Knock into first ever MacLarnon Cup final

March 03, 2020

Danske Bank MacLarnon Cup semi-final
OLASP Knock 0-14 St Paul’s Bessbrook 1-10

OUR LADY’S and St Patrick’s Knock are through to their first ever Danske Bank MacLarnon Cup after a thrilling semi-final with St Paul’s Bessbrook at the Dub yesterday evening.

Both teams played a fast brand of open football particularly during the first half which ended all square at 1-6 to 0-9. While both defences were on top for the second half as the pace of the game dipped a little, Knock took the initiative and made the south Armagh side chase them.

By contrast St Paul’s had a whirlwind start and were three points up within four minutes with scores from Cunningham, Reavey and Rice.

Joe Tunney posted Knock’s opening point on the end of a flowing move a minute later before Bessbrook moved 0-5 to 0-2 ahead after just eight minutes with further scores from the two Caoláns, Reavey and Rafferty.
However gradually Knock punched holes at the other end hitting the next four scores to take the lead for the first time with a Conlaith Sweeney point in the 19th minute.

Although two points from Finn Collins and another from Sweeney pushed them three ahead near the break, Lee Rice cut in along the end line and was taken down by Niall Tunney. Goalie Shea Magill blasted to the roof of the net from the penalty spot and it was all square at the change of ends.
Two early frees from Paul Bradley again edged Knock ahead on the re-start, but with both sets of defenders closing down the runners, scores were not coming with the same frequency as in the opening half.

James McKenna stroked over a 45 for Knock and sub Emmet Rogers added another point when a goal looked possible. But two points from Caolán Reavey and another from Feargal O’Brien brought the sides level in the 53rd minute.

The winner came three minutes later from a Bradley free. There were a couple of half chances for St Paul’s after it, but Knock survived to book a St Patrick’s day showdown with St Pius X Magherafelt.

Knock : J McKenna (0-1 free), S Campbell, E Brown, S Haughey, L Hogan, J Gray, L Rogers, S Hughes, C Slevin, N Tunney, C Sweeney (0-2), F Eastwood (0-1), F Collins 0-3, 0-1 mark, J Tunney (0-1), P Bradley (0-5, 0-4 frees)
subs : E Rogers (0-1) for F Eastwood (36), J Turkington for L Rogers (50), F Rogers for F Collins (58)

St Paul’s : S Magill (1-0 pen), D Conlon, R Short, G Murphy, T O’Callaghan, S Finnegan, C Kavanagh, J Cunningham (0-1), R Magee (0-1) R O’Brien, L Rice (0-1), O King, C Reavey (0-5), S McVerry, C Laverty (0-1).
Subs : F O’Brien (0-1) for C laverty (25), P Woods for R O’Brien HT), C Burn for R Magee (40), A Mcardle for S Finnegan (58), A Cunningham for O King (61)

Referee : Mark Loughran (Tyrone)

St Paul’s, Bessbrook

OUR LADY’S and St Patrick’s Knock