La Salle power to extra time win in McAvoy final

April 27, 2017

Danske Bank McAvoy Cup final

La Salle, Belfast 7-12 Castleblayney College 3-9 AET

How the fortunes of a team can fluctuate!

Belfast school La Salle looked to be struggling to contain Castleblayney College for parts of this Danske Bank McAvoy Cup final in Tír na nÓg Portadown, yet they ran away with from the opposition in extra-time.

Jason Irwin was on fire for the Monaghan side in the opening half, posting a total of 2-3 as his team went into a 3-5 to 3-2 interval lead. One of the goals was from a well-taken spot kick, while Declan Courtney scored Castleblayney’s third goal.

Irwin and midfielder Igor Wojtas seemed to be controlling the game during that opening half-hour and it took the direct switch of full-forward Michael Murphy and full-back Dylan Flynn to change things.

In fairness La Salle had enjoyed a spell in the ‘Blayney half resulting in goals for Caoimhin Kennedy and Murphy, but after the switch Conor O’Hara planted a third goal to leave them just three points adrift at the break.

Castleblayney hit the opening two points of the second half through Conor Mulligan and Igor Wojtas, but La Salle came back strongly and Michael Mervyn’s goal in the 52nd minute put them a point ahead.

However Mervyn picked up a red card soon after and his team struggled towards the final whistle with Daniel Connolly firing over an equalising point in the 31st minute.

In extra time though, there was only one team on show with Kennedy, Matthew Ferris, Philip McPeake and Calvin McCurry driving La Salle for the finishing line. Kennedy fired his team’s sixth goal either side of a brace from Paul Gorman.

La Salle : S Saunders, M Ferris, D Flynn 0-1, T Burns, P McPeake, P Gorman 2-2, N McGuigan, C Kennedy 2-2, P Gilbride-Smyth, M Mervyn 1-2, C McCurry 0-5, R Devine, C O’Hara 0-1, M Murphy 1-0, B Carroll 0-1.

Subs: D Maguire for B Carroll (ht), A Mulligan-Dunne for P Gorman (53), D Grieve for T Burns (73).

Castleblayney : M Marron, T McMahon, L Duffy, J McElroy, C Mulligan 0-1, I Wojtas 0-1, C McArdle, J McMahon, C McKernan 0-1, D Connolly 0-1, J Irwin 2-3, D Courtney 1-0, P McMahon 0-1, N Carville 0-1, C Walshe

Referee : Pat McDaid (Armagh)