Boyd buries St Louis MacLarnon dream

February 12, 2019

Danske Bank MacLarnon Cup semi-final

St Patrick’s Downpatrick 2-15 St Louis Ballymena 0-11

WING-HALF back Brandon Boyd was the key player for St Patrick’s Downpatrick in yesterday evening’s Danske Bank MacLarnon Cup semi-final in St Paul’s Lurgan.

Boyd was a constant spring-board for his side’s attacks, getting up to support the forwards and after 33 minutes he took a pass over the top from Tom Smith to fire low to Daniel McNicholl’s right hand corner.

That score added to three Ruairí O’Hare points just before the break and opened up a gap between the teams. By the 40th minute the score-line read 1-12 to 0-6 and St Louis Ballymena were struggling.

The mid-Antrim side rallied however to hit four points in a row, but their commitment to attack left gaps at the back and Brandon Boyd finished them off with a second goal in the 55th minute when any of four players could have been taking the last pass on a quick breakaway.

Downpatrick were full value for their victory, despite the closeness of the exchanges during the first half. Ruairí O’Hare had a strong game in the middle of the park and was accurate from frees throughout while Tim Prentor, Peter McMullan and Owen Rooney were always prominent.

Rooney was designated the job of picking up St Louis dangerman Seaan Elliott and, apart from a quick break from the throw-in that the Dunloy clubman pointed, he can be pretty pleased with his contribution.

McNicholl in the Ballymena goals pulled off a couple of brilliant stops and couldn’t be faulted for either goal, James McDonald and Declan Dobbin got on a lot of ball trying to get them forward, but only Aidan Scullion presented any difficulty for the winner’s defence.

St Louis went 0-3 to 0-1 up inside the opening six minutes with points from Elliott, Peter Cullen and Scullion, but the Red High hit the next four points, including two from O’Hare.

Scullion slotted over two points to level, but three from O’Hare between the 29th minute and half time opened a gap that got wider with Boyd’s goal on the re-start.

A brief flurry of four points in as many minutes from McDonald, Eoghan McGrath and two Scullion frees briefly pulled the gap down to 1-12 to 0-10 with 15 minutes left, but Tim Prentor got Downpatrick going again with the second of his three points in a ten minute spell, scores that were carbon-copies of each other and all well taken

And Boyd iced the cake with his 55th minute goal to put Downpatrick into a first final since they lost to La Salle in 2006.
The second semi-final between Scoileanna Inis Eoghain and Cathair Dhoire will be played next week.

St Patrick’s : E Maginn, J Harbinson, E Rooney, L Guiness, P McMullan (0-1 free), R Murphy capt, B Boyd (2-0), R O’Hare (0-7, 0-6 frees), C Watson, N Laverty, O Cunningham (0-1), T Smyth (0-3), T Prenter (0-3), R Connor, T Savage
Subs : C Murray for R Connor (51), R Quinn for T Savage (58), D Donaldson, A Harney for T Prentor (58), T Carson for N Laverty (59)

St Louis : D McNicholl, A McGrath, E McCusker, C McQuillan, J McDonald (0-1), C Scullion, P Ferris, C Stewart, P Cullen (0-1), O Connolly, S Elliot (0-1), E McGrath (0-1), A Scullion (0-7, 0-5 frees), E Daly, D Dobbin
Subs : T Patchett for O Connolly (45).

Referee : Mark McGeehan (Derry)