St John’s take first Ulster title

January 18, 2020

St John’s Dromore 4-12 All Saints College Belfast 3-4
From Kevin Kelly in Meadowbank

St John’s Dromore turned on the power in the second half at MUSA yesterday afternoon to overcome a gallant All Saints College Belfast side in the Danske Bank Corn Mac Neasa final.
The Tyrone school turned around at half-time only two points to the good but a more direct style of play in the second half reaped dividends as they produced a fine display of attacking football.
The winners couldn’t have asked for a better start to the game as midfielder Paschal Donnelly crashed the ball to the net after only 14 seconds. All Saints though responded with a point from Matthew McConnell before full forward Jack Gilmore put them in front when he first timed past keeper Charlie Garrity.
Liam Burns then put the Belfast lads two in front and at that stage they were the better side. In the 11th minute though St John’s hit the front in fortunate circumstances when a free from out on the sideline from Nathan Hunter sailed all the way to the net.
A well taken point from midfielder James Winters levelled matters before man of the match Callum Welsh got his first score for Dromore. The same player then crossed the ball for unmarked defender James Moore to finish to the net from close range as they moved four clear.
Again though All Saints wasted no time in responding and after McConnell had pointed the same player won the next kick out and sent in a high ball which went all the way to the net. St John’s closed the half out with points from Donnelly and Welsh to lead 3-3 to 2-4 at the break.
Welsh weighed in with a brace in the early stages of the second half and St John’s never looked back. To their credit All Saints battled for every ball but with the wind at their backs the Tyrone school took most opportunities that came their way.
Donnelly added a point before Colm McCann lobbed All Saints keeper Declan Flanagan. Welsh took his personal haul to 0-8 with a number of quality points to pull away from their opponents. With time running out All Saints were awarded a penalty and while McConnell’s kick was saved by keeper Garrity the same player followed up to score from the rebound.
It was only a consolation score though as St John’s ran out worthy winners on the day.
St John’s Dromore: C Garrity, J Moore (1-0), M Kelly, C Monaghan, E Liggett, C McGurren, M McCrystal, P Donnelly (1-3), C McCann (1-0), E McCann, C Welsh (0-8, 1F), P Marlowe, C Hunter, N Hunter (1-1), F Healy.
Subs: O McKenna for Moore, D McQuaid for McCrystal

All Saints Belfast: D Flanagan, D Doran, D Young, E Toner, M Gaston, R Massey, F McIlkearney, J Ireland (0-1), J Winters (0-1), S Thompson, L Burns, L Gibson, D McCleaghan, J Gilmore (1-0), M McConnell (2-2, 1F).
Subs: J McCarthy for Gaston
Referee: M Coyle