Heartbreak for St. Mary’s

Hogan Cup semi-final

St. Brendan’s Killarney 1-10 St. Mary’s 1-8

It was heartbreak for the boys from St. Mary’s Magherafelt and their South West contingent when they lost at the death to a good St. Brendan’s Killarney in the Hogan Cup final in Mayo yesterday.

The Derry side pushed the Kerry men all the way before secumbing in time added on to a good St. Brendan’s side in this All-Ireland Post-Primary Schools Hogan Cup semi-final.

A contribution of 1-2 from the boot of Killarney captain Cian McMahon was crucial at a windswept CCE grounds at Bekan on Saturday.

It was always going to be a tight affair between two evenly-matched teams with the strong wind making life difficult for both sets of players.

St Mary’s Magherafelt had the wind in the opening half and raced 0-3 to 0-1 in front at the end of the opening quarter thanks to points from Ryan McEldowney, Conchúir Johnston and Derry minor Niall O’Donnell. William Shine kept St Brendan’s within striking distance with two points as St. Mary’s could only manage three more of their own before half-time.

It was St Mary’s who looked to be carrying the ball well early on and holding onto possession and that appeared to frustrate their opponents.

But in the 37th-minute St Brendan’s struck for a crucial goal when a cross by Cian Foley fell to skipper Cian McMahon and he didn’t miss the target as he drilled a low shot to the St Mary’s net and suddenly it was 1-4 to 0-6. 

Within two minutes St Mary’s responded in kind when a six-man passing move ended up with full-forward Tom Shivers drilling the ball to the top corner.

Killian O’Sullivan reduced the gap to a point but two points from Benen Kelly and Joshua Cassidy saw St. Mary’s move two clear after Luke Crowley had pointed just after coming in. With ten minutes left, St Mary’s led 1-8 to 1-6.

However, St Brendan’s took over with William Shine fielding some great ball as they penned St Mary’s back. Another Crowley point and a Cian McMahon special leveled the contest as the clock ticked over the sixty minutes.

St. Brendan’s gained the upper hand in the closing stages as John Kelleher kicked them in front and Cian McMahon made sure with a mighty point from distance.

Scorers for St. Mary’s Magherafelt: T Shivers ( 1-1), C Johnston ( 0-2), R McEldowney, B Kelly, R Forbes, N O’Donnell and J Cassidy ( 0-1 each).

St. Mary’s Magherafelt: J Gribben; C Heron, N Rafferty, S Matterson; R Wallis, E McEvoy, R Forbes; L Convery, R McEldowney; B Kelly, C Johnston, J Lavery; C Quinn, T Shivers, N O’Donnell.

Subs: J Cassidy for C Quinn (45).

Referee: L Devenney (Mayo).

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