Ballybay convincing winners of first O’Doherty Cup title

February 26, 2019

Danske Bank O’Doherty Cup final

Ballybay CC 3-16 St Aidan’s Cootehill 2-9

WHEN Aaron Mulligan scored a superb individual goal after 15 minutes in St Tiarnach’s Park Clones yesterday, his school, Ballybay CC, were well on their way to collecting the Danske Bank O’Doherty Cup for the first time.

Mulligan, voted young achiever of 2018 by the Ulster GAA Writers last month, lived up to the billing and was a constant thorn in their opponents’ side, finishing with a total of 2-7.

And while the Latton club man was pulling the Cootehill defence one way, Darragh Dempsey was pulling them another way and the twin strikers accumulated 1-6 of Ballybay’s half-time total of 1-8, while Cian Smith and Kaylan Jackson-McCabe tried their best to keep Cootehill going with two points each out of their total of 0-6.

Ballybay had other prominent players in Enda McPhillips, Joel Wilson and Eoin Duffy, the latter finishing a brilliant team move for the second Ballybay goal in the 52nd minute.

Kaylan Jackson-McCabe had a strong presence up front for Cootehill and they probably shaded the midfield battle through David Keepock and David McCabe but they lacked the overall team strength of the winners.

Duffy’s goal in the 52nd minute made it 2-15 to 0-9. The game may have been over at that stage but there were still three more goals and a point and all of them great finishes.

Darragh Dempsey’s effort at a point in the 58th minute dropped short into Aaron Mulligan’s arms. Mulligan coolly rounded his opponent and the goalie to tap home from a metre out.

Then the Cootehill midfielders Keepock and McCabe pushed forward for goals each, deserved consolation scores given their individual contributions but Ballybay were still convincing winners.

Ballybay’s celebrations will be put on hold however as they face Scoil Chuimsitheach Ciaráin for the Connemara Galeatacht in Saturday’s All-Ireland semi-final of the Masita Rice Cup.

Ballybay CC : S Black, E McPhillips, C Corrigan, T McPhilips, D McElearney, E Duffy (1-0), J Hughes, J Wilson, S Slevin (0-1), A Mulligan (2-7, 0-2 frees), P Quinn, J Duffy, M Coyle (0-1), D Dempsey (0-5, 0-3 frees), D McCann (0-2)
Sub : J Sniauksta for S Slevin

St Aidan’s : A Murray, O Doyle, DJ Cassidy, D Tully, S O’Reilly, R Lynch (0-1), S Tully, P McCabe (1-0), D Keapock (1-0), C Farrelly, J Ruthledge (0-1), R Brady (0-1), P Lynch (0-1), K Jackson-McCabe (0-2), C Smith (0-3, 0-2 frees)
Subs : F McCabe for J Ruthledge, J Bannon for S Tully, C Donohue for O Doyle

Referee : Mark Loughran (Tyrone)