Red High and Abbey Win in MacLarnon

January 15, 2020

Danske Bank MacLarnon Cup
Round 1 Eliminators

St Patrick’s Downpatrick 1-11 St Louis Ballymena 0-7
Abbey VS Donegal 8-12 St Mary’s CBGS Belfast 2-6

ST LOUIS Ballymena started brightly with two points from Aidan Scullion in thier Danske Bank MacLarnon Cup Round 1 Eliminator at the Dub, but as the first half progressed it became clear that defending champions St Patrick’s Downpatrick were the more accomplished team.

Although St Louis Ballymena still led at the break by 0-4 to 0-2, the writing was on the wall for the mid-Antrim boys with the pace of the Downpatrick wing-forwards and wing-backs plus the presence of Aodhan Harney, Tom Smyth and Ruairí Connor down the centre always a problem for them.
St Louis looked good in the opening few minutes with Scullion lively and Ruairí Hagan and Ryan McQuillan pushing forward, but that penetration was arrested before the end of the first quarter and the scores dried up.
Their hopes of remaining in the tie against the strong breeze in the second half rested on a penalty in first half injury-time when Ronan McKillop fed Ryan McQuillan and the Glenravel man was taken down.

But Aidan Scullion pulled his shot wide from the spot kick and that two points’ lead did not look good enough.

Tom Smyth, Tom Savage, Chris McIlroy and Dermot Donaldson all pointed in the opening six minutes of the new half and the result was not in doubt from then on.
Some of these were well taken scores, but the cream of the crop was a seven player move down the left wing which finished with Conor Murray slinging over the second of his four second half scores in the 42nd minute.
Six minutes later the Red High slammed the door shut on Ballymena. Ryan McQuillan’s attempt at a point from a free dropped short into Peter Kearney’s arms. Kearney fed Odhrán Barlow who carried it 30 metres before firing the ball long over the St Louis defence into the arms of Ruairí Connor. The burly centre-forward took the goalie on and left-footed to the net.
Ballymena hit back with points from two McQuillan frees and a fine effort from Daniel McNicholl but Murray (2), Smyth and, at the death, a free from Connor rubber-stamped the holders’ ticket to a second round tie with Carndonagh Community School.

Meanwhile another Donegal school, Abbey Vocational, was really impressive in their 8-12 to 2-6 win over St Mary’s CBGS in Garvaghey, a victory that sees them line up St Paul’s Bessbrook in the next round.
Shay Travers was top scorer in the first half with two goals and four points for Abbey who led at the break by 4-8 to 1-2 with Barra McCaffrey scoring the goal for St Mary’s.

Abbey continued to dominate the second half and Cian Rooney banged home four goals as Abbey set up a second round tie with the Armagh school.

St Mary’s : Barra McCaffrey (1-2), Daire Murphy (1-1), Caolan McKernan (0-1), Darragh Gorman (0-1), Niall Fallon (0-1)
St Louis : Rory McCloseky, Conall Killough, Daragh Donaghy, Sean Higgins, Shaun O’Callaghan, Oisin Connolly, Ryan McCartney, Ruairí Hagan, Daniel McNicholl (0-1), Ryan McQuillan (0-3 frees), Ronan McKillop, Patrick Dougan, Aidan Scullion (0-2, 0-1 free), Callum Higgins (0-1), Patrick Ferris.
Sub : Conor Crossey for S Higgins (52)

St Patrick’s : Peter Kearney, Oran Gormley, Lorcan Guiness, Caolan Murray, Odhran Barlow (0-1), Aodan Harney, Tom Savage (0-3, 0-1 free), Oran Cunningham, Conor Murray (0-4, 0-1 free), Tom Savage (0-1), Ronan Connor (1-0, 0-1 free), Dermot Donaldson, Chris McIlroy (0-1), Tom McNeill, Odhran Sherry.
Subs : Jack Fitzsimons for D Donaldson (52).

Referee : Paul Hughes (Antrim)

Abbey : Cian Rooney (4-1), Shay Travers (2-7), Alex McCalmot (1-1), Conor Campbell (1-0), Frank Cornyn (0-2), Thomas White (0-1).
St Mary’s : Barra McCaffrey (1-2), Daire Murphy (1-1), Caolan McKernan (0-1), Darragh Gorman (0-1), Niall Fallon (0-1)