Holy Trinity pull away to bag Rafferty Cup

December 02, 2017

Holy Trinity Cookstown 2-12 St Patrick’s Keady 1-7
From Kevin Kelly in Lurgan
Two goals in five minutes from full forward Tiarnan Mackle in the second half helped propel Holy Trinity Cookstown to a deserved Danske Bank Rafferty Cup title at the St Paul’s club in Lurgan last night.
The Tyrone school had dominated the first half to establish a 0-9 to 0-2 lead but when St Patrick’s Keady reeled off the opening four points of the second period it was game on. During that spell Holy Trinity had keeper Olcan McCrory to thank for an outstanding save to deny Eoin Grimley.
Two minutes after that save Mackle bagged his first goal and when he repeated the feat it ended the game as a contest.
Holy Trinity had fine displays from Caolan Mulgrew, Thomas Mackle, Mark Devlin, Tiarnan Mackle and man of the match Shea Quinn while Keady were best served by Ruairi McCann, Grimley, Joe Sheridan and Louis Hughes.
Holy Trinity led 0-3 to 0-0 at the end of the opening quarter thanks to points from Tiarnan Mackle, Devlin and centre half back Thomas Mackle. Keady were struggling to get into the game while Holy Trinity were in full flow with Quinn and midfielder Devlin both landing superb braces.
It took St Patrick’s Keady until the 26th minute to open their account via a Grimley free but that score was quickly cancelled out by Quinn. An outstanding effort from an acute angle from Keady corner forward Ciaran Donnelly brought the first half scoring to a close but the Armagh lads had it all to do in the second half.
Whatever was said in the Keady dressing room at half-time certainly had the desired effect as they reappeared a transformed side. They began to take the game to Holy Trinity and when Hughes, Sheridan and Grimley all kicked points they closed the gap to 0-9 to 0-6.
That’s when McCrory made that crucial save and moments later Mackle had the ball in the net after he recovered well from slipping. It was a hammer blow to Keady and when their keeper Padraig Doyle fumbled a high ball there was Mackle lurking to grab his second major of the contest.
To their credit though Keady didn’t throw in the towel and a Hughes free was followed by a palmed goal from full forward Grimley in the 53rd minute. That though proved to be their last score of the night as Holy Trinity stepped up through the gears.
Devlin converted two frees within thirty seconds of each other and in the end they could well have won by a greater margin as they recorded a dozen wides over the course of the sixty odd minutes.
Holy Trinity Cookstown: O McCrory, J Muldoon, C Mulgrew, J Monaghan, N Connolly, T Mackle (0-1), P Quinn, O Mulgrew (0-1), M Devlin (0-5, 2f), S Moore, E O’Neill, J Duffy, S Quinn (0-4), T Mackle (2-1), S Gallagher.
Subs: J Coleman for Gallagher, A Dorman for Quinn, J Bloomer for Monaghan

St Patrick’s Keady: P Doyle, S Vallely, P Hughes, R Donnelly, S O’Toole, R McCann, C Crowe, M King, P Kerr, S King, L Hughes (0-3, 2f), O Murphy, J Sheridan (0-1), E Grimley (1-2, 1f), C Donnelly (0-1).
Sub: R McNally for Murphy

Referee: P Faloon, Down