Red High seal their first Mageean title with late McGrattan points

Danske Bank Mageean Cup

St Patrick’s Downpatrick 2-13 St Patrick’s Maghera 1-14

St Patrick’s Downpatrick wrote their names in the record books at the Dub on Friday night when they overcome a slow start to beat St Pat’s Maghera to collect their first ever Mageean Cup title. Five years ago ‘Red High’  were playing their hurling at a much lower level, but their rise through the ranks has been a revelation, and on Friday night the fairytale came to the perfect end by collecting the Mageean title at the first time of asking.

They appeared to be in a spot of bother when they reached the first water break without raising a flag, but once they found their feet they got up to the speed of the game. They got it back to two points by half time and had their noses in front early in the second. It was tight throughout a hard fought second half but they sealed the win with late points from Tom McGrattan.

Maghera had a chance to bring the game to extra time but were off target with two late frees, but they can count themselves unlucky, for they gave as good as they got for most of the game and just didn’t get the breaks at vital times.

Although they had plenty of possession in the opening quarter Red High just could not find the target and a goal from Conor Murtagh, two points from Shea O’Neill and a great strike from a free by team captain James Friel had them 1-3 to 0-0 to the good at the first water break.

Red High needed an early score in the second quarter at it came soon after the restart when a perfect pass from the left wing found Sean McCarthy in space and he finished with aplomb, and suddenly it was game on.

Maghera came back with points from Cormac Mullan and Callum O’Kane, and they restored their six-point lead, with a Peter McCullagh point in the 31st minute.

Downpatrick hit back well as Finn Turpin scored from long-range, and when Tom McGrattan fired over the next three points the gap was back to just two at the short whistle. (1-8 to 1-6)

Three minutes into the second half Red High got their noses in front for the first time when a Tiernan Connolly shot from distance ended up in the Maghera net.

James Friel hit back with a great point from a free and the rest of the half was nip and tuck, with Peter McCullagh keeping the Derry side in touch with three excellent points, but a Michael Dorrian point gave the Down side a one point lead at the second water break.

It was score for score during the final quarter but as the game went into added time Tom McGrattan landed the vital scores to secure the title for the boys from Downpatrick

Red High Downpatrick: P Smyth (0-1f); J Roddy, R O’Neill, D Coulter; S Mageean, D Mallon, C Leneghan; T Connolly (1-0), F Turpin (0-2); M Dorrian (0-1), L McCabe, T McGrattan (0-9, 8f); O Coulter, F MacManus, S McCarthy (1-0)

Subs: A Rogan for S McCarthy (51), F Casey for L McCabe (53)

Yellow cards: M Dorrian (42), R O’Neill (64)

St Pat’s Maghera: O McElhinney; C Shiels, A McLaughlin, S Lockhart; F McEldowney, J Friel (0-3f), D McGonigle; S McKenna, E Scullion; T McKeagney (0-2), S O’Neill (0-2), C Mullan; C Murtagh (1-0), C O’Kane (0-3f), P McCullagh (0-4)

Subs: N Barton for S O’Neill (41), O McNicholl for T McKeagney (53)

Yellow cards: S O’Neill (41), S Lockhart (59)

Referee: Colum McDonald (St Gall’s)

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