Danske Bank Faul Cup Final 2024February 01, 2024
Danske Bank Faul Cup final Scoil Mhuire, Buncrana 1-10 St Aidan’s, Cootehill 0-5
BRILLIANT Scoil Mhuire, Buncrana superbly banished the blues of last year’s final defeat with a most emphatic win over St Aidan’s, Cootehill at an icy Garvaghey yesterday.
Their large and vocal following did not mind the cold as the college celebrated a great day for Gaelic football in Inishowen.
It was three minutes of magic from outstanding corner-forward Dylan Mulholland which effectively sealed this affair early in the second half.
Cootehill actually got the first score of the second half from a pointed free from sub Harry McMullan in the 34th minute.
But then Mullholland struck for a killer goal that had an element of good fortune in the 35th minute.
St Aidan’s keeper Caolan Reilly elected to punch rather than catch Billy Duffy’s long-range effort, but Mulholland met the ball in mid-air and palmed to the net.
He followed this up with two lightning points to put his side into a 1-5 to 0-4 lead.
Cootehill could only manage one more point, a free from Jake Whyte, as the well-drilled Buncrana side stormed to a well-deserved victory.
And, while they were very accurate up front, their defence was outstanding, especially when playing into the wind in the first half when they repeatedly broke up their opponent’s attacks. They were brilliantly led by centre-back Andrew Davison, with Oisin McIntyre doing a fine sweeping job.
They did lose wing-forward Shaunie Bradley to a straight red card in the 59th minute but the game was well over by that stage.
For an outgunned St Aidan’s side, wing-back James Tully was outstanding.
St Aidan’s who had a physical advantage in central slots started briskly with the wind at their backs and put the Buncrana defence under swift pressure.
They could have had a goal after just two minutes when centre back Ben Brennan got on the end of a flowing move, but Buncrana goalkeeper Shane McNulty pulled off a superb point-blank save at the expense of a 45, which Adio Metlovas, converted in the third minute.
Jake Whyte added another point from play in the fifth minute and Metlovas put them into a three-point lead by the 10th minute.
Cootehill had loads of possession but were too elaborate and a number of shooting chances were spurned as the Buncrana defence exerted big pressure on their own 45.
Sean McLaughlin landed two frees for them and the inevitable Mullholland levelled matters just before the break.
And the wind-assisted Buncrana boys really asserted themselves, especially after Mulholland’s magic.
Donal Óg O’Brien and Billy Duffy were on target as the winners cantered to a memorable victory which adds to the U21 B title won by Buncrana just before Christmas.
Scoil Mhuire D Mulholland 1-4; S McLaughlin (0-2f) 0-3; D Óg O’Brien 0-2; B Duffy 0-1
St Aidan’s J Whyte (1f) & A Metlovas (2f) 0-2 each; H McMullan 0-1f
By Gerry McLaughlin Published in The Irish News on February 01, 2024