Danske Bank Mageean Cup semi-final
St Louis Ballymena 1-22 St Patrick’s Maghera 2-10
St Louis Ballymena qualified for their first Mageean final since 2015 when they beat St Pat’s Maghera in Wednesday’s semi-final at Ahoghill. With All Saints player Aodhán McGarry leading the line the Ballymena school were on top for most of the game against a Maghera side who were short a couple of regulars because of illness.
McGarry scored 0-13 overall, his free taking almost perfect as he sent over 0-11 from 12 attempts, while he also added 0-2 from play in a brilliant all round display.
Fionn McEldowney, who was always prominent for the Maghera side, opened the scoring with a point in the third minute, but St Louis were soon level and they went on to dominate the opening half. The struck a telling blow in the tenth minute when corner forward Padraig Martin fired home a rebound after St Pat’s keeper Conor Melaugh had done well to stop a shot from right half forward Jack McCloskey. With McGarry sending over a series of excellent points from frees St Louis pushed on and appeared to be comfortable when they went in at half time leading by 1-10 to 0-5.
St Louis looked a little complacent as the second half got underway but St Pat’s were up for the fight and each time Aodhán McGarry pointed the Derry boys came back with one of their own. When Fionn McEldowney got through for a St Pat’s goal the gap was suddenly down to five, and there were a few anxious minutes for the St Louis supporters, but the Ballymena school reacted well as the sent over six points without reply, five from McGarry and one from Ronan McCollum, to all but seal the win.
St Pat’s kept battling and a late goal which appeared to go all the way to the net from an Eoin Scullion 65, cut the gap back to seven, but again St Louis found an answer and they hit back to win by nine to set up a final meeting on Friday week with the winners of Thursday’s second semi-final between CPC and St Killian’s
St Louis: Caolán McFerran, Senan O’Boyle, Piaras Patterson, Luke McFerran, Kevin O’Boyle (0-1), Darragh Patterson, Francis McMullan, Joe McCormick (0-2), Tom McFerran (0-1), Darragh Martin, Aodhán McGarry (0-13, 11 frees), Jack McCloskey (0-3), Ronan McCollum (0-1), Seán óg Blaney, Padraig Martin (1-1).
Subs: Ryan O’Boyle for S Blaney (ht), Donal McMullan for L McFerran (49), Barry McCloskey for P Martin (54).
St Patrick’s: C Melaugh, R McGarvey, M McKenna, O McNicholl, A McLaughlin, E Scullion (1-1, frees), C McKaigue (0-1), PJ O’Kane, P McGuckian, C Gaile, F McEldowney (1-1), C Scullion, C Downey (0-7, frees), C Bradley, L Collins.
Subs: Ben Kearney for C Bradley (35), Ryan O’Kane for L Collins (53).
Referee: B Toland (Lámh Dhearg)