Extra Time Goals Seal it for CPC

November 23, 2019

Danske Bank Mageean Cup final (AET)

Cross and Passion, Ballycastle 3-18 St Mary’s CBGS Belfast 1-10
From Anthony Gunning for Irish News at The Dub

A SCORING blitz in the first period of extra-time saw Cross and Passion claim the Mageean Cup at the expense of St Mary’s CBGS at at rainy Queen’s Arena last night.

This game ebbed and flowed in normal-time with the Ballycastle school requiring a late fightback to force the additional period, but they made full use of their second chance by killing the game off in a whirlwind six-minute spell.

After a couple of missed chances early on, Cross and Passion were first to register when Christy McGarry rose to catch and score.

Gary McIlhatton hit back immediately at the other end, but the Ballycastle outfit began to take charge and points from Fergal McKiernan and Michael O’Boyle (free) moved them ahead.
They really should have extended the gap further, but their shooting was to let them down as St Mary’s grew into the game with frees from Dannan McKeogh and Caolan McKernan levelling matter on 16 minutes.
Joe McToal replied with a fine score from the right, but the lead was to change hands a minute later when Daire Murphy was held back when about to pull the trigger and from the resultant penalty, McKeogh buried it to the net to make it 1-3 to 0-4.

That was to be the last contribution from the St John’s clubman as he hobbled off immediately and while McToal scored his second of the evening, St Mary’s finished the half stronger.

Substitute Ronan Crossan looked in on goal, but a great last-ditch challenge from Ronan Laverty was to deny him, but the Belfast side had the last say of the half with Murphy pointing a free to leave them 1-4 to 0-5 ahead at the break.

Murphy pointed a free straight after the break, but Cross and Passion were to enjoy a purple patch soon after as Michael O’Boyle – who had been off target with earlier frees – found his range before substitute Shea McDonnell pointed.

McDonnell was then well blocked when in on goal straight after, but Rian McMullan was on hand to whip to the net and make it 1-7 to 1-5.

Murphy and O’Boyle traded frees before St Mary’s again took charge with the dangerman Caolan Duffin pointing and Eoin Trainor levelling before a Caolan McKernan free and another from Duffin left them two up with five to go.

However, Cross and Passion rallied and O’Boyle saved them with two pressure frees to leave it 1-10 apiece at the full-time whistle and force extra-time.

The initial exchanges in extra-time had been competitive, but in the blink of an eye this game was over as Cross and Passion plundered 2-5 in six minutes without reply.

The first two scores were goals that put this one to bed with substitutes Conor O’Mullan and Cailin O’Connor bundling home with points then flowing in the aftermatch as Cross and Passion found themselves 3-15 to 1-10 ahead at the change of ends.

St Mary’s were forced to look for goals, but they never really looked like making headway as Rian McMullan and Shea McDonnell tapped over frees, while Enda McGarry came storming out of the back to fire over from range to seal victory and a 10th Mageean Cup title for Cross and Passion.

CROSS AND PASSION: T Smyth; R McClean, E McGarry (0-1), R Laverty; C McGlynn, J McAllister, C McKinley; S McAuley (0-1), S Brogan; J McToal (0-2), F McKiernan (0-3), M O’Boyle (0-6, all frees); R McMullan (1-2, 0-1 free), O McGrath, C McGarry (0-1).

Subs: D Devlin for S Brogan (HT), S McDonnell (0-2, 1 free)) for O McGrath (34), C O’Mullan (1-0) for J McToal (51), J McGowan for C McKinley (59), C O’Connor (1-0) for J McAllister (60)

ST MARY’S: A Mullan, O May, D Murray, D Wilson; C Boyle, C McKernan (0-2 frees), D Churchill; E Trainor (0-1), A McLean; R Murray, G McIlhatton (0-1), D Delaney; C Duffin (0-2), D Murphy (0-3 frees), D McKeogh (1-1, 1-0 pen, 0-1 free).

Subs: R Crossan for D McKeogh (17), F Mervyn for A McLean (41). Extra-time subs: D Magee for O May (7)

REFEREE: Colin Murray (Down)