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.
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)