St Louis bid for Treanor Cup glory

Danske Bank Treanor Cup

Thursday 2pm in Eoghan Rua GAC, Portstewart

St Eunan’s Letterkenny v St Louis Ballymena

By Seamus McAleenan

When these teams met in their first game of the league, St Eunan’s Letterkenny scored a very late point to secure a 1-11 to 2-7 victory, although neither team looked capable of ending up in the Danske Bank Treanor Cup final today (THURSDAY).

However both improved significantly as the competition progressed and both secured comfortable semi-final wins on Monday of this week to set up the decider.

St Eunan’s though lost to Holy Trinity Cookstown in their last league game and in the quarter-final had to face a St Patrick’s Keady side that had been going very well. The Donegal school shut up shop at the back and worked their way into victory by 0-8 to 0- 5.

On the same afternoon at the start of last week, St Louis took out another of the fancied schools, St Malachy’s Castlewellan to reach the semis – but they had to survive a play-off after losing to Cookstown in the league. That play off delivered a 3-11 to 3-4 win over Castleblayney.

It seemed as if the quarter-final wins over the fancied teams gave both a confidence boost. St Eunan’s then easily saw off St Ronan’s Lurgan by 3-12 to 0-8 points, while St Louis fired home 7-10 to 1-10 against St Pius X.

Shane Monaghan (2-6) and Keelin Collier (1-4) grabbed the headlines for St Eunan’s while there have been solid performances all the way through from Jack Roarty, Noel O’Donnell and Conor Cassidy.

Meanwhile Aidan Scullion (3-4) and Colla McDonnell (2-2) were the chief executioners for St Louis in their semi-final with Rory McGuigan, Patrick Dougan and Paudie McGilligan others to shine in the campaign.

So two teams growing in confidence, each with a twin strike force scoring well, but one will come away disappointed this evening. The 0-8 to 0-5 quarter-final win for Lettekenny perhaps hinted that they are a little more adaptable to a defensive style game and that could pave the way to success today.

St Eunan’s Squad : M Whoriskey, O McDaid, J Roarty, S Collum, O Brogan, J Gallagher, C McDermott, N O’Donnell, J Alcorn, E O’Boyle, C Friel, C Cassidy, S Monaghan, S McVeigh, K Collier, R Coady, D Devenney, C Aidoo, K Gribben, S Marsh, C McMonagle, B Gallagher, C Wheeler, J Kernan, D Boyle

St Louis : R McCloskey, S Higgins, C Killough, D McNicholl, S O’Callaghan, R McGuigan, R McQuillan, P Dougan, P McGilligan, R McKillop, P Ferris capt., A Scullion, C Campbell, C Higgins, C McDonnell.

Subs : J O’Rawe, C Johnson, A Campbell, R McCartney, D Duffin, J Higgins, R Duffin, E McFerran, C McLarnon, P Graham, S Hasson, J Murray, C McCafferty, C Mestury.

St. Mary’s show no compassion in opening Gallagher Cup encounter

Danske Bank Gallagher Cup – Ulster Colleges Hurling

St. Mary’s CBGS 2-13-0-02 Cross and Passion, Ballycastle

By Kevin Herron

St.Mary’s CBGS began the defence of the Gallagher Cup with a comfortable 2-13-0-02 win over Cross and Passion, Ballycastle at Cloughmills this afternoon.

The pre-game intrigue came in the form of the Herron rivalry as St. Mary’s CBGS Raymond Herron entered back into management of a school team for the first time since 2008 and upon his return he faced younger brother and ex-Antrim stalwart Ciaran – a teacher at Cross and Passion.

It was St. Mary’s CBGS who were quickest out of the traps – despite playing against the wind in the opening 25 minutes, Dubhaltach Wilson picked up the ball and despite running into heavy traffic the St. Galls corner-forward was able to get his shot over the bar.

Oisin Elliott responded for Cross and Passion with an excellent score from range, though quickfire points from Diarmuid Rogan and midfielder Conor Boyle gave St. Mary’s CBGS a 0-03-0-01 lead.

Elliott claimed his second point of the afternoon to half the deficit – but it was be his sides last of the afternoon with over 40 minutes of the game remaining.

Niall Fallon almost found the net for St. Mary’s however his shot was repelled by the Cross and Passion goalkeeper and Boyle popped the ball over the bar for his second point of the afternoon midway through the half.

Malachai McCluskey and midfield partner Boyle were dominating the centre of the park – Boyle made it back to back scores before the opening goal arrived on 17 minutes.

The move which led to the goal was free flowing as Conor Boyle combined with Pearce Short whose hand pass released wing-half forward Niall Fallon; who had impressed in St Gall’s Féile hurling games to date – with 5-07 from three games and Fallon conjured up the first goal after soloing forward and driving the silother into the top corner to give his side a 1-05-0-02 lead.

Conor Boyle struck his third successive point in the aftermath and just before the break Dubhaltach Wilson and Diarmuid Rogan claimed their second respective points of the afternoon and in between – captain Fionn Mervyn was accurate from a converted free to give St. Mary’s CBGS a 1-09-0-02 lead at the interval.

Within two minutes of the restart St. Mary’s CBGS had their second goal of the afternoon – Niall Fallon saw his low shot blocked by the Cross and Passion goalkeeper but fortuitously Fallon found the net at the second time of asking – via the post as his side were now 2-09-0-02 in front.

Fallon would bring his personal tally to 2-01 with a 35th minute before departing play – St. Mary’s CBGS ran their bench and substitute Paul Donnelly was next on the score sheet with an excellent strike over the black spot.

The industrious Malachai McCluskey deservedly claimed a point five minutes from time after turning the ball over and letting fly and the final score of came courtesy of the hard working Dubhaltach Wilson .

Cross and Passion should have added to their tally with a late rally but credit must go to St. Mary’s unsung heroes at the back including wing-backs Patrick Moyes and Adam Churchill – who were colossal in preventing the corner-forwards troubling goalkeeper Cahir Carberry.

Ben McAuley was a rock at full-back whilst Stefan Hughes and Pearce Short – were keen to contribute too many of St. Mary’s forward advances.

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Pics by John McIlwaine


Tower lose out in Nolan Cup final

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)



Seven Antrim winners at Ulster Colleges Camogie All Stars

The 2017/18 Ulster Colleges Camogie All Stars who were honoured at Friday evening’s awards dinner in the Elk.

After twice being postponed because of snow in January and February the 2017/2018 Ulster Colleges Camogie All Stars finally got their hands on their trophies when the Gala dinner was held in the Elk Restaurant on Friday night. Antrim were again well represented with seven of the twenty two recipients from Antrim colleges, but the awards were spread across the province with five from Armagh, four each from Derry and Down and two from Cavan. Cross & Passion College Ballycastle topped the list of school with four representatives, while St Catherine’s Armagh had three. The Antrim award winners were Bronagh McKeague, Cathering McShane, Maeve Kelly and Roisin McCormick from Cross & Passion, Aine Devlin and Amy Boyle from St Louis Ballymena and Emily Faloon from St Louise’s College, Belfast.

Camogie Association President Catherine Woods presented the award along with guest of honour Carla Doherty, former Geraldines Portglenone and Antrim star who delivered a fantastic speech just before the awards were handed out. Overall a great evening and one the girls will remember of their playing careers. Many will go on to win honours with club, county and University, but winning a Colleges All Star will always remain very special.

LEFT – Aine Devlin of St Louis Ballymena and Tir na nÓg Randalstown receives her award from guest of honour Carla Doherty. RIGHT – Amy Boyle of St Louis Ballymena and Loughgiel Shamrocks receives her award from Camogie Assosiation President Kathleen Woods.

LEFT – Bronagh McKeague of Cross & Passion College and Ballycastle McQuillans receives her award from Carla Doherty. RIGHT – Catherine McShane of Cross & Passion College and Ballycastle McQuillan’s receives her award from Kathleen Woods.

LEFT – Emily Faloon of St Louise’s College, Belfast and Tir na nÓg, Randalstown receives her award from Kathleen Woods. RIGHT – Maeve Kelly of Cross & Passion College Ballycastle and Ballycastle McQuillan’s receives her award from Carla Doherty.

LEFT – Roisin McCormick of Cross & Passion College and Loughgiel Shamrocks receives her award from Kathleen Woods. RIGHT – Guest of honour Carla Doherty receives a special presentation from Clara Cowan of Sacred Heart, Newry.