Danske Bank Foresters’ Cup final
St Mary’s CBGS, Belfast 2-16 St Killian’s, Garron Tower 0-8
AFTER just ten minutes of this Danske Bank Foresters’ Cup final at MUSA in Cookstown, the writing was on the wall for St Killian’s.
St Mary’s wing-half back Dominic McEnhill had burst across the half-way line on three occasions to claim long range points, added another from a free and was involved in the move which led to Colm Longair scrambling the sliotar to the net after Paul McMullan had pulled off a great stop from Daniel Grego.
St Killian’s had yet to mount an attack and were seven points down.
Eventually David Kilgore and Eoin Magee fired over tidy points, but St Mary’s were only having a breather and midfielder CJ McKenna stepped into the spotlight forcing home a 14th minute goal either side of two points from further out.
By half-time the game was all but wrapped up with the Belfast side converting their dominance at half-back and midfield into a 2-12 to 0-4 interval advantage.
There was an improvement from the north Antrim side in the second half, but with St Mary’s opting to play a sweeper, there were few openings for a much needed goal-boost.
A point from Daniel Black and two frees from Conal McAteer narrowed the gap on the re-start, but St Mary’s held firm and then in the last ten minutes attacked for three points between the 50th and 52nd minutes, two of them from lively substitute Shea Shannon.
The west Belfast side was dominant in many areas of the field with Nathan Gibson, Dominic McEnhill, Colm McLarnon and CJ McKenna claiming a lot of possession and using it well.
Paul McMullan brought off several good stops in the Garron Tower goals, while Liam Gillan, Ed McQuillan and Shane O’Connor worked hard in defence.
The forward line however had to work on limited possession and never really threatened the unbeaten run of this particular St Mary’s outfit.
St Mary’s : P Kennedy, N McCann, O McKenna, M Smith, A O’Brien, N Gibson capt. 0-1, D McEnhill 0-5, 0-1 free, C McLarnon 0-1, CJ McKenna 1-4, 0-1 free, P Doyle, M Mallon 0-1, E Farrelly, T Murphy 0-2, C Longair 1-0, D Grego .
Subs : S Shannon 0-2 for Longair (26), M Cunningham for P Doyle.
St Killian’s : P McMullan, J Morgan, L Gillan, E McQuillan, S Magill capt, S O’Connor 0-1 free, S Murphy, D Black 0-2, C McAteer 0-2 frees, S Walsh, L Morgan, F McCurry, R McCambridge, E Magee 0-2, D Kilgore 0-1.
Subs : M McConaghie for L Morgan (55), C McLaughlin for R McCambridge (55).
On behalf of the team, we thank the efforts of Mr McIlwaine and Mr McAllister with this group of hurlers.
We also thank the players for the work they have put in to take the school to our 4th successive final at this level – no mean achievement. Hopefully you can add a winners’ medal at senior level.
(photographs from Paddy McIlwaine – thanks)