Tower edge past CPC to set up first ever final with St Louis

Danske Bank Mageean Cup semi-final

St Killian’s Garron Tower 1-10 Cross & Passion Ballycastle 1-7

St Killian’s College, Garron Tower are back in a Mageean Cup final for the first time since 2016 after they beat CPC in Thursday afternoon’s semi-final at Quinn Park, Ballymena.

In a hard fought and low scoring battle, that produced very little free flowing hurling, the Tower had the edge, but were never really comfortable on the scoreboard, until Orrin O’Connor grabbed their goal ten minutes from time.

For the most part the game was a shoot-out between the teams’ two free takers Joseph McLaughlin for the Tower and Roan McGarry for CPC. McLaughin had grabbed two from frees and Brogan O’Connor got the other from play as St Killian’s led by 0-3 to 0-2 after ten minutes, the CPC points coming from Roan McGarry frees.

Tiernan Heggarty celebrates after scoring CPC’s goal in the first half.

St Killian’s appeared to be getting the upper hand when McLaughlin added two more points from frees, but CPC got back into the game when a long ball into the Tower square was batted out by goalkeeper John V Morgan, The ball hit the back of Tiernan Heggarty, who by this stage was moved into full forward, and rolled over the line.

All of a sudden CPC were in front, but the Tower got back on terms just before the break when McLaughlin pointed another free to send his team level at the break on 0-6 to 1-3.

There more pointed frees by McLaughlin in the early stages of the second half gave the Tower a three point cushion, but the excellent Roan McGarry came back with two at the other end to cut the gap to a single point. A strong run through the middle by corner forward Niall Hynds ended in a goalmouth scramble ten minute from time and Orrin O’Connor was on hand for Garron Tower to fire a ground shot to the net to give his team a four point lead.

St Killian’s Patrick McIlwaine in action against CPC’s Darragh Kelly.

As it turned out it was a lead that would see them through to the end, for though Roan McGarry pulled a point back to leave just a goal between the sides, and it proved to be enough as St Killian’s held out in a tight finish to set up a first ever final between themselves St Louis next Friday night at the Dub.

St Killian’s : O O’Connor (1-0), J McLaughlin (0-9, frees), B O’Connor (0-1).

Cross & Passion: T Hegarty (1-0), R McGarry (0-5, 4 frees), B McGarry (0-1, free), R Fitzgerald (0-1).

St Killian’s: John V Morgan, Aidan McSparran, Mark McSparran, Callagh Mooney, Colla Ward, Niall Magee, Cailin Devlin, Patrick McIlwaine, Austin Birt, Cormac McKeown, Joseph McLaughlin, Orrin O’Connor, Brogan O’Connor, Callum McIlwaine, Niall Hynds

Subs: Peadar McDonnell for C McIlwaine (55), Oisín Woodhouse for B O’Connor (60 + 2)

Cross and Pasion: Eoghan Richmond, Conin Sheridan, Cathair Donnelly, Joseph Magee, Conor Donnelly, Oran Donnelly, Liam Glackin, Ronan Fitzgerald, Tiarnán Heggarty, Darragh Kelly, Ben O’Kane, Eoin McGarry, Darragh Donnelly, Roan McGarry.

Subs: Tiago McGarry for E McGarry (35), Reece Cunning for B O’Kane (37), Callum Kane blood sub for R Cunning (39-47)

Referee: Ray Matthews

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