Good last quarter sends McAvoy Cup to Strabane

May 01, 2018

Danske Bank McAvoy Cup Final
Holy Cross Strabane 1-12 Lismore Craigavon 2-7
from Kevin Kelly in Drumragh
Holy Cross Strabane held off a spirted Lismore comeback to lift the Danske Bank McAvoy Cup at Drumragh yesterday afternoon.
The wind-assisted Tyrone side enjoyed a seven point lead at the break but within nine minutes of the restart they saw that wiped out as the Armagh school drew level. Lismore were in the ascendency at that stage but they missed a few chances to get their noses in front.
The winners failed to score in the third quarter but they didn’t panic as they re-asserted themselves to hit five unanswered points and, while Lismore got a second goal deep into injury time from Michael McConville, it came too late in the day to save them.
The superb Oisin McGillion opened the scoring for Holy Cross before they got their goal in the 5th minute when Liam Duddy set up David Conway who finished in style.
McGillion drilled over another point before Lismore opened their account in the 11th minute with a fine effort from midfielder Ruairi McShane. Substitute Conner Byrne then converted a long range free and when Shea Conway got in on the act the deficit had been trimmed to 1-2 to 0-3.
Holy Cross weren’t making the most of the elements but all that changed in the last seven minutes of the half as McGillion (2), Jake O’Neill (2) and Conway all registered to give them a 1-7 to 0-3 interval advantage.
The second half was only 15 seconds old when Peadar McParland fired low to the bottom right hand corner of the net to signal “Game on”. The same player added a point before Byrne landed two monster scores from distance.
It was just the start that Lismore were looking for and when McShane drew them level in the 39th minute things were looking good. Crucially however they kicked four wides in a row and that let their opponents off the hook.
McGillion settled Holy Cross nerves from a 47th minute free and when O’Neill found the range again they had their confidence back. With Eoin Barcley, Oran Farrell and Anthony Crossan to the fore in defence they held Lismore at bay while at the other end of the field the crucial scores happened.
Another McGillion free gave the winners a bit more breathing space and when team captain Aaron McGrath burst through for an inspirational score there were four between the sides with two minutes left to play.
As the contest slipped into injury time man of the match McGillion weighed in with his seventh point to seal victory before that late palmed goal from defender McConville.
Holy Cross Strabane: C Graham, A Bishop, E Barcley, S Sweeney, O Farrell, A Crossan, G Corry, A McGrath (0-1), J O’Neill (0-3), S Devine, O McGillion (0-7, 3f), R Callaghan, E Kelly, L Duddy, D Conway (1-1).
Subs: C McHugh for Callaghan, K McLaughlin for Devine
Lismore Craigavon: F Murray, R Codd, N Ormsby, D McNally, A McParland, D McCrory, M McConville (1-0), R McShane (0-2), C Robinson, P McParland (1-1), S Conway (0-1), R DaSilva, L Toman, N Magill, O O’Kane.
Subs: C Byrne (0-3, 1f) for Toman, C McCrory for D McCrory, M McMullan for Robinson
Referee: M McCarron, Tyrone