Strong 2nd half wins 1st Casement for St Columb’sDecember 18, 2019
Danske Bank Casement Shield final
St Columb’s Derry 2-8 St Malachy’s Belfast 1-7
CONDITIONS in Meadowbank Magherafelt were far from ideal for this Danske Bank Casement Shield final yesterday but St Columb’s Derry will be happy enough on the journey home after coming from four points down at the break to take a first title.
A number of their players turned in good performances well led by Michael Lynch at centre-half back. Michael and Ronan Moore in the full-back line, Pauric Neillis, Adam Rankin and Donegal under-age star Conor Gartland up front all shone.
However it was more heartbreak for St Malachy’s who have been on the losing end in finals for four of the last five years. Niall O’Connor did well at midfield, Bailey Graham was safe in nets while Owen Kennedy and Ryan McCloskey worked hard, but they really didn’t build up enough scores during the first half when the elements were in their favour.
Although Conor Gartland opened the scoring with a point, St Malachy’s enjoyed most of the possession over the next 20 minutes and three points inside two minutes from Niall O’Connor, Conor McNicholl and Anthony McGarrigle put them 0-4 to 0-1 up.
O’Connor and Conn MacFarlane added points before the key score of the half, a breakaway goal from St Columb’s with Adam Rankin pulling on a through ball that Bailey Graham half saved but the sliotar slipped over the line.
Jude óg Moore added a point and the Derry side had something to hang on to going into the break, despite Michael Devenny striking a goal for St Malachy’s who led 1-6 to 1-2 at the turnover.
During the first 12 minutes of the second half, St Columb’s drew level with points from their captain Michael Lynch (two frees), Jude óg Moore and Conor Gartland. Then as he had done in the first half, Adam Rankin got on the end of a move down the right wing and he flashed a shot to the top corner.
Lynch and Martin added points and St Columb’s looked to be safe. However they spent the last quarter in their own half defending stubbornly and could not add to their total. Significantly however their defence locked in well and only conceded a point from a free scored by Niall O’Connor as the Shield went to the Buncrana Road for the first time.
St Columb’s : O Duddy, C McClean, M Moore, R Moore, A Meehan. M Lynch (0-3, 0-2 frees), O O’Kane, K O’Kane, A Cutliffe, P Neillis, A Rankin (2-0), J óg Moore (0-2), T Martin (0-1), C Gartland (0-2), A Breslin
St Malachy’s: B Graham, O Smyth, O Kennedy, C McCann, R McCloskey, D Maguire, L O’Connor, N O’Connor (0-4, 0-3 frees), E McCartan, C MacFarlane (0-1), C McNicholl (0-1), D Turley, M Devenny (1-1), M Braniff, A McGarrigle (0-1).
Subs used : C Morgan, R Eager, M óg Dunne