St Galls dominate second half to claim McGuigan Cup

South Antrim McGuigan Cup Final 

St Galls 1-20-1-11 Rossa 

Kevin Herron reports from the Dub 

St Galls claimed the last domestic South Antrim silverware of 2022 with a 1-20-1-11 win over Rossa in the McGuigan Cup Final at the Dub on Sunday afternoon. 

Tom Ghee’s first half strike ensured the Milltown side held a slender lead at the break, but Dara Delaney helped himself to seven-points either side of the interval and it proved the difference in the end. 

Gregory McGreevy got St Galls off the mark with the opening point of the game and Ewan Rush would double the lead after some good work in the build-up from Aodh Mullan. 

Rossa hit back through a converted Jim Reynolds free, but Ronan Crossan and Cormac Sheehan hit successive points to give St Galls a 0-04-0-01 lead. 

The bare minimum separated the sides as Paul Close and Matt Devlin conjured up back-to-back scores, though Ewan Rush doubled his scoring tally for the half. 

St Galls opened up a three-point cushion for the second time in the half courtesy of a fine Aodh Mullan score after a burst forward. 

That lead would diminish though as Rossa hit four-points without reply to lead for the first time. 

Christopher McDonnell sent over a delightful, angled point and then Callum McVeigh got on the end of a Micky Kettle free and swung over a point. 

Jim Reynolds tied things up with his second converted free and the Shaws Road outfit led for the first time when Paul Close popped over his second score of the half. 

St Galls would hit straight back at the other end and restore their lead on 24 minutes with Tom Ghee sending a low shot past Conor Rocks to give his side a 1-06-0-07 advantage. 

Tom Ghee fires in the opening goal of the game

Reynolds closed the deficit with his third free of the contest, but at the other end Dara Delaney scored from the same scenario. 

A single-point would separate the sides at the interval as Jim Reynolds landed a 65’ with the final act of the half to leave his side trailing 1-07-0-09. 

St Galls extended their lead moments after the restart as Dara Delaney sent a 65’ between the posts. 

Delaney would convert his second free of the game to bring his personal tally to 0-03 with Chris McDonnell responding at the other end to narrow the gap. 

St Galls three-point lead was restored with Dara Delaney notching his fourth point on the spin, either side of the break. 

First half substitute Kieran McGourty got in on the act and the Milltown outfit were on a roll with Patrick Friel sending successive points over the bar from range to open up a 1-13-0-10 lead. 

Dara Delaney and Jim Reynolds traded frees and after Kieran McGourty doubled his personal tally, Delaney sent over his fourth and later fifth free. 

Conor O’Neill fires home a consolation goal for Rossa

The gap stood at nine-points, but Rossa claimed a consolation goal late-on, Jim Reynolds laid the ball off to Kevin McDonnell- who in turn found Conor O’Neill to hammer to the net and make it 1-17-1-11. 

St Galls finished strong though with Daniel Churchill dropping over two-points from play and fellow substitute Aidan McDonagh converting a free as their side ran out 1-20-1-11 winners at the conclusion to claim the 2022 McGuigan Cup. 

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