Frees decide Thompson Cup final

June 06, 2018

Danske Bank Thompson Cup
ULSTER Schools’ hurling history was made yesterday at Slemish Park Ballymena when Cross & Passion Ballycastle beat St Killian’s Garron Tower in a shoot-out at the end of a brilliant day’s hurling in the Danske Bank Thompson Cup.
Two fine sides could not be separated neither at the end of normal time, nor after five minutes each way extra time. So for the first time a final had to be decided on frees – Ballycastle winning 2-1. Their scorers were Tiago McGarry and Dara Kelly while Phelim Ward pointed for St Killian’s.
St Killian’s had opened a five points’ lead early in normal time with goals from Oisin Woodhouse and Peadar McDonnell. However a great goal by Gavin McToal and Tiago McGarry free closed the gap to the minimum.
McDonnell and Cormac McKeown moved the Tower three ahead with just two minutes left for play, but that was wiped out by a goal from Ben O’Kane in the final minute to force extra time.
Once again St Killian’s started well with points from Oran O’Connor and Joseph McLaughlin, but again a Ben O’Kane goal did damage and everything hinged on a late 65 that McLaughlin converted to set up the historic shoot-out.
Six schools took part in the competition with two groups of three playing in a round-robin format. In the quarter finals St Patrick’s Maghera beat St Mary’s Belfast, while Our Lady & St Patrick’s Knock got the better of St Louis Ballymena.
On to the semi-finals where CPC beat Maghera while St Killian’s staged a great second half comeback to take out Knock.

Picture : John Curly McIlwaine