St. Louis win despite second half rally from Rathmore

McLarnon Cup Group stages

St. Louis 1-10 Rathmore Grammar 1-05

St. Louis Ballymena recorded an opening day win despite a second half rally from Rathmore Grammar at Quinn Park, Ballymena today in the opening game of the Group stages of the McLarnon Cup. The Ballymena College led from start to finish and were well on their way to victory when they led by 1-6 to 0-1 at half time.

Their goal came from Conan McAuley after20 minutes when he was on hand to finish to the net after Rathmore keeper, Sonny Doyle pulled off a good save from Hugh O’Donnell with the ball breaking favourably to the lurking McAuley.

Barry McCloskey had opened the scoring from a close range free in the opening minute and Hugh O’Donnell and Conor McKenna added two more before McAuley’s goal put St. Louis in a fairly comfortable position.

The home defence coped well with everything that Rathmore could put to them and recycled the ball and countered well but a series of poor misses kept the Belfast college in with a shout though it was hard to see where their scores were going to come from.

They finally opened their account through a 30 meter free from their best forward, Fiontan O’Boyle in the 30th minute by which time a dominant St. Louis had increased their lead through Conor McKenna and McAuley to lead by 8 at the half way stage.

Rathmore made a couple of changes and made a strong start to the second half with Oscar Conlon marking his introduction with a point and when Fiontan O’Boyle pointed his second free of the game in the 6th minute the Belfast side were threatening to make a game of it.

They flattered to deceive however as St. Louis reasserted their authority on matters and a strong run from Barry McCloskey saw Paul Boyle come close to finishing to the net but McCloskey’s pass was just out of reach.

St. Louis came back with excellent points from Ryan McNeill and Darra Martin and looked to have matters sewn up with ten minutes remaining but Rathmore were beginning to enjoy a bit of success with Rory Grant and Thomas Lloyd driving them on from mid-field.

The visitors scored 1-2 during the closing stages with Michael Morgan coming off the bench and scoring 1-1 while Fiontan O’Boyle brought his total for the day to 0-4 with the other point but two points in reply from substitute Shea O’Brion saw the Ballymena side home with five to spare.

St. Louis: 1 James McLaughlin, 2 Caoimhin Kennedy, 3 Conor Higgins, 4 Dara Martin, 5 Joe McCormick, 6 Aodhan McGarry, 7 Shane Martin, 8 Conor McKenna, 9 Cormac Mullan, 10 Kevin McCann, 11 Conan McAuley, 12 Cal O’Brien, 13 Barry McCloskey, 14 Paul Boyle, 15 Hugh O’Donnell. Subs Shea OBroin came on for Paul OBoyle Senan OBoyle for Conan McAuley Archie McGreevey for Cormac McMullan Darach Bradley for Dara Martin Conor Bresnahan for Conor Higgins

Rathmore: 1 Sonny Doyle, 2 Emmet McCloy, 3 Ronan Arthurs, 4 Sean Lavery, 5 Conall Devlin, 6 Deaglan Mooney, 7 Donncha McGurk, 8 Rory Grant, 9 Thomas Lloyd, 10 Cormac Blaney, 11 Fiontan O’Boyle, 12 James Close, 13 Rory McErlean, 14 Conor Logue, 15 Eoin Campbell

Referee: Richie Leahy (Naomh Comhghall)

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