Ballymena snatch dramatic Gallagher Shield victory

June 26, 2024

Late goal and point denies Gaelcholáiste Dhoire glory in Slaughtneil

St Louis, Ballymena 3-11 Gaelcholáiste Dhoire 3-10

IT wasn’t until added time at the end of this hard-fought final in Slaughtneil that St Louis, Ballymena gained parity with Gaelcholáiste Dhoire on the scoreboard, with Jack McQuillan firing home their third goal after good work from Eoin Lorcán Bradley.

Thirty seconds later, worse was to follow for the Dungiven Gaelscoil when McQuillan hit the winning point from an acute angle away out on the right side-line.

It was a tough lesson for the Derry side who had dominated large periods of this end-of-term decider, but they didn’t quite put the result to bed.

Seán Pól Ó Ceallaigh hit the net twice in the opening 12 minutes to put them ahead as Ballymena struggled to get a foothold in the game.

McQuillan hit six points, five from frees, but St Louis trailed by 3-5 to 0-7 at the break, Cian Ó Ceallaigh scoring a third goal for Gaelcholáiste in the 20th minute.

Within two minutes of the re-start, Eoin Lorcán Bradley had poached a goal and a point and suddenly the lead was cut to three points.

Despite Harry Ó Cearnaigh (two frees) and Cian Ó Ceallaigh opening that up to six before the end of the third quarter, St Louis player-of-the-match McQuillan drilled a penalty to the net in the 54th minute.

Gaelcholáiste looked to have weathered the storm, however, when Cian Ó Ceallaigh stretched the lead to three at the start of injury-time.

But it wasn’t enough and McQuillan nabbed the winning score 30 seconds before the long whistle.

St Louis J McQuillan 2-9, 1-7 frees, EL Bradley 1-1, O McClements 0-1.

Gaelcholáiste SP Ó Ceallaigh 2-0, C Ó Ceallaigh 1-4, H Ó Cearnaigh 0-5 frees, O Mag Uiginn 0-1.

By Séamas McAleenan Published in The Irish News June 25, 2024


The winning St Louis, Ballymena team. Picture: Bert Trowlan (Bert Trowlen )