St Killian’s reach Leonard Cup final

January 10, 2018

Danske Bank Leonard Cup semi-final
St Killian’s Garron Tower 1-18 St Louis Ballymena 1-5
St Killian’s Garron Tower reached their first ever Danske Bank Leonard Cup final with a comfortable semi-final yesterday in Ballymena over the local St Louis team.
This game was scheduled for mid-November but postponed because of snow, then the state of pitches and pre-Christmas exams and the delay showed with plenty of handling mistakes from both sides – although there was no disputing that the Tower boys were a much stronger outfit both physically and as a team unit.
Cathal Hynds and Mark Emerson had a great battle in midfield with Paudie McGilligan and Paddy Duggan, but the Tower defence controlled St Louis’ attack with only Colla McDonnell posing a threat.
At the other end, St Killian’s applied plenty of pressure and, but for Conor Dickson and Rory McCloskey’s hard work, they would have racked up a lot more scores than they did.
In first half fog, St Killian’s hit the opening two points through Ciaran Magill and Fintan McQuillan and, although Colla McDonnell pulled one back for St Louis, it was the glens’ outfit that went on to dominate the first half with a series of points to lead by 0-13 to 0-1 at the break with McQuillan and full-forward Shea McDonnell (0-3) firing over some nice scores.
Indeed their only score from a placed ball came right on the break with Pearse McKeegan firing over a 65 to put 12 points between the teams.
Ciaran Magill hit two points on the re-start and then waltzed through for a goal in the 35th minute that was the signal for his management team to ring the changes.
Paudie McGilligan lifted St Louis with 1-1 inside 90 seconds, but Fintan McQuillan fired over a nice point in response.
The last quarter was well contested with McGilligan (0-1 from a free) and Colla McDonnell (0-2) breaking through for Ballymena points and sub Sean O’Boyle adding to St Killian’s total with a late free.
St Killian’s now face Cross and Passion in the final on Monday in Ballymena.
St Killian’s : James McAllister, Declan Magill, Liam McLaughlin, Conor McCollam, Pearse McKeegan 0-1 free, Aidan Scullion, Euan McSparron, Cathal Hynds capt 0-1, Mark Emerson, Fintan McQuillan 0-3, Ciaran Magill 1-5, Calum Kilgore 0-1, Colm McKeegan 0-1, Shea McDonnell 0-3, Seanie McIntosh 0-1.
Subs : Sean O’Boyle 0-1 free for S McIntosh, Niall McGarrel for C Kilgore, Daniel Kearney for C McKeegan, Dara Mort for C McCollum, Shea McNaughton for S McDonnell, Shane McKenna for C Magill.
St Louis : Colm McCloskey, Aodhan McGarry, Kevin O’Boyle, Ronan Doherty, Ryan Mort, Conor Dickson, Rory McCloskey capt, Paudie McGilligan 1-2, 0-1 free, Paddy Duggan, Eoin O’Kane, Colla McDonnell 0-3, Conal McCloskey, Thomas O’Kane, Ben Friel, Sean Higgins
Sub: Aidan Scullion for R Doherty.
Referee : Vincent Boyle (Dunloy)