaniel and Declan Barr.
When the sides met in the league section earlier in the competition, the Glen Road side had come from eight points down to snatch victory. Now numerically disadvantaged they never really got going in this game and within 20 seconds of the re-start a goal from Niall Gillan killed off the game.
Gillan and McCollam added further goals while Ronan Boyle netted a late consolation score for the Belfast side only for McCollam to bring his personal tally to 5-4 with the last goal in the next attack.
As in the semi-final win over St MacNissi’s Garron Tower in which Brian Gillan was the scoring hero with a hat-trick of goals, St Louis’ success was built on a strong defensive unit in which captain Declan Heggarty and Glenravel’s Kevin McCann excelled in the central positions. Others to the fore were Connor Connolly, Dermot Fyfe, Tony McAuley, James McMullan and Kieran Quigley.

The St Louis team who won the Mageean Cup in 1988 Pic by John McIlwaine

Brothers Brian (0-5) and Niall Gillan (2-0) had done much to secure a first ever title for St Louis – just as their father Dan and his brother Tom – had been scoring stars when St MacNissi’s Garron Tower won their first ever title 36 years earlier.
Declan Heggarty’s father, John, had also a decisive part to play in Mageean Cup finals during the previous decade. John was one of Antrim’s top referees and Mageean Cup finals featured as regularly as Antrim senior finals on his schedule.
Meanwhile defender Adrian Quinn was to return to St Louis as a teacher and coach hurling, football and even camogie teams in later years.
On that other hand Declan Barr was not able to add to his family collection of medals. Brother Mark had been a winning captain of a team that featured another brother Ciarán. A couple of weeks after this final Ciarán would be named as Ulster’s first hurling All-star and the following year lead Antrim to the All-Ireland final.

St Louis : Gerald McGrath, Adrian Quinn, Declan Heggarty (capt), Trevor McKeown, Conor Connolly, Kevin McCann (0-2), Dermot Fyfe, Tony McAuley, Ciarán Kearney, Kieran Quigley, James McMullan, Brian Gillan (0-5), Garry McCollam (5-4), Julian McGale, Niall Gillan (2-0).
Sub used : Neil McCann, Gary O’Neill, Paddy Hamill, Ciaran Richmond and Gerard Kelly

St Mary’s CBGS : Michael Kennedy, Ciarán McCartney, Hilary McDaniel, Paul McDowell, Damian Linton, Terry Grego (capt), Denis Kearney, Charlie McLarnon, Colm McGuinness, Kevin McKernan, Jimmy Wilson, Patrick Dobbin, Eugene Farley, Declan Barr, Donal Kennedy.

Sub used : Ronan Boyle (1-0)

Referee : Tom Donnelly (Gaeil Uladh)

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