Danske Bank Leopold Cup final

December 21, 2023

St Patrick’s, Dungiven master the wind and St Colman’s, Newry – First-half goals set Derry school on the way to victory

St Patrick’s, Dungiven 5-7 St Colman’s, Newry 1-9

THE high winds ruined yesterday’s Danske Bank Leopold Cup final at the Dub as a spectacle, but St Patrick’s Dungiven will not worry too much about the aesthetics as they held out to claim the cup for the first time in the history.

The Derry boys had first use of the elements and led by 3-7 to 0-2 at the break. Barely a minute had passed when Joseph O’Neill claimed the first goal and Callum McLaughlin quickly added three points before five minutes of play had elapsed.

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The second Dungiven goal arrived in the seventh minute from Aidan McVeigh. Oran McAnarney hit the first of his seven points in response as St Colman’s dug in and they seemed to holding out well until Callum McLaughlin brought his match total to 1-4 in the 27th minute.

A lead of 14 points didn’t look all that safe at the break and Senan Blaney’s goal in the 35th minute was the signal for a big push from St Colman’s.

However, they paid the price for moving forward with Kevin McCaul running over 50 metres through the centre three minutes later to fire to the corner of the net.

That stalled the Newry progress and Rhys McCorristan delivered the knock-out blow 11 minutes from time when he blocked a clearance and squeezed a shot home from a tight angle.

Best for the winners were goalie Pádraig Campbell, who had to work hard during the second half, captain Pearse Murphy and Kevin McCaul in defence, while Danny Doyle, Oran McAnarney, Callum McClorey and Sean Cunningham did their best to turn the game in favour of St Colman’s.

By Seamas McAleenan Published in The Irish news December 21, 2023