St Mary’s Shock Maghera in Leonard Cup final

January 24, 2019

Danske Bank Leonard Cup final
St Mary’s CBGS Belfast 4-8 St Patrick’s Maghera 2-13 (AET)
PERSEVERENCE was key to St Mary’s CBGS Belfast prevailing after an enthralling Danske Bank Leonard Cup final at the Dub that went to the last seconds of extra time before a free from Dubhaltach Wilson was deflected into the Maghera net off a defender’s stick.
Maghera generally held the lead in a keenly-contested final, but St Mary’s were never too far behind and the turning point came during a five minute spell between the 50th and 55th minutes.
Maghera had gone into a 2-10 to 2-4 lead shortly beforehand, but a long free from Wilson in the 50th minute wasn’t properly dealt with and Niall Fallon rifled to the net to give his side a lifeline. Wilson quickly added a free.
Then a free from Peter McCullagh that went all the way to the Belfast net was ruled out for a player being in the area and St Mary’s converted two late frees, from captain Fionn Mervyn and Wilson to send the game to extra time on a 2-10 to 3-7 score-line.
After the first period of extra time both sides still couldn’t be separated, James Friel’s point cancelled out by Wilson from another free.
But Maghera looked to have secured victory through points from Peter McCullagh and Shea McKenna in the second period, until that late free from Wilson made it into the net.
Maghera made the brighter start with points from Jody McDermott and Peter McCullough and were not fazed when Diarmuid Rogan swept a loose ball to their net after seven minutes.
By the 10th minute they had regained the lead with Jody McDermott flicking Peter McCullagh’s free past Rhys Camlin. But the teams were level again when Caoimhin Duffy raced on to a through pass and rifled low to the Maghera net, 1-4 to 2-1.
McDermott scrambled a second goal on 20 minutes and the teams turned at 2-6 to 2-3 in favour of Maghera, who pushed on to lead by 2-10 to 2-4 at the three-quarter stage before St Mary’s dug themselves out of the hole, made it to extra time and staged the late smash and grab.
St. Mary’s : R Camlin, P Moyes, M McCloskey, S Hughes, B McCauley, F Mervyn (0-1 free), P Shortt, D Churchill, C Boyle, E McBrearity, N McGarry, N Fallon (1-0), D Rogan (1-0), C Duffy (1-0), D Wilson (1-7 frees).
Subs: B Burns for D Churchill (31), M Howell for N McGarry (61), N McGarry for M Howell (73), P Donnelly for D Rogan (76).
St Patrick’s : P Reid, PJ McVeigh, T O’Neill, P Brown, C O’Kane, R Dillon, S McLaughlin, P McCullagh (0-6, 0-5 frees), J Friel (0-2), T McKeagney, J McDermott (2-2), C Murtagh (0-2), C Murray, S McKenna (0-1), E Hassan.

Picture from John Curly McIlwaine (again)

The Saffron Gael report and pics below