McAuley stars as CPC retain the Foresters’ Cup

March 28, 2018

Danske Bank Foresters’ Cup final
Cross and Passion Ballycastle 2-17 St Killian’s Garron Tower 1-7
This Danske Bank Foresters’ Cup final in Cushendun promised more than it delivered with Cross and Passion Ballycastle taking control at an early point and not allowing St Killian’s Garron Tower to get a foothold in the game.
A big factor in the game was the concession of so many frees by the Tower defence, 12 of the Ballycastle points came from placed ball, Seamus McAuley nailing eight frees from close range and Michael O’Boyle landing four from around and beyond the 65m line.

Seamus McAuley scorere of 2-11
McAuley was the target man for the winners and caused the St Killian’s defence huge problems from early in the contest; he won most of the frees he pointed and went on to score 2-11, with goals late in each half.
O’Boyle also caused problems and a couple of his first half frees were top class. Others to shine for the winners were Enda óg McGarry, Rian McMullan and Cathal Hargan, while few really stepped up to the level of the semi-final performance for the losers, Pearse McKeegan and Fionntan McQuillan possibly their best on a day they played second fiddle.
Pádraig McKillop scored for the Tower after O’Boyle had scored a long range opening free but Cross and Passion opened up a 0-6 to 0-1 lead before Ronan McAteer got St Killian’s second point.
The score-board read 0-7 to 0-3 in the 25th minute when Rian McMullan’s long range effort for a point broke for Seamus McAuley to take possession and beat two defenders before hitting the net.
St Killian’s hit back fairly quickly though with Fionntan McQuillan latching on to a broken ball and firing home from 20 metres, leaving Cross and Passion with an interval lead of 1-8 to 1-4.
However they pulled away at the start of the third quarter with four points in a row from McAuley, including three frees.
St Killian’s then moved his marker John McAllister into centre-forward where he immediately shot two points, but points from Rian McMullan, Joe McToal and McAuley kept the winners in a healthy lead before McAuley banged in his second goal in the 51st minute to secure back-to-back titles for Ballycastle.
Cross and Passion : K McAuley, M McClean, E óg McGarry, R Laverty, C McGlynn, C Hargan capt, D Devlin, C McKinley, S Brogan, R McMullan 0-1, M O’Boyle 0-4 frees, E Laverty, O McGrath, S McAuley 2-11, 0-9 frees, J McToal 0-1.
Subs : R McClean for S Brogan (55), C O’Mullan for O McGrath (47), C McCormick for J McToal (57), F McKernan for E Laverty (58).
St Killian’s : James McAllister, M Emerson, L McLoughlin, S McDonnell, P McKeegan, John McAllister capt 0-2, A Scullion, A Ritson, C Black, R McAteer 0-1, C Magill, C Hynds, P McKillop 0-1, O Kearney, F McQuillan 1-3, 0-2 frees.
Subs : S O’Boyle for A Ritson (43), E McSparran for O Kearney (53).
Referee : Owen Elliott (Ballymena)

Thanks to John Curly McIlwaine for the photographs