Holy Trinity take Treanor Cup in exciting final

April 18, 2019

Holy Trinity Cookstown 1-10 St Paul’s Bessbrook 1-8
From Kevin Kelly in Armagh
Holy Trinity Cookstown secured the Danske Bank Treanor Cup when they edged a close and entertaining encounter with St Paul’s Bessbrook at Pearse Óg Park in Armagh yesterday afternoon.
With man of the match Shea Lawn on fire in the first half the Tyrone school led by four points at the break and when they increased that advantage with the opening score of the second half they looked to be well on their way to victory.
Credit though has to go to St Paul’s who rolled up their sleeves to get back on level terms with time running out. At that stage extra time looked likely but Holy Trinity enjoyed a good spell in the closing moments to get two crucial points to ensure that they took the silverware.
It was impressive Bessbrook full forward Andrew Cunningham who opened the scoring in the 2nd minute from a free but Cookstown were soon on level terms thanks to a quality effort from play from Odhran Nugent from out on the right wing.
Lawn then put his side in front with a point from play before the same player added one from a free. A Jack Collins free narrowed the deficit before St Paul’s struck for a superb goal in the 19th minute.
Gareth Murphy, who was superb at the back, began the move that saw Patrick McVerry deliver a high ball in from the right wing were full forward Cunningham jumped highest to catch it before thumping an unstoppable shot to the roof of the net past Oran Devlin.
That proved to be their last score of the first half though as Holy Trinity took the game by the scruff of the neck. Good approach play from Callan Devlin saw him find Lawn who burst through and his shot was deflected to the net by defender Aaron McArdle.
The same player then landed an outstanding point from out on the left wing before he knocked over a long range free as well. The centre half forward was a constant danger when in possession and he had the final say of the first half as well for a 1-6 to 1-2 lead.
Holy Trinity and Lawn picked up where they had left off on the re-start from a free before Bessbrook enjoyed their best spell of the game. Cunningham, McVerry and Piaras Woods all weighed in with quality points before wing half back Jack Martin got a much needed Holy Trinity score.
It was Bessbrook though who had the momentum and when two frees from Cunningham were followed by a point from play from midfielder Fergal O’Brien the sides were level.
Holy Trinity midfielder and Captain Blaine Ryan then put his side in front and after both sides had missed chances substitute Matthew Donaghy sealed victory with a point with the last kick of the game.
Holy Trinity Cookstown: O Devlin, J Hamilton, C Lavery, S McNamee, C Devlin, J Martin (0-1), B Ryan (0-1), O O’Driscoll, C McElduff, S Lawn (1-6, 3F), P Lynch, O Nugent (0-1), S McAleer, R Devlin.
Subs: M Ward for R Devlin, M Donaghy (0-1) for Nugent, M Conlon for McAleer
St Paul’s Bessbrook: S McMullan, D O’Neill, A McArdle, R Keatings, D Swift, G Murphy, J McClelland, F O’Brien (0-1), R Magee, R O’Brien, C Kavanagh, P Woods (0-1), J Collins (0-1, 1F), A Cunningham (1-4, 3F), P McVerry (0-1).
Sub: L Kelly for Collins
Referee: M McNally, Monaghan