Smyth wraps up perfect year for St Ronan’sApril 07, 2018
St Ronan’s Lurgan 1-10 Rice College Westport 1-9
From Kevin Kelly in Páirc an Chrócaigh
St Ronan’s Lurgan made sure of an Ulster double at Croke Park yesterday afternoon when they edged out Rice College Westport to win a first ever Hogan Cup title.
It was the Connaught champions who led at the end of a closely fought first half. Oisin Smyth put the MacRory Cup winners into an early lead but in the 6th minute Westport grabbed a goal.
A “45” was flicked to the net from close range by midfielder Patrick Chambers. Stephen Loftus then added a point from a free but suddenly St Ronan’s began to grow in confidence.
Eoin McConville knocked over two “45s” the second of which came from a brilliant save from Westport keeper Cian Kennedy to deny Ruairi McConville a goal.
Eoin McConville then put St Ronan’s in front and after Keith Joyce and Pat Lambert had scored for Westport Rioghan Meehan left it all square again. The Mayo lads though finished the first half strongly with a superb point from centre half forward Mark Moran and one from a Loftus free to lead 1-5 to 0-6 at the short whistle.
A Loftus free pushed the Connaught champions three in front on the re-start but Smyth kept the Armagh school in touch with his third of the afternoon. St Ronan’s then should have taken the lead but midfielder Jack Lenehan blasted a goal chance wide.
In the 39th minute though they did get a goal when a flowing move was finished first time to the net by Tiernan Kelly. A Lambert free levelled matters but back came St Ronan’s with Adam Loughran edging them ahead.
But Loftus sent over the equaliser before Mark Moran gave Westport the lead. As the tension grew St Ronan’s missed a few chances before Loughran made it 1-9 each in the 52nd minute. The winner came sixty seconds later with Smyth landing an outstanding effort with the outside of his boot. Westport had a great chance to send the game to extra time but Lambert missed a scoreable free late on as St Ronan’s held out.
St Ronan’s Lurgan: L Mulholland, E McCluskey, A Mulholland, J Haddock, A McCreanor, J Lamont, J Haughey, J Lenehan, T Kelly (1-0), O Smyth (0-4), A Loughran (0-2), R Meehan (0-1), R McConville, L Monteiro, E McConville (0-3, 3f).
Subs: M McAfee for R McConville, J Megoran for McCreanor
Rice College Westport: C Kennedy, L Dawson, R Brickenden, R Walsh, J Carney, E McLaughlin, M Brady, F McManamon , P Chambers (1-0), K Joyce (0-1), M Moran (0-2), L Tunney, S Loftus (0-4, 4f), P Lambert (0-2,1f), C Heaney.
Subs: C Calvey for Loftus, J McGlynn for Brady
Referee: B Cawley, Kildare