Maghera withstand early second half rally to claim the Leonard Cup

Danske Bank Leonard Cup final

Quinn Park Ballymena

St Patrick’s Maghera 3-11 Cross & Passion Ballycastle 3-4

St. Patrick’s Maghera withstood a strong rally in the third quarter to push on and win the Leonard Cup when they overcame the spirited challenge of Cross & Passion in Ballymena today.

The Derry College were the stronger team in the first half and deserved to be 2-5 to 2-1 ahead at half-time and at this stage it looked like they would push on and win comfortably but Cross & Passion emerged from their half-time team talk like a side reborn.

The North Antrim side dominated the third quarter as they reeled in a four point half time deficit to draw level after 14 minutes and a major surprise looked on the cards but they were unable to sustain that level of intensity.

That goal from substitute Logan McConville in the the 47th minute was to prove their final score the Derry side woke from their slumber and finished with an unanswered 1-4 for Padraig O’Kane to lift the Cup.

Maghera were fast out of the traps with a goal from Ruairí Biggs in the second minute. However Conor Anderson responded four minutes later only for Fionn Cartin to blast to the net at the other end.

It was an explosive start to the game, but neither team could maintain that pace. It was 15 minutes before Rian Collins made it 2-2 to 1-1 and Ballycastle responded with a fine team goal, finished by corner-forward Darragh Kinney.

Seán O’Kane opened the second half with two points inside the first two minutes, but Maghera didn’t add to their total for another 17 minutes. During that time CPC hit an upright and the crossbar with Kinney’s shot from an acute angle looking destined for the net before McConville netted to tie the teams at 3-4 to 2-7.

Like all good sides Maghera were able to respond however and Ruairí Biggs popped over a free in the next attack before Seán O’Kane drilled his shot to the net in their next attack to open up a four point gap.

That score seemed to knock the fight out of the Ballycastle college though they never gave up but St. Patrick’s were back in control and finished with late points from Odhrán Doherty, Seán and Dara O’Kane to run out seven point winners in the end.

Scorers:

Maghera: S O’Kane 1-3, R Biggs 1-2, F Cartin 1-0, D O’Kane 0-3, R Collins 0-2, O Doherty 0-1.

CPC: C Anderson, D Kinney and L McConville 1-0 each, O McCallin 0-2, C Johnson and O Connolly 0-1 each

Maghera: Oisín Mulholland, Conor McLarnon, Odhrán Burke, Niall McNicholl, Daithí McCloskey, Pádraig O’Kane, Daragh O’Neill, Pauric Bradley, Odhrán Doherty, Rian Collins, Dara O’Kane, Ruairí Biggs, Sean O’Kane, Dara Hasson, Fionn Cartin.

Subs: Michael McMaster for D Hasson (ht), Ronan McGuckian for F Cartin (47).

Cross & Passion: R McShane, L Connolly, R McQuaid, E Johnston, L Smyth, A McGarry, L Magee, O Connolly (0-3), L McGarry, R McGilligan, C Johnson, O McCallin, D Kinney (1-1), C Anderson, C Crawford (1-0)

Subs: L McConville, R McGilligan

Referee: B Toland (Lámh Dhearg)

McCurry goal sends Tower on way to victory

Corn Uan Uladh Group game

St Killian’s Garron Tower 2-8 St Patrick’s Maghera 0-4

St Killian’s Garron Tower won their second game in the Ulster Schools’ senior camogie championship, doing enough in the first half in Quinn Park Ballymena to pull clear of a Maghera side that enjoyed a 4-9 to 0-4 win over CPC last week.

Indeed Maghera failed to score during the second half when the diagonal breeze favoured the Tower. But the Derry school fielded without any of the players who won Corn Eimhear last Friday with a runaway win over CPC.

It will be a huge surprise if up to half a dozen of the younger squad are not pushing through when the semi-finals are played after Christmas.

St Killian’s did the spade work in the first half when they worked very hard in defence and grabbed scores at key points.

Monique OBoyle’s movement at full forward opened gaps and she was able to hit the target on three occasions with Orlaith McCurry grabbing a goal that gave the Tower a huge lift.

Maghera were always under pressure in possession, but they will still be very disappointed with just two points from play – one for Bellaghy’s Orlaith Hull who was featuring at midfield and Creggan’s Eavanne Martin at centre half-back.

St Killian’s turned around with a lead of 1-5 to 0-4 and they pushed on immediately with points from Cara OBoyle and an Orlaith McAlister free.

Maghera kept working hard to get ball into their forwards but Abi McNeill, Laura Black and Aisling Mulholland returned it with interest and the final result was never in doubt after several Tower forwards had goal efforts blocked before Monique OBoyle laid off a pass for Orlaith McAlister to lift the net.

The Tower have a derby tie with CPC next week, while Maghera will play St Louis Ballymena.

St Killian’s: Louise Mulholland, Maeve McAlister, Eimhear McMullan, Úna McAlister, Aisling Mulholland, Abi McNeill, Laura Black, Cara McAuley 0-2, Lára Haughey, Kady McNeill, Orlaith McAlister 1-2 (0-2 fs) Ellie Jo Butler 0-1, Niamh Graham, Monique OBoyle 0-3, Orlaith McCurry 1-0

Subs: Eimear Butler for K McNeill, Rhianna Black for N Graham, Erin McCambridge for M McAlister

St Patrick’s: Maria Hughes, Michaela Doherty, Eimear Doherty, Nicole Cassidy, Ellen McCormick, Evanne Martin 0-1, Erin Kelly, Orlaith Hull 0-1, Cara Donnelly, Roisin Bryson, Carla Collins 0-2 (fs), Louise Hassan, Katie Marie Griffin,  Cara Mc Closkey and Annie Madden

Subs: Eimear Murray for R Bryson, Eva McEldowney for E Martin, Kaitlyn McNally for C McCloskey

Referee: Owen Elliott

St. Louis win despite second half rally from Rathmore

McLarnon Cup Group stages

St. Louis 1-10 Rathmore Grammar 1-05

St. Louis Ballymena recorded an opening day win despite a second half rally from Rathmore Grammar at Quinn Park, Ballymena today in the opening game of the Group stages of the McLarnon Cup. The Ballymena College led from start to finish and were well on their way to victory when they led by 1-6 to 0-1 at half time.

Their goal came from Conan McAuley after20 minutes when he was on hand to finish to the net after Rathmore keeper, Sonny Doyle pulled off a good save from Hugh O’Donnell with the ball breaking favourably to the lurking McAuley.

Barry McCloskey had opened the scoring from a close range free in the opening minute and Hugh O’Donnell and Conor McKenna added two more before McAuley’s goal put St. Louis in a fairly comfortable position.

The home defence coped well with everything that Rathmore could put to them and recycled the ball and countered well but a series of poor misses kept the Belfast college in with a shout though it was hard to see where their scores were going to come from.

They finally opened their account through a 30 meter free from their best forward, Fiontan O’Boyle in the 30th minute by which time a dominant St. Louis had increased their lead through Conor McKenna and McAuley to lead by 8 at the half way stage.

Rathmore made a couple of changes and made a strong start to the second half with Oscar Conlon marking his introduction with a point and when Fiontan O’Boyle pointed his second free of the game in the 6th minute the Belfast side were threatening to make a game of it.

They flattered to deceive however as St. Louis reasserted their authority on matters and a strong run from Barry McCloskey saw Paul Boyle come close to finishing to the net but McCloskey’s pass was just out of reach.

St. Louis came back with excellent points from Ryan McNeill and Darra Martin and looked to have matters sewn up with ten minutes remaining but Rathmore were beginning to enjoy a bit of success with Rory Grant and Thomas Lloyd driving them on from mid-field.

The visitors scored 1-2 during the closing stages with Michael Morgan coming off the bench and scoring 1-1 while Fiontan O’Boyle brought his total for the day to 0-4 with the other point but two points in reply from substitute Shea O’Brion saw the Ballymena side home with five to spare.

St. Louis: 1 James McLaughlin, 2 Caoimhin Kennedy, 3 Conor Higgins, 4 Dara Martin, 5 Joe McCormick, 6 Aodhan McGarry, 7 Shane Martin, 8 Conor McKenna, 9 Cormac Mullan, 10 Kevin McCann, 11 Conan McAuley, 12 Cal O’Brien, 13 Barry McCloskey, 14 Paul Boyle, 15 Hugh O’Donnell. Subs Shea OBroin came on for Paul OBoyle Senan OBoyle for Conan McAuley Archie McGreevey for Cormac McMullan Darach Bradley for Dara Martin Conor Bresnahan for Conor Higgins

Rathmore: 1 Sonny Doyle, 2 Emmet McCloy, 3 Ronan Arthurs, 4 Sean Lavery, 5 Conall Devlin, 6 Deaglan Mooney, 7 Donncha McGurk, 8 Rory Grant, 9 Thomas Lloyd, 10 Cormac Blaney, 11 Fiontan O’Boyle, 12 James Close, 13 Rory McErlean, 14 Conor Logue, 15 Eoin Campbell

Referee: Richie Leahy (Naomh Comhghall)

Tower tops in game of two halves

Corn Uan Uladh group game

St Killian’s Garron Tower 5-12 St Louis Ballymena 2-10

THIS was St Killian’s Garron Tower’s first game in the schools’ top senior camogie championship after they beat St Patrick’s Keady in last year’s Fr. Davies Cup final. It probably couldn’t have gone better for the Tower.

Last year’s beaten finalists St Louis Ballymena had many of last year’s squad back including Eimear Johnston, Eimear McGivern, and Katie Molloy who all picked up All-stars in October while another All-star, Sarah Fyfe, returning from injury, came in as a sub at half-time. They were also missing a few players including Erin Coulter, another All-star. 

While the Tower were also missing one or two through injury, they still could call on the four players who picked up All-stars, Abi McNeill, Cara O’Boyle, Lára Haughey and Orlaith McAlister.

These four were prominent as St Killian’s stormed into a half time lead of 4-10 to 1-3. There was a very strong breeze blowing down the pitch in Ballymena and this was always going to be a game of two halves. However that interval lead was just too much for St Louis to haul back.

There were first half goals from Orlaith McAlister, Cara O’Boyle, Orlaith McCurry and Monique O’Boyle while Kady McNeill shot four points from play.

Ciara O’Boyle scored 1-2 before the break and was the one St Louis forward to really trouble the Tower defence.

Not surprisingly the Kintullagh girls dominated the second half with Katie Molloy driving them forward. The Dunloy defender scored four frees and another point from play while sub Sarah Fyfe brought the teams closer with a goal. Cara Henderson also hit bar.

However, although they didn’t score for the first 20 minutes of the second half, St Killian’s defence soaked up all the pressure and when Kady McNeill buried their fifth goal, they were through their first big test.

This week the Tower face St Patrick’s Maghera who defeated Cross & Passion by 4-9 to 0-4 on Thursday, while St Louis have another north Antrim derby.

As there are just four schools in Corn Uan Uladh this year, all four are assured of semi-final spots. However the league positions at the end of the group games will determine semi-final pairings.

St Killian’s: Kady McNeill 1-4, Orlagh McAlister 1-1, Monique O’Boyle 1-1, Cara O’Boyle 1-0, Orlaith McCurry 1-0, Laura Haughey 0-4, Niamh Graham 0-1, Ellie Joe Butler 0-1

St Louis: Ciara O’Boyle 1-2, Sarah Fyfe 1-0, Katie Molloy 0-5, Anna McKillop 0-2, Maria Gately 0-1.

St Killian’s: L: Mulholland, E McMullan, Catherine O’Boyle, E McCambridge, A Mulholland, A McNeill, L Black, Cara O’Boyle, L Haughey, K McNeill, O McAlister, EJ Butler, O McCurry, M O’Boyle, N Graham.

Subs: E Butler for N Graham (40), Ú McAlister for E McCambridge (44), R Black for EJ Butler (55)

St Louis: E McGivern, S Shannon, A McKillen, A Vallely, G Kearns, D Dobbin, K Molloy, A O’Donnell, E Johnston, E O’Neill, E Gould, A McKillop, M Gately, C Henderson, C O’Boyle.

Subs: S Fyfe for E O’Neill (HT)

McGarry leads Cross & Passion to victory

Danske Bank Mageean Cup

Cross & Passion Ballycastle 2-21 St. Mary’s CBGS 1-12

Cross & Passion, Ballycastle continued their unbeaten run in the Danske Bank Mageean Cup when they proved too strong for St. Mary’s CBGS in Ballymena today. The North Antrim College had most of the damage done by half time when they led 2-12 to 0-5, thanks to goals from Roan McGarry and Darragh Kelly.

Kelly got the show on the road with a point in the opening minute and further points from Tiarnan Heggarty and Liam Glackin had Cross & Passion 0-3 to 0-1 ahead after 10 minutes.

St. Mary’s responded with a second point from Adam Murray and a fine long range point from Finn Jeffrey had the side’s level and the Belfast side seemed to be gaining a foothold but it was only temporary as the Ballycastle side came storming back.

Roan McGarry pointed and followed with the game’s opening goal when he was first to react to a shot that came back off the crossbar and the Loughgiel corner-forward was starting to assert his mark on the game.

Points from Ronan Fitzgerald and Eoin McGarry and four further points from the excellent Roan McGarry (2 f’s) had Cross & Passion in a commanding position and he would add three more before the interval to a Darragh Kelly goal with St. Mary’s only reply coming from Adam Murray (0-2).

The Glen Road side performed better in the second half and got off to a good start when Ruairi McAreavey goaled in the opening minute and the same player followed with a good point from out near the sideline to give his side some hope.

Roan McGarry replied with a point for Cross & Passion but a Caoimhin Ruinee point for St. Mary’s kept their hopes of a comeback alive but they failed to build on their early second half success.

The Ballycastle side responded with points from Roan McGarry, Darragh Donnelly, Eoin McGarry, a fine long range effort from Ronan Fitzgerald and at the other end Eoghan Richmond pulled off a great save to deny McAreavy.

The superb McGarry kept the scoreboard moving for Cross & Passion in the closing stages with Adam Muray 0-02 and Edna McGurk replying for the Glen Road men and Tiarnan Heggarty getting the final score of the game for a rampant Cross & Passion who look the team to beat in this year’s Mageean Cup.

St. Mary’s CBGS: 1 Reece Killyleagh, 2 Michael Marlowe, 3 Michael Darragh, 4 Connell Short, 5 Jay Maguire, 6 Edna McGurk, 7 Odhran Cosgrove, 8 Darragh Coleman, 9 Darragh O’Sullivan, 10 Adam Murray, 11 Baire Burns, 12 Callum Lapin, 13 Finn Jeffrey, 14 Ruairi McAreavey, 15 Caoimhin Ruinee, 18 Shea Cunningham, 20 Lorcan McCallin, 19 Connor Corr, 17 James Duffy.

St. Mary’s scorers: Ruairi McAreavey 1-1, Adam Murray 0-6, Caoimhin Rainey 0-1, Finn Jeffrey 0-1, C Lappin 0-1 Edna McGurk 0-1, O Cosgrove 0.1, C Rainey 0-1,

Cross & Passion: 1 Eoghan Richmond, 2 Conin Sheridan, 3 Cathair Doherty, 4 Cian Baudant, 5 Conor Donnelly, 6 Ben McGarry, 7 Joseph Magee, 8 Liam Glackin, 9 Ronan Fitzgerald, 10 Tiarnan Heggarty, 11 Darragh Kelly, 12 Ben O’Kane, 13 Eoin McGarry, 14 Darragh Donnelly, 15 Roan Mcgarry, 16 Frank McCaughan, 17 Conall Magee, 18 Gavin McToal

Cross & Passion scorers: Roan McGarry 1-11, Darragh Kelly 1-2, R Fitzgerald 0-3, E McGarry 0-2, T Hegarty 0-2, L Glackin 0-1

Referee: Eamon Mulvenna (Bredagh)