Cavan double up with Corn na nÓg

December 16, 2017

Danske Bank Corn na nÓg final
St Patrick’s Cavan 4-14 St Patrick’s Maghera 0-6
Saturday’s Danske Bank Corn na nÓg final in Clogher wasn’t meant to be this easy, but St Patrick’s Cavan made it look so with a clinical first half performance that put them well in control at 3-10 to 0-3.
They opted for containment during the second period and were comfortable winners of their second Ulster Schools’ title in a matter of weeks.
“Yes, it is very satisfying to have both the Rannafast and now Corn na nÓg trophies in the cabinet after the first term,” said coach Shane Fitzpatrick.
“I suppose you could say that we hit a purple patch in the first half and there was a great sequence of scores then that put the game away. Yes that first half was as good a performance as we have put together in any of our games and really there was no way back for Maghera after it.”
“It feels great when the team delivers in a big game, but we couldn’t fully relax though, because under-age football games can change pretty quickly. But our defence was good and we didn’t look like conceding a goal.”
This was a repeat of last spring’s D’alton final which Maghera won and they started as if they were intent on continuing that dominance with two Michael Mulholland frees.
However Cavan were physically more imposing and several players broke with real pace put-ting the Maghera rear-guard under a lot of pressure throughout the game.
From one of those breaks, Daragh Lovett fired to the net in the eighth minute and points from Emmauel Sheha and midfielder Philip Smyth pushed Cavan into a 1-4 to 0-2 lead after just 11 minutes.
Maghera tried to break the momentum and they managed that for a spell, but when Conor Casey blasted a second Cavan goal in the 19th minute, the Breffni boys took off again and were 16 points to the good at half-time.
The dangerous Darragh Lovett combined with Casey just before the break to shoot his second and Cavan’s third goal. Indeed there was no holding this exciting duo up front as they amassed 3-9 between them piling misery on Maghera’s defence.
After the break Cavan could have had a fourth goal only for a brilliant save from Conall Craig. Gradually though Maghera began to gain more of a foothold in the game and ended 25 minutes without a score when Luke Diamond pointed in the 40th minute.
To their credit they battled gamely but Cavan’s fourth goal summed up Maghera’s day, a de-fensive mistake allowing Richard Ayodele inside with just Craig to beat.
And so for the first time since 1972 the Corn na nÓg sits beside the Rannafast title in St Pat-rick’s Cavan. And just a reminder that the senior team from the school collected the school’s 11th MacRory Cup later that same year!
St Patrick’s Cavan: C Donohoe, B Tierney, A Butt, O O’Reilly, L McBreen, R Trainor, K Lovett, P Smyth (0-1), R Ayodele (1-1), L McEntee (0-1), E Sheha (0-2, 1f), C Clarke, D McSorley, C Casey (1-3), D Lovett (2-6).
Sub: B Monaghan for B Tierney (55).
St Patrick’s Maghera: C Craig, T Smyth, A McGonigle, J Friel, P McGurk, C Downey (0-1), P McCullagh, J McDermott, C McKenna, S McKenna (0-1), C Chambers, S McLaughlin, L Diamond (0-2), M Mulholland (0-2 frees), C Mullan.
Subs: F Coyle for C McKenna (HT), R Dillon for C Chambers (37), C O‘Kane for J McDermott (59).
Referee: S Hurson (Tyrone)