Aquinas Surprise with Corn na nÓg Shield win

December 07, 2018

Danske Bank Corn na nÓg Shield final
Aquinas Grammar 6-15 St. Pius X Magherafelt 0-5
ST PIUS X got no warning of the blitz that hit them in the third quarter of this Danske Bank Corn na nÓg Shield final in Coáiste Feirste yesterday!
They had beaten Aquinas Grammar in the Corn Cholmchille final last year, before both moved up to the A grade. Nor was there anything untoward from Aquinas in the first half of this game. A Jack Toner goal was all that separated the teams at the break, the Ravenhill Road side 1-4 to 0-4 ahead.
It was a tight enough game with Cahir Spiers hitting two of the Magherafelt points and Toner two for Aquinas in that opening half, but within ten minutes of the throw-in for the second half, the game was over.
Aquinas pressed the kick-outs from the start of the second half and were rewarded with four goals in ten minutes, three of them finished to the net by Tom McCarroll.
The ball was won for each around the 45 metre line and swiftly worked through for McCarroll who took his opportunities well and that really finished St Pius X.
Despite the best efforts of Cahir Spiers, Aaron Murray, Odhran Letters, Jack McClure and Conleth McGrogan, they could only manage a single point in the second half.
For Aquinas Jamie Cunningham, Ruairi Donaldson, Niall Duffy and the hat-trick man were excellent, but manager John McAteer was happy with the overall team performance.
“I suppose we took a bit of a chance last year, moving up a grade despite not winning the final against St Pius X. But by moving up we knew we would be getting good quality games every day.
“The only game when I maybe had second thoughts was the first one. Omagh tanked us. But we found our feet and this Shield competition has really brought us on. Four wins in an A grade competition and now the Shield to bring home. It’s great.”
But Newry native McAteer revealed that an outside force maybe was at work in today’s final.
“Last year Karl Heaney was travelling with me and helped me coach these boys. Karl lost his life in a car accident in May.
“I believe he was driving us on today to get over the line and the boys spoke about Karl at the end and it was great for Carl’s parents to come along and see that second half display.”
Aquinas : S McGarry, O Fahy, M McCrossan, L Swail, M McDonnell, R Donaldson, S O’Rourke, B Delaney (0-1), J Cunningham (1-1), N Duffy (0-3), S O’Hare (0-1), J Boyle, D McArdle (1-2), T McCarroll (3-1), J Toner (1-6).
Subs : D Carlin for J Boyle, C McCormick for O Fahy, R Hamilton for M McDonnell, D McAllister for S O’Rourke, P Mulholland for N Duffy, B Christie for D McArdle
St Pius X : C Quinn, E Keenan, O Letters, L Smith, O Crozier, A Murray, C McEldowney, C Bateson, J McClure, E McCracken, C McGrogan (0-2), L Bell, C Spiers (0-2), R Drain, D Monaghan (0-1).
Subs C Donnelly for L Bell (40), C Gribbin for C Bateson (45), A McElroy for D Monaghan (50), M McGroggan for L Smith (50).