St Malachy’s seal the silverware to bridge 63 year gap

Danske Bank Casement Cup final – Ulster Colleges Senior Hurling B

St Malachy’s Belfast 1-13 St Mary’s Magherafelt 2-7

St Malachy’s won the Danske Bank Casement Cup at Quinn Park Ballymena on Wednesday evening when they saw off the stern challenge of St Mary’s Magherafelt in a hard fought and entertaining final to bring a senior hurling trophy back to the school for the first time since 1958. Driven on by star of the show and team captain Luke O’Connor, the Belfast side held off a late rally by St Mary’s to deservedly seal the title and spark scenes of great celebration.

St Marlachy’s centre forward Anthony McGarrigle fires in his team’s goal to seal the Casement Cup victory over St Mary’s Magherafelt.

St Mary’s can holds their heads high for they battled to the end. No doubt had St Malachy’s taken a fraction of their chances they would have won much easier, but St Mary’s had them worried entering the final quarter, when they reduced the gap to a single point, but O’Connor eased the nerves with some excellent scores, before centre forward Anthony McGarrigle put the icing on the cake with a superbly taken goal.

St Malachy’s held the upper hand during the opening quarter and came close to goaling in the opening seconds. The Magherafelt boys repelled that early effort but St Malachy’s hit back with points from Ronan Eager and Anthony McGarrigle inside the opening minutes.

St Mary’s settled and points from Conhuir Johnstone and Diarmuid Mulholland had them back on terms by the tenth minute, and though St Malachy’s were starting to dominate the play they were only two ahead by the first water break. (0-5 to 0-3)

St Mary’s Conhuir Johnstone in action during the Casement Cup final

Although dominating the play it looked like wasteful finishing could cost St Malachy’s dearly, and when Cargin minor football star Conhuir Johnstone broke through to fire home a great goal the fat was back in the fire.

When St Malachy’s were reduced to fourteen men just before the second half water break they began to look a little edgy, despite their territorial advantage, but Luke O’Connor settled them down with some excellently taken points, and when McGarrigle grabbed his team’s goal the victory was secured.

St Mary’s: P Kelly, J McGurk, D Young, R McCallion, T McOscar, B Kelly 1-1, N O’Donnell, S McAuley 0-1, L Burns, C Curley, D Mulholland 0-3 frees, C Johnston 1-2, 0-1 free, AJ McCann, C McKenna, J Convery

Subs: R Drain for J Convery (37),

St Malachy’s: P Rogers, E O’Hare, D Maguire, C McAlister, D Quinn, E McCartan, O Kelly, G Mac Adhaimh 0-1, L O’Connor 0-9, 7 frees, R Eager 0-1, A McGarrigle 1-2, C Killyleagh, C Walsh, C O’Connor, E Logue.

Subs: S Murray for E Logue (43)

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