Cross and Passion make winning start to Mageean campaign

Danske Bank Mageean Cup 

St. Marys CBGS 2-08- 0-18 Cross and Passion 

Kevin Herron reports from Quinn Park, Ballymena 

Cross and Passion got their Danske Bank Mageean Cup campaign up and running with a 0-18-2-08 win over St. Mary’s CBGS at All Saint’s Ballymena this afternoon. 

It was the first time that either side were in competitive school action for over a year and a half, since the Covid-pandemic stuck in March 2020 and brought the Foresters competition to a premature end. 

St. Mary’s opened the scoring through a converted Dubhaltach Wilson free- though Christy McGarry replied at the other end. 

Both Wilson and McGarry traded the next two scores and swapped scenarios, Wilson floating one from play and McGarry landing a free in response. 

McGarry edged his side ahead for the first time from a magnificent side-line cut, Ben O’Kane then picked out a score from range before McGarry added two further points to his tally- one from play and another converted free to move his side 0-06-0-02 to the good. 

St. Mary’s hit back on 18 minutes as full-forward Conor Hand picked up the loose ball and struck low past Criosta McAuley to leave the bare minimum separating the duo. 

Although Cross and Passion would restore their four-point advantage at the interval. Jack Colgan measured a nice effort between the large posts and talisman Christy McGarry added another two to his increasing tally to move the Ballycastle outfit 0-10-1-02 in front at the midway point. 

McGarry converted his fourth free of the afternoon inside the opening two minutes of the second-half, with Dubhaltach Wilson sending over a 65’ from range. 

The Glen Road side were then reduced to 14-men when Conor Hand hit out off the ball and referee Owen Elliott was left with little choice but to show the full-forward a red-card as his side were now firmly up against it – a man light. 

Their talisman Wilson did reduce arrears with his second free of the game and despite McGarry floating over a response, Wilson again pulled one back. 

By the second-half water break Cross and Passion had extended their lead to five, Christy McGarry added two further scores to reach double figures for the day. 

Wilson and McGarry traded points upon the resumption before a well worked move saw Diarmaid Rogan slipped in and his low drive deceived Crisota McGarry and hit the net to give St. Mary’s some renewed hope with less than ten minutes remaining. 

They couldn’t kick on any further however as Cross and Passion registered the next three scores on the bounce to regain their five-point cushion.

Christy McGarry punished two fouls with two converted frees and in-between times Tiarnan Hegarty flashed over from play. 

Back-to-back Dubhaltach Wilson free’s put a goal between the sides with time running out, but the Belfast side were unable to strike and claim a share of the spoils as Christy McGarry finished the afternoon with 0-15 to his name with his eighth converted free of the contest to ensure a winning start for his side. 

Both sides are back in action next midweek as Cross and Passion take on local rivals Garrontower, while St. Marys and St Louis Ballymena will battle it out to stay in competition. 

St. Mary’s CBGS: R Camlin, M Darragh, P Moyes, D Coleman, B McCauley, F Mervyn, P Short, E McBriarity, J Mackin, D Rogan (1-00), A Murray, D Wilson (0-08, 0-05f, 0-01 65’), C Duffy, C Hand (1-00), N McGarry. Subs: B Burns for N McGarry (HT), R McAreavey for J Mackin (HT), J Maguire for E McBriarity (36). 

Cross and Passion: C McAuley, P McAlonan, J Bakewell, C Connolly, J Colgan (0-01), R McCormick, E Boylan, B McGarry, D Kelly, C McGarry (0-15, 0-08f, 0-01 side-line), T Hegarty (0-01), B O’Kane (0-01), G McToal, O Donnelly, C Donnelly. 

Referee: Owen Elliott (All Saints, Ballymena)

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