Danske Bank Foresters’ Cup finalApril 06, 2017
Danske Bank Foresters’ Cup final
Friday, 3pm in Cloughmills
Cross & Passion Ballycastle v St Louis Ballymena
The two teams that have reached this afternoon’s Danske Bank Foresters’ Cup final have easily seen off their opponents on the way to the decider; the semi-finals earlier this week indicated how far they were ahead of the pack.
Cross and Passion, winners of each title through the age-groups with this team, saw off holders St Patrick’s Maghera on Tuesday with a 1-21 to 0-7 score-line, while 24 hours earlier St Louis Ballymena were 1-16 to 1-6 winners over last season’s beaten finalists St Killian’s, the losers’ goal coming in the last few minutes of play.
However while Cross and Passion have become less dependent on the excellent Ryan Hill to see them through games, St Louis seem to have become more reliant on the brilliant Seaan Elliott to see them through.
The Dunloy forward, who helped his school to the Mageean Cup title in 2015 as a Year 11 student accounted for 0-14 from the 1-16 and was involved in each of the other three scores, his huge free at the start of the second half playing in Declan McCloskey for the goal.
That withstanding, St Louis have progressed well defensively with Eoin McCusker and Shane O’Boyle tightening up the middle in front of safe goalkeeper Adam Mooney who also did well in the Mageean Cup this year.
The opening game against St Killian’s was Ballycastle’s closest game so far, but they were still winners by ten points.
Ryan Hill has been the stand-out performer all through school but he has garnered good support from the McAuley brothers, Seamus and Oisin, Michael McGarry, Conor McBride and midfielder Emmett O’Hara, a nephew of All-star Olcan Clute McFetridge.
Paul Boyle and Michael McGarry shot nine points from play between them in the semi-final, indicating that there is back-up should Hill be restricted to scores from frees.
Cross and Passion were the competition favourites from before the off and I still think that they will win out. However St Louis have tightened up well in defence and work very hard for each other all over the pitch. That will make life difficult for CPC.
Elliott is the key player and both teams know it. An over-reliance on one player for scores usually comes unstuck at some stage. St Louis will hope that he continues to deliver.
Cross & Passion: R McAllister, S Brogan, T McGlynn, E óg NcGarry, S McAuley, O McAuley capt., C Hargan, R Hill, C Butler, M McGarry, E O’Hara, P Boyle, C McBride, R McFarline, R McMullan
Subs : T Donnelly, C Donnelly, T McAlonan, C Watterson, G Maybin, M O’Boyle, J McToal, L Donnelly, R Dallas, D Cree, C McKeague
St Louis did not provide a team line-out