St Patrick’s Ballymena take maiden titleJune 26, 2019
Danske Bank Mulholland Cup final
St Patrick’s Ballymena 5-7 Sperrin Integrated Magherafelt 4-5
ST PATRICK’S Ballymena collected their first ever Ulster Schools’ title in the last final of the school year in Cargin yesterday afternoon.
Trailing for most of the second half, the mid-Antrim side scored 2-3 in the final ten minutes to snatch the Danske Bank Mulholland Cup from Sperrin College Magherafelt.
But it certainly did not look as if St Patrick’s would need that late salvo as they opened strongly and after eight minutes led by 3-2 to 1-0.
Stefan Donnelly pounced for a Sperrin goal inside the opening two minutes but Ballymena got into their stride with some great attacking moves through the middle and Cal O’Brien, Conlin Neill and Ryhs Wrigth all hit the net.
Indeed they could have been further ahead but for a couple of fine saves from Adam Seffin in the Sperrin goals and interceptions from defenders Craig Thornton and Torin Sheridan. Eventually the rest of the Sperrin side settled and Route One football brought them back into the game during the ten minutes before the break.
Darragh Rocks’ high punt was punched home by Drew Derby and another high ball was fielded by Caolán Mac an Fhir Léinn and fired to the roof of the Ballymena net. The come-back was complete when Ryan McKendry shot to the corner right on half-time and the Magherafelt outfit led by 4-3 to 3-3 at the turnaround.
They continued to enjoy plenty of possession for the third quarter, but couldn’t extend their lead with two Pearse Esler points closing the gap to two points.
It was now anybody’s game and St Patrick’s got the break seven minutes from the end when Rhys Wright’s shot was brilliantly stopped by Seffin but fell for Oisin O’Mullan to send over the line off a post. Conlin Neill and O’Mullan added points before Esler finished the game off with a late goal.
St Patrick’s : Oisin O’Mullan 1-3, 0-1 free, Pearse Esler 1-2, Conlin Neill 1-1, Cal O’Brien 1-0, Rhys Wright 1-0, Jude Casey 0-1.
Sperrin : Caolán Mac Fhir Léinn 1-2, 0-2 frees, Ryan McKendry 1-1, Stefan Donnelly 1-0, Drew Derby 1-0, Brian McMaster 0-1, Lee McMenamy 0-1.