Who will win Corn Rann na Feirste 2018?

November 29, 2018

Danske Bank Rannafast Cup final
Saturday 2pm in Emyvale
St Colman’s Newry v St Patrick’s Cavan
WHEN St Colman’s Newry hit the back of the St Patrick’s Armagh net seven times ten days ago in the Danske Bank Rannafast Cup semi-final, it wasn’t the first time they had scored seven goals.
Patrician Carrickmacross suffered the same fate in the opening game of the competition in early October as the Violet Hill boys started their unbeaten run through the competition.
St Patrick’s Maghera provided them with their toughest challenge, but again their ability to hit goals saw them through that test on a 4-5to 1-11 score-line.
While the attack has grabbed the headlines, St Colman’s team work is underpinned by a strong defence in which Aaron Norris, Ronan Campbell and Macdarragh Hynes play calm composed football under pressure.
The attack is dominated by player from Armagh clubs; the Clann Éireann quartet of Dan McCarthy, Oran McCafferty, Redmond French and Aaron Sheehan ably supported by Carrickcruppen’s Oisin O’Hare while Adam Crimmins from Mayobridge weighed in with 2-2 last day out.
St Patrick’s Cavan began their group campaign in similar fashion to St Colman’s, scoring 6-13, and stayed undefeated, meaning that they also qualified directly for the semi-finals.
That semi however didn’t take place until Tuesday of this week, and then in high-winds and artic like conditions in Pearse óg Park Armagh where they also faced a difficult challenge against an Abbey CBS side that was very compact at the back.
Indeed St Patrick’s only managed to score once in the opening half with the elements helping to keep them out. After the break however those elements were in their favour, but it wasn’t until the 55th minute that they managed to edge ahead with a goal from Fionntan O’Reilly
That win was an important breakthrough as in this age-group Cavan have lost out at the semi-final stage each year, but there is an impetus in this group now with younger players coming in holding Corn na nÓg medals from this time last year.
There are a number of very capable players in this group. Forwards Fionntán O’Reilly, Evan Kelly and Colin McKiernan have been prominent in the campaign but McKiernan has picked up an injury and missed the semi-final. Emmanuel Shehu is another to watch up front while the key player in defence is Denn’s Caoilaoin McCae wearing No 6.
Both teams play a nice brand of attacking football and this should be an entertaining climax to the competition. The result will probably hinge on whether or not Cavan can keep in check St Colman’s goal-scoring forwards.
St Colman’s : Conor Deery, Aaron Norris, Tony Magee, MacDarragh Hynes, Ronan Campbell, Peter McGrane, Redmond French, Jack Howlett, Ronan Fitzpatrick, Aaron Sheahan, Adam Crimmins, Dan McCarthy, Pádraig Clancy, Órán McCafferty, Oisin O’Hare
Subs : Christopher Creery, Cian McAvoy, Cathal Farrelly, Jack Devlin, Callum Rogers, Oisin Magone, Sean Downey, Sean McIlroy, Dara Scullion, Cormac McIlroy, James Kelly, Conor Hendron, Shea Byrne, PJ Hughes, JJ Ucar, James Crummie, Eoghan Roe O’Neill, Niall Somerville, Ronan McLaughlin, Pól óg McCormack, James Duggan, Shane Kavanagh.
St Patrick’s : Alex Puscasu, Eoghan Galligan, Cian Reilly, Cormac Smith, Ronan Trainor, Caolaoin McCabe, Tom Harten, Peter Smith, Richard Ayodele, Liam McEntee, Shane Tynan, Emmanuel Shehu, Evan Brady, Fionntán O’Reilly, Jack Tully
Subs: Cormac Lynch, Cian Donohue, Cormac McKeogh, Conor Casey, Kevin McPhillips, Evan Kelly, Jamie Smith, Adrian McGovern, Colin Mc Kiernan, Philip Smyth, Leon McGinnell, Conor McCabe, Conal Ruddy, Caolán Smith, James Gannon, David Halton, Mark Sexton, Conor Lee, Jack Graham, Cailum McNamara, Jack Maguire, Dallan McKenna