Lovett’s class seals D’Alton final for Cavan

April 26, 2018

Danske Bank D’Alton Cup Final
St Patrick’s Cavan 3-13 St Patrick’s Maghera 3-8
From Kevin Kelly in Dromore
St Patrick’s Cavan lifted the Danske Bank D’Alton Cup at Gardrum Park in Dromore yesterday evening when they emerged worthy winners over St Patrick’s Maghera in a cracking decider.
The winners grabbed a goal after only forty seconds for an advantage that they were never to lose, Favour Shehu palming a Darragh Lovett pass to the net. Cavan led by three at the break and they then increased that advantage to five but a battling Maghera side stayed in touch to close the gap to two.
It was anybody’s game going into the closing stages but Cavan got points when it mattered most to take the silverware. Lovett was the man of the match with 1-9 to his name, 1-6 from play, but this was by no means a one man show.
Finan Coyle was outstanding in defence as was Shehu when moved there for the second half from corner forward. Ryan Boyle was another player who caught the eye in the half forward line being involved in most of his side’s best moves.
Maghera more than played their part in an entertaining encounter with Adam McLaughlin, Eoin Higgins and Ryan McNicholl to the fore.
Oliver McCrystal and Lovett added to Shehu’s early strike before a great score from Conor Downey opened Maghera’s account in the 12th minute. Sixty seconds later a sweeping move from the Derry lads ended with Conor Coyle firing to the net to reduce the deficit to the minimum.
Kevin and Darragh Lovett had points for Cavan before they grabbed their second goal in the 17th minute when the former tucked away a penalty. Ryan Boyle and Higgins exchanged points before wing half back Dara McGurk raised a while flag for Maghera.
Three minutes before the break Maghera got their second goal through McNicholl but Cavan had the final say of the half with points from Killian Brady and Darragh Lovett for a 2-7 to 2-4 lead.
A Ruairi McAleese free opened the second half scoring for Maghera but man of the match Lovett then bagged a 35th minute goal. He added a point in the next attack as Cavan looked set to establish a match winning lead.
Maghera though had other ideas with Higgins converting two frees either side of a fine effort from play to leave it 3-8 to 2-7 going into the final quarter. Lovett then landed a brilliant point but with ten minutes to go it was game on again when McNicholl got his second goal of the contest.
Lovett settled Cavan nerves from a free before he kicked a brilliant point from play after a move involving Shehu, Boyle and McCrystal. McCrystal then pointed himself before the superb Lovett made it a six point game. In injury time Higgins was unlucky to rattle the bar and while he had the final say with a point it wasn’t enough as Cavan took the title.
St Patrick’s Cavan: O Brady, C Galligan, F Riley, F Coyle, D McNamara, S Curry, L Maguire, C Moran, K Lovett (1-1), R Boyle (0-1), K Brady (0-1), C Maguire, D Lovett (1-9, 3f), O McCrystal (0-1), F Shehu (1-0).
Subs: N Crowe for Curry, M O’Brien for Galligan, E Ebikueluye for K Lovett
St Patrick’s Maghera: T Quinn, D McDermott, A McLaughlin, E Cassidy, D McGurk (0-1), E Scullion, T McCormick, D McPeake, P Walls, C Downey (0-1), E Higgins (0-5, 3f), C Coyle (1-0), C Chambers, R McNicholl (2-0), R McAleese (0-1, 1f).
Subs: E McIlvar for McPeake, F McEldowney for McGurk, P Bryson for Cassidy, D McPeake for Coyle, M Mullan for Scullion
Referee: M Sludden, Dromore