St Colm’s prove too strong for La Salle in Mallon Shield final


St Colm’s Draperstown 2-12  De La Salle 1-1

La Salle found St Colm’s Draperstown too hot to handle in Wednesday’s Brother Mallon Shield Final in perfect underfoot conditions at Slemsh Park, Ballymena.

Right from the throw-in, the Derry side were in control.  With the breeze at their back Eoin Donnelly led the Draperstown charge, but they were wasteful.

La Salle had an accomplished goalkeeper in Conor Connolly who batted away two dangerous high balls in the opening stages.

Akhmad Soda, Michael Walsh and Tiarnan Auld defended well against the constant pressure with Thomas Duff trying to get the ball past a strong St Colm’s midfield diamond.

The pressure eventually told when Donnelly opened the scoring with a long range point in the sixth minute.

Donnelly turned provider for St Colm’s first goal, with nippy corner forward John Boyle poking to the back of the net.

Joe McKenna, Conan Bradey and Aodhan McCallion kept the pressure on and St Colm’s had 1-6 on the board.

With seven minutes to the break La Salle got their first score.  It was strong defending from Soda and Duff that cut down a St Colm’s attack.  On the breakaway Sean Bunce slotted to the net with a convincing finish, but it was the Derry men who led 1-8 to 1-0 at the break.

La Salle had the breeze and were playing down the hill.  They needed to make the third quarter count, but Aodhan McCallion hit a first St Colm’s score to maintain their momentum.

McCallion added a goal in the sixth minute to put the game out of reach.  Daniel Smyth popped over a free but McCallion, Donnelly and substitute Kieran Hasson added scores as St Colm’s ran out comfortable winners.

La Salle Belfast: Conor Connolly, Akhmad Soda, Michael Walsh, Tiarnan Auld, Ciaran Boyd, Oisin Coleman, Thomas Duff, Pearse McCashin, Daniel Smyth (0-1f), Sean Munce (1-0), Michael Johnston, Liam Walsh, Daniel Walsh, Conal McGuigan, Donall Gray.

Subs: Cormac Austin, Shea Fagan, Aidan McCague, Ciaran McLaughlin, Patrick McClenaghan, Callum Murray, Kieran Greive, Pearse Maguire.

St Colm’s Draperstown: Ben O’Connor, Riain O’Hagan, Eoghan McNicholl, Caolan Fullerton, Kevan Donnelly, Conor Shiels (0-1), Joe McKenna (0-1), Marc Wilson (0-1), Eoin Donnelly (0-3), Jamie Lee McGlade, Aodhan McCallion (1-4, 1f), Conan Bradley (0-1), Conor Boyle, Fergal Bradley, John Boyle (1-0).

Subs: Andrew McBride, Sean Donnelly, Aaron McKenna, Joseph McCullagh, Jack Kelly, James McDaid, Shea McAllister, Ben McWilliams, Lorcan Bradley, Kieran Hasson (0-1), Patrick Higgins, Michael McKenna, Johnny McDaid.

Referee: Fergal Hurley (Derry)

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Pics by John McIlwaine



CPC win historic shoot-out to take Thompson Cup

Danske Bank Thompson Cup – Ulster Colleges Hurling – Year 8

Cross & Passion 3-5 St Killian’s College 2-8 (after two periods of extra time)

By John ‘Curly’ McIlwaine

History was made today at Slemish Park Ballymena when Cross & Passion College beat St Killian’s College Garron Tower in a shoot-out at the end of a brilliant day’s hurling in the Year 8 Thompson Cup blitz. Two great sides could not be separated at the end of ten minutes each way normal time, and again at the end of five minutes each way extra time, and so for the first time in the Thompson Cup competition (and to the best of my knowledge in any colleges hurling competition) it was decided on frees – with three free takers on each side taking shots from the 45 metre line).

A lot of pressure on young shoulders, especially after a hard tournament that had started four hours earlier, but that was the rules of the competition and so it had to be decided. CPC emerged winners after two of their free takers Tiago McGarry and Dara Kelly hit the target, in reply to one by St Killian’s Phelim Ward to spark scenes of great celebration on the CPC ranks, and total devastation for St Killian’s.14Oisin Woodhouse celebrates after scoring St Killian’s opening goal.

The final itself was a classic game (played ten minutes each way) with seldom more than a puc of the ball separating the teams. St Killian’t took the lead inside thirty second when a great solo run by Joseph McLaughlin created the opening for Oisin Woodhouse to fire home a goal from close range. CPC came back with a point from a Tiago McGarry free, following a foul on Dara Kelly, and Kelly himself closed the gap to the minimum with a fine solo score, struck left sided on the run. A minute before the half time whistle St Killian’s opened the gap to two with a pointed free from McLaughlin, but Kelly left the minimum between them yet again with the last action of the opening period.

When St Killian’s Peadar McDonnell deflected a long delivery to the CPC net early in the second half, and followed it with an excellent point from play soon afterwards, the Tower were five clear and seemingly in command. However a great goal by Gavin McToal, following a clever pass from Ben O’Kane revived the CPC fortunes, and when Tiago McGarry converted another free the gap was back to one. St Killian’s hit back with two fine points from Peadar McDonnell and Cormac Keown to move three ahead with just two minutes left for play, but they were pegged back in the final minute when Ben O’Kane fired in the equalising goal for CPC to bring the game to extra time.

Two five minute periods of extra-time were called and once again St Killian’s started better with two points from Oran O’Connor and Joseph McLaughlin, before Tiago McGarry pulled one back for CPC just before the break. Joseph McLaughlin increased the St Killian’s lead to two again with a pointed free soon after the restart before centre forward Ben O’Kane grabbed his second goal of the game to give CPC the lead for the first time in the match. It looked like the Ballycastle school had done enough, but in the final minute of extra Joseph McLaughlin sent a 65 high and true between the CPC posts to set up the historic shoot-out.

Overall six teams took part in the competition with two groups of three playing in a round-robin format. In the quarter finals St Pat’s Maghera beat St Mary’s Belfast, while Our Lady & St Patrick’s Knock got the better of St Louis Ballymena in the other game.

In the semi-finals CPC, whose results in the round-robin had put them into the semis, beat St Pat’s Pat’s while St Killian’s staged a great second half comeback to beat Knock.

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Cross & Passion

  1. Mark Christie
  2. Eoghan McGarry
  3. Kevin McLaughlin
  4. 4 Ryan Watson
  5. Conor Mort
  6. Ben McGarry
  7. Charlie O’Hagan
  8. Tiago McGarry
  9. Owen Healy
  10. Dara Kelly
  11. Ben O’Kane
  12. Cathair Donnelly
  13. Eoghan Richmond
  14. Kieran McGarry
  15. Gavin McToal                                                                                                                          Subs – Paddy Boyd, James Hanna, Ronan Casey, Charley Douthart, Eoin McKinley, Danny McAuley, Aaron McFerran, Eddie McCaughan

St Killian’s

  1. John Mitchell
  2. Cathan Graham
  3. Stephen McAuley
  4. Eammon Ward
  5. Niall Hynds
  6. Cailin Devlin
  7. Austin Birt
  8. Niall Magee
  9. Cormac McKeown
  10. Phelim Ward
  11. Orrin O’Connor
  12. Joseph McLaughlin
  13. Niall Dickson
  14. Peadar McDonnell
  15. Oisin Woodhouse
  16. Joe Leech
  17. Oisin Mort
  18. Tommy Glanville
  19. John McAllister
  20. Duncan McMullan
  21. Cormac Laverty
  22. Thomas McKeowan
  23. Aran McCloskey
  24. Lucas Bruxelles
  25. James McKeegan


Maghera seal the deal with late McDermott goal

Danske Bank Gallagher Cup final

St Patrick’s Maghera 4-15 St Mary’s CBGS Belfast 4-6

By Seamus McAleenan

WITH just three minutes left on the clock in this Danske Bank Gallagher Cup final in Ballymena yesterday afternoon, a shock looked on the cards.

St Patrick’s Maghera seemed to be the dominant team from the start, but they simply couldn’t shake off the St Mary’s CBGS challenge and hadn’t scored since the 49th minute when Peter McCullagh’s long range free made it 3-13 to 4-6.

Maghera were wasting chances and it looked as if the Glen Road boys could break away and grab a goal.

However Shea McKenna eventually broke the deadlock with a neat point to which Thomas McKeagney added another on the next attack and Jody McDermott iced the cake when he took a pass from Callum Murray to crash to the net.

Overall Maghera were the better team with a strong half-back line and midfield, while sub McDermott was a huge threat up front. 4-15 is a decent total, but they also amassed 13 wides

St Mary’s managed to stay in touch through sheer tenacity at the back where Ben McAuley and Finn Mervyn worked hard to stem the flow. Conor Boyle had a good game at midfield and Niall Fallon was very sharp when he got the chance up front.

12Niall Fallon celebrates scoring the third of his three goals in Monday’s Gallagher Cup final against St Pat’s Maghera. Pic by John McIlwaine

Maghera were competition favourites and started strongly with a Conor Murray goal tucked into a three points’ salvo from excellent midfielder Peter McCullagh. St Pat’s were in total control with the Belfast boys not offering any threat until they suddenly sprung to life two brilliant goals from Niall Fallon and Niall McGarry in the 12th and 14th minutes, scores which saw them draw level.

McCullagh however replied with a second Maghera goal, his long free half-blocked down in the St Mary’s area, but ending up in the net. Although Niall Fallon responded with a very good point, the rest of the opening half belonged to Maghera with sub Jody McDermott and centre-back Raymond Dillon firing over two points each and the Derry boys turned over with a 2-10 to 2-1 lead.

The sides exchanged two points each in the opening ten minutes of the second half, before Niall Fallon fired home two goals inside three minutes to bring the gap down to just three points. On both occasions the St Gall’s teenagher got in behind the St Pat’s defence to pick up the ball and riffle the ball to the corner of the net.

Although Peter McCullagh released McDermott for a fine solo goal in the 46th minute, St Mary’s hit back with two excellent long-range frees from Finn Mervyn and another snap shot from Fallon that could well have gone to the net, but flew just inches over the bar.

St Mary’s held off intense pressure from then until the last couple of minutes, but they couldn’t add to their total and Maghera quickly killed off the game near the end, McDermott’s well taken goal proving the killer blow.

St Patrick’s : C McCloskey, E Scullion, T O’Neill, A McLaughlin, A Duffin, R Dillon capt (0-2), S McLaughlin, J Friel, P McCullagh (1-5, 1-3 frees), T McKeagney (0-2), C O’Kane, C Murtagh (0-1), C Murray (1-0), S McKenna (0-2), N Barton.

Subs : J McDermott (2-2) for N Barton (15), N Duggan (0-1) for J Friel (HT), J Friel for C Murray (51).

St Mary’s : C Carberry, P Moyes, B McAuley, M McCluskey, P Short, F Mervyn (0-2 frees), S Hughes, C Boyle, A Churchill, C Duffy, N Fallon (3-2), N McGarry (1-0), M Mallon, E McBreaity (0-1), D Wilson (0-1 free).

Subs: B Burns for M Mallon (HT), L Loughlin for E McBreaity (53)

Referee : Malachy Leech (Oisin’s)

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Night of celebration for CPC camogs

Cross and Passion College celebrated the historic achievement of their Senior Camogie Team reaching the All Ireland ‘A’ Colleges Final on Friday night. This was the first time that an Antrim School had made it to this stage. Whilst the girls missed out to a strong Loreto Kilkenny side by 4 points on the day, there was still a lot to celebrate for the Ulster Senior Champions.

Guest speaker, Kathleen McGowan commended the girls on their spirit and determination shown in the All Ireland campaign, producing ‘one of the greatest second half come backs of all time’. She also thanked all the parents, many of whom were past pupils of Cross and Passion, for passing on their love of the game to their daughters and for the part they have played in promoting camogie in C.P.C. Kathleen also encouraged the girls to continue their camogie careers at the highest level by continuing to represent Antrim and hoped that they would enjoy success in future years on the inter county scene.

Mentors Elaine Dowds and Barry Kelly thanked the girls for the level of commitment they have shown to the team, praising their work rate and reminiscing on the many memories that the girls have created. It was noted that this team has left a wonderful legacy in CPC, having been the first crop of players to regain the Corn San Clár, which the school camogs have retained for a historic 5 years in a row. The winning captain at that time was also current senior captain, Finvola McVeigh.

Finvola Mc Veigh also spoke on behalf of the team and thanked the mentors for the effort that they have shown to the team, and spoke of how her years playing camogie for CPC were times that she would never forget. This was followed by Year 13 student and player of the match in the All Ireland Final, Roisin McCormick, who spoke of her pride playing for Cross and Passion and how the experience of this year will hopefully drive next year’s team to go that one stage further with the ultimate dream being to win an All Ireland title with CPC.

Principal, Paul McClean, who was also joined by the two previous past principals, Barbara Ward and Caroll Nicholl, paid tribute to all involved in the promotion of Gaelic Games within the school.

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Pics by Una Kelly

St Pat’s power to Gallagher Cup final

Danske Bank Gallagher Cup semi-final – Ulster Colleges Hurling

St Patrick’s Maghera 3-18 St Killian’s Garron Tower 1-7

IT IS difficult to believe when one looks at the final score-line in this Danske Bank Gallagher Cup semi-final in Ballymena yesterday afternoon that St Killian’s Garron Tower led by 1-6 to 0-4 after four minutes of the second half and entering the last quarter, Maghera only held a single point advantage.

There was no significant impact from the elements, just an increase in tempo from a more physically powerful Maghera side for whom free-taker Peter McCullagh played a huge role, landing nine points in total and eight of those during the second half.

Earlier in the game, St Killian’s gave as good as they got and Padraig McKillop’s late point gave them an interval advantage of 0-5 to 0-4.

Seanie McIntosh fired over his second point in the 32nd minute and a minute later Colm McKeegan rifled a 30 metres free to the Maghera net.

However from then on there was only one team in the game, with James Friel kick-starting the comeback with points in the 35th and 37th minutes. Then it was over to McCullough who put his team in control by scoring the next seven Maghera points, six from frees and three of those outside the 65 metre line. On came Jody McDermott for the last 12 minutes and he immediately tagged on two points before Maghera finished the game with three goals in the last six minutes, one each for McDermott, Thomas McKeagney and Conor Murtagh.

In reality though they were already through to a final pairing with St Mary’s CBGS Belfast long before those three goals.

St Patrick’s : Jody McDermott 1-3, Thomas McKeagney 1-1, Conor Murtagh 1-1, Peter McCullagh 0-9, 0-6 frees, James Friel 0-2, Callum O’Kane 0-1 free, Raymond Dillon 0-1.

St Killian’s : Colm McKeegan 1-0 free, Pádraig McKillop 0-2, 0-1 free, Seanie McIntosh 0-2, Daniel Kearney 0-1, Mark McSparron 0-1, Matthew McCann 0-1.


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