St Killian’s lose Gallagher Cup final

St Killian's
Danske Bank Gallagher Cup final
St Patrick’s Maghera 5-9 St Killian’s Garron Tower 2-5

St Patrick’s Maghera collected their third Ulster Colleges’ hurling title of the season with a comfortable victory over St Killian’s Garron Tower in the Danske Bank Gallagher Cup final in Ballymena yesterday.
The Derry school tied the game down around the half-back line with a sweeper while playing against the breeze during the opening half and used their superior physique to eke out a 1-5 to 1-2 interval lead.
They opened the scoring with a point from Enda Downey in the first attack, but were 1-2 to 0-3 in arrears in the 10th minute when Fiontan McQuillan’s effort at a point deceived everyone and ended in the back of the net.
However Maghera responded well with points from Callum Murray and Paddy Quinn and then, right on half-time, Murray lofted a high ball into the area and Downey swept the break home.
St Killian’s, who fielded with nine of their MacNamee Cup winning team, hit back on the resumption and points from Aidan Ritson and Michael O’Boyle narrowed the gap to a single point with 18 minutes to go.
However 90 seconds later Shea Cassidy picked up a loose clearance and slammed it home. From that point there was only going to be one winner.
After O’Boyle had pointed a free in response, Fintan McGrath picked up the poc out and his point effort dipped at the last second and ended in the net for Maghera’s third goal. A couple of minutes later goal No 4 came through Callum Murray flicking to the net PJ McAleese’s high lob that looked to be going out of play.
McGrath added a fifth a few minutes from time, while O’Boyle drove a 30 metre free to the Maghera net for a consolation score for St Killian’s with two minutes left to play.
The scoreline was emphatic enough at the end and Maghera dominated particularly around half-back and with their strength up front, but St Killian’s competed well and, with such a young panel, they should make a decent stab at the same competition next year.
St Patrick’s : D McGilligan, H O’Donnell, E Mac Oscair, D McGuigan, C Higgins, PJ McAleese capt, P Quinn 0-1, S McKenna, J McDermott, C Murray 0-1, S Martin, F McGrath 2-0, E Downey 1-3, 0-1 free, C Glass 0-1 free, S Cassidy 2-3.
Subs : R McGill for S Martin (38), R McPeake for C Glass (45), S Convery for C Higgins (45).
St Killian’s : C McKeegan, S McDonnell, L McLaughlin, C McCollum, C Magill, John McAlister, G Leech, O Kearney, C Black, R McAteer 0-1, A Ritson 0-1, M O’Boyle 1-3, 1-2 frees, S O’Boyle, P McKeegan, F McQuillan 1-0.
Subs : A Scullion for S O’Boyle (16), M Emerson for C McCollum (ht), R Lennon for O Kearney (48), E McSparron for F McQuillan (48).
Referee : PĂłl Ă“ Brannuibh (Down)

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