Finn Valley claim first Ward Cup crown

April 12, 2018

Danske Bank Ward Cup final
Finn Valley Stranorlar 2-7 Coláiste Oiriall Monaghan 2-6
Finn Valley CS in Stranorlar collected their first ever Ulster schools’ senior title with this narrow win in the Danske Bank Ward Cup final in Garvaghey yesterday, nailing a third of the senior competitions for Donegal schools after wins last month for Coláiste Ailigh Letterkenny and Carndonagh CS.
The key moment in the game came in the 21st minute when a sweeping move up the field by the Donegal lads saw Reece McGahern off-load to David Gallen and the Red Hugh’s clubman fired high into the net.
That score put Finn Valley into a 1-5 to 0-3 lead and this was how the teams turned over at the break, but more importantly it gave them the space to eke out a narrow victory.
James and Darragh Gallagher had big games for the winners with the latter breaking forward to set up attacks and take pressure off his defence.
Coláiste Oiriaill were a little unlucky to be so far behind at the break because they more than matched their opponents throughout the first half with Ogie Ó Dufaigh, Cormac Ó hAnluain and Eoin Mac Thaidhg key players in supporting the threat posed by Leon Ó Maolagáin Mac Cába and captain Conor Ó Dughaill.
Exchanges were fairly even up until the opening goal with Rory Mulligan and Caolan McClintock each scoring twice for Stranorlar and Leon Ó Maolagáin Mac Cába doing the same for Colaiste Oiriaill.
The Monaghan team came back strongly at the start of the second with a goal from Mac Cába bringing the sides level at 1-5 each.
However David Gallen notched the next score for Finn Valley, a point, and this was followed soon after by their second goal from Fionntan Griffin.
Although Shane Mac Cionna hit back with a goal for Monaghan, they couldn’t get on even terms again and Ryan Gallen sealed victory with a point a few minutes from time.
Finn Valley : K McConnell, C O’Brien, J Duffy, A McMenamin, D Gallen 1-1, D Gallagher, J Gallagher, R Mulligan 0-2, F Griffin 1-0, A Bruton, SJ Carlin, S McBride, C McClintock 0-2, R McGahern, R Gallen 0-2.
Subs: A McMenamin for S McBride, C Scanlon for R McGhern, P Doherty for C O’Brien
Coláiste Oiriall : C Ó Tuathail, Z Ó Mealláín, C Ó hAnluain, A Ó Loideáin, R Ó Cearbhaill, Ó Ó Dufaigh, R Ó Murchú, C Ó Dúghaill capt. 0-2, E Mac Thaidhg, S Ó hAodha, L Ó Maolagáin Mac Cába 1-3, 0-2 frees, L Mac Giolla Chomhaill, O de Paor, Shane Mac Cionna 1-1, D Ó hAmaill.
Subs : Seán Mac Cionna for D Ó h Amaill, E Ó Maoláin for O De Paor, A Ó Conchúr for S Ó hAodha