Gaelfast Year 8 Antrim Cup Final
Cross and Passion 6-11-4-07 St. Mary’s
Kevin Herron reports from Dunsilly
Cross and Passion were crowned the first Champions of the Year 8 Gaelfast Antrim Cup after defeating St. Mary’s 6-11-4-07 in Wednesday afternoons decider at Dunsilly.
Lorcan Murtagh popped over the opening score for Cross and Passion and they were first to find the net through a low Padai O’Kane shot that snuck past Daniel Robb in the St. Mary’s goal.
A point from Padraig Kelly got St. Mary’s up and running, though Cahir McCloskey swung a shot over to re-establish his sides four-point lead.
St. Mary’s briefly turned the game around and lead for the first time. Jude Gamble burst forward and laid the ball off to Padraig Kelly, his low shot was parried by Ciaran Hennessey and Sean McMullan was on hand to profit and flick the loose ball home.
It lifted the Glen Road outfit and McMullan doubled his and St. Mary’s personal tally, bundling home from Conan Mulligan’s cross to give his side a 2-01-1-02 lead.
Back-to-back points from Murtagh and O’Kane restored parity, but St. Mary’s regained the lead through a Tomas Trainor point.
Cross and Passion hit the front again before the break and in truth didn’t look back. Aodhan Barr Laverty struck his sides second of the afternoon and three points followed before the break courtesy of Padai O’Kane (free), Cahir McCloskey and Ronan Elliott to ensure their side were 2-07-2-02 ahead at the break.
The game was settled early in the second period as quickfire goals from Lorcan Murtagh and Ronan Elliott opened up an 11-point cushion.
Conan Mulligan responded for St. Mary’s to open their second half account, though Cross and Passion extended their lead.
O’Kane converted his second free of the afternoon and then Cahir McCloskey dropped an angled shot over Robb and into the net to give his side a 5-08-2-03 advantage.
Jude Gamble attempted to pull a goal back- though his effort was deflected over for a point and Daire Gault added a second score in quick succession.
St. Mary’s were pursuit of a goal provided further frustration with Ciaran Hennessey denying Sean McMullan, before Padraig Kelly eventually rifled to the net to give his side something to build upon.
McCloskey and Tomas McCaughey traded points and although Cross and Passion extended their lead through an Elliott score, St. Mary’s netted their second goal of the half.
Padraig Kelly dropped a ball in and Sean McMullan gathered before picking his spot and securing his hat-trick to make it 5-10-3-06.
If the game wasn’t already beyond doubt it was when substitute Fergus McAuley blasted home his sides sixth of the afternoon to ensure double figures separated the duo once more.
Padai O’Kane converted a further free before the game was out and St. Mary’s almost had a late consolation goal- though had to settle for a point instead as Gault’s effort was deflected over the bar.
Gault’s score was the last meaningful action as Cross and Passion ran out deserving winners at the conclusion to ensure they were the first name of the Year 8 Antrim Cup.