Danske Bank Nolan Cup final
St Joseph’s Newry 4-6 St Killian’s Garron Tower 3-6
By Seamus McAleenan
SIX FOOTER Adam Travers made the difference in this exciting Danske Bank Nolan Cup final in Woodlands today firing home a first half hat-trick of goals to keep a struggling St Joseph’s Newry in touch on the score-board. Then he delivered the cross for substitute Callum Bradley to score the key fourth goal ten minutes from time.
But St Killian’s contributed fully to a fine decider by producing passages of excellent football in both halves and with four minutes to the break they had built up a 2-6 to 1-0 lead with the McSparran brothers, Cormac McKeown and Joseph McLoughlin prominent.
However they lacked players to cope with the aerial presence of Travers, Ross Burns and Dara óg McCoy who all had the pace to break and cause problems to the Garron Tower rear-guard.
Although Eamon Ward tapped over an early free, Travers fired home the opening goal in the third minute after a penetrating run from Ross Burns.
St Killian’s however worked themselves back into the game with patience and five unanswered points including two from Mark McSparran and two frees from Ward.
Ward fed John V Morgan for a goal in the 20th minute and then, when Jospeh McLoughlin’s shot came back off a post, Ward took possession and crashed home a second goal for a 2-6 to 1-0 lead.
However Adam Travers mounted a great fight-back in the last few minutes of the half, shooting a point, then punching his second goal and driving home a third all in a three minute spell. With Tiernan Burns tapping over just on the whistle, the score-board now read St Killain’s 2-6 St Joseph’s 3-2.
Facing the breeze St Killian’s defended well, but their attacks were not as frequent as during the opening half.
Points from Tiernan Burns and sub Conor Osbourne edged St Joseph’s ahead, but Peadar McDonnell’s goal effort for St Killian’s was ruled out as a “square ball” before burly full-forward John V Morgan was hauled down for a penalty which Eamon Ward coolly converted.
However St Joseph’s hit back within 60 seconds, Travers going on a right wing run and his low cross was fumbled a couple of times before falling into the hands of sub Callum Bradley who blasted to the net.
St Killian’s had a lot of pressure in the time remaining, but the Newry school were tight at the back and quick on the break with Travers and Ross Burns adding insurance points.
St Joseph’s : C Higgins, J McKay, R Loughran, A Poacher, A Downey capt, D óg McCoy, R Harte, R Burns 0-1, J McGuinness, E Campbell, J Casey, R McKevitt, T Burns 0-2, D Shields, A Travers 3-2, 0-1 free.
Subs : C Bradley 1-0 for D Shields (HT), C Osbourne 0-1 for R Harte (HT).
St Killian’s : J Mitchell, C Graham, N Hynds, K McNaughton, J McNaughton, M McSparron 0-2, M Black, A McSparron, C McKeown, J McLaughlin, P McIlwaine, B O’Connor, E Ward 2-3, 1-0 pen, 0-3 frees, JV Morgan 1-0, P McDonnell 0-1.
Referee : B Toland (Lámh Dhearg)