Early 2nd half goals win Kirk Cup for Portaferry

April 10, 2019

Danske Bank Kirk Cup final
St Columba’s Portaferry 7-10 St Patrick’s Downpatrick 3-15
GOALS win games and the purple goal patch that St Columba’s Portaferry hit immediately after half-time in yesterday’s Danske Bank Kirk Cup final sealed a second Ulster Schools’ hurling title of the season for the peninsula side.
St Columba’s trailed by a point at the break, 1-9 to 2-5, and Tom McGrattan stretched the Red High lead with a point on the re-start. But then came the goals that turned the game on its head
Paul Fitzsimons buried the first and within three minutes Francis Caldwell had added two more while Callum O’Neill’s strike made it 6-5 to 1-10 and the end line was in sight for St Columba’s.
That was in contrasst to the start of the game. Downpatrick opened brightly and led by 0-5 to 0-1 after 12 minutes, with three of the points coming from Eoin Magee.
A goal from Jon Fisher gave Portaferry a foothold and the teams exchanged points before a long free from goalie Callum Lavery went all the way to the Red High net.
Tom McGrattan who was having a brilliant game hit back with 1-1 and Eoin Magee’s fifth point of the half made the difference at the turnover.
After that explosive opening to the second half, the game settled again and McGrattan’s second goal gave Downpatrick a chance at 6-8 to 2-12.
But Kirk Eccles cancelled it with a brilliant strike in the 53rd minute while Red High sub Fearghal McManis finished the scoring with yet another excellent goal.
Not exactly a thriller, but some passages of excellent skill, top class goals and the Kirk Cup joins the Leopold in Portaferry
St Columba’s : C Lavery (1-1 frees), P Donnelly, C Trainor, D Magee, C Savage, D Mallon, L Boyd, R Convery, J Fisher (1-0), K Eccles (1-0), F Caldwell (2-3, 0-2 frees), C O’Neill (1-1), P Smyth (0-1), P Fitzsimons, (1-0) C Fowler (0-3)
Subs : A Jamshidi for P Smyth, E Adair for C ONeill
St Patrick’s : M Churchman, T Connolly, R McGrath, T Loughran, M Dorrian, R O’Neill (0-2), A Rogan, E Magee (0-5, (0-4 frees)
), O Coulter (0-1), F McFall, T McGrattan (2-5), F Turpin, M McCabe (0-1), C O’Hanlon, E Bell
Subs: F MacManus (1-1) for E Bell, O Sherry for C O’Hanlon

Referee : C Rice (Warrenpoint)

Pictured after the Danske Bank Kirk Cup final are the O’Neill brothers Ryan (left) for St Patrick’s Downpatrick and Callum for St Columba’s Portaferry. Both scored twice in the final, but it was the younger sibling Callum who got his hands on the silverware after contributing 1-1