Late surge sees Maghera into Mageean final

October 17, 2017

Danske Bank Mageean Cup semi-final

St Patrick’s Maghera 4-12 St Louis Ballymena 1-10

47 minutes into this Danske Bank Mageean Cup semi-final in the Loup Richie Mullan placed Martin Quinn for a Maghera point to level at 0-9 to Ballymena’s 1-6.

Up until that point, Maghera were struggling to convert a good degree of possession into scores against a dogged St Louis defence. But things opened up during the last quarter with the Derry school finding the net four times to march through to the final next weekend.

St Louis played some crisp hurling in the opening half to go in at the break 1-5 to 0-6 up, the goal coming from Sean O’Neill who picked up the sliotar in the clear and ran right in on goal.

Liam McCann fired over four points, two from frees, as the mid Antrim side made the most of their openings, while frustrating their opponents. Indeed Maghera went 16 minutes without a score in that period, Richie Mullan ending the drought with two long range frees.

However the Kevin Lynch’s sharp-shooter saw his penalty saved well by Adam Mooney right on half-time and it took all of the third quarter before Maghera broke down the Ballymena defence.

Substitute Padraig O’Kane opened a gap by tapping home the first goal from close range after a mazy run from right half forward.

By this stage free-taker Mullan had moved from defence to the full-forward line and his hand-pass sent in Tiarnán McHugh for a second goal in the 52nd minute. 60 seconds later the pair combined again for Mullan to rattle the net and four minutes later O’Kane showed real determination to kick home a fourth major from close range.

Ballymena will be disappointed with how the last quarter went – but they failed to score from open play after the 18th minute and can have little complaint about the eventual outcome

St Patrick’s C Henry, O Magill, L McCann, R Mulholland, N McNicholl, T Walsh, R Mullan 1-6, 0-5 frees, P Quinn, M Quinn 0-1, M McCormick 0-1, P McLaughlin 0-2 frees, F Ó Caiside, Ruairi Raffferty, T McHugh 1-2, D Bradley.

Subs : P O’Kane 2-0 for D Bradley (35), F Bradley for R Mulholland (54), E McKenna for T McHugh (60)

St Louis : A Mooney, P Kinsella, A Crawford, B McNaughton, C McFadden, R McGarry, E McGrath, L McCann 0-9, 0-7 frees, S McFadden, C Scullion, A McGrath, E Elliott, D Fagan, S O’Neill 1-0, A McNeilly 0-1.

Subs : J Dixon for D Fagan (36), S O’Boyle for P Kinsella (46), P McGilligan for S O’Boyle (53).

Referee : Jackie Carson (Cushendall)