Maghera lose in McGirr Cup final thriller

March 26, 2017

Masita Paul McGirr Cup final

St Patrick’s Maghera 4-13 PS Chorca Dhuibhne 2-20(AET)

The Kerry curse continues, as once again another Derry side fell victim of the Kingdom’s footballing production line.

In what can only be described as a classic, Danske Bank Rannafast Cup champions Maghera lost out to a fisted effort by Aodhán Ó’Dubháin in the closing stages.  A cruel way to lose but an enthralling way to win, as Éamonn Fitzmaurice’s side grabbed the glory.

Late points from Pat Shivers and Alex Doherty forced extra time, but the Dingle school hit five unanswered points to put them in the box seat.

Like all Maghera teams, they never know when they are beaten; they hit back and almost forced a replay.

Alex Doherty was on fire with a tally of 3-4.  Shea Murray, Eunan Mulholland and Conleth McShane also played well for the Derry men.

For Corca Dhuibhne Ruaidhrí Ó Beaglaoich – younger brother of Kerry senior star Brian – took control of the game and a tally of 10 points took the trophy south.

Maghera was the form team early on, with Conleth McGuckin causing havoc in the Derry defence.  Looking back, they will regret not being further ahead by half time.

After McGuckin’s early point, Corca Dhuibhne hit back by netting the game’s first goal when Cillain Ó Failbhe swept the ball home from close range.

Maghera then had their spell.  Doherty clipped over two points to level matters and had a goal chance superbly blocked by Seán óg Móráin.   Goalkeeper Eoin Ó Brosnacháin made a vital save from McGuckin’s effort.

When McGuckin laid the ball on a plate for Doherty to palm in from close range, the game changed once again.  The woodwork came to Corca Dhuibhne’s rescue as McGuckin’s rasper came back off the crossbar.

Steven Ó Conchúir (2) and Franz Saureland scored for the Kerry school before Doherty’s second goal game Maghera a 2-4 to 1-4 half-time lead.

Four Corca Dhuibhne  points in a row put them back in front, but Maghera had a perfect response; a fine individual effort by Eunan Mulholland gave them a lift. But back game Dingle.

Dylan Ó Geibheannaigh responded at the other end by netting the Kerry side’s second of the game.

The Kerry side went three points clear after that but points from Conleth McShane and two frees from substitute Sean Kearney turned this rollercoaster back once again.

When Ruaidhrí Ó Beaglaoich pointed in the final minute it looked like the game was up for St Patrick’s.  But up stepped Doherty to convert a monster free and force extra-time.

Three points from the impressive Ó Beaglaoich looked to have Maghera on the bus home.  Not yet.

A free from Kearney and an Alex Doherty penalty turned the game on its head once again.  Corca Dhuibhne went ahead once again but Doherty’s late free looked to have saved the day.

Only Aodhán Ó Dubháin hadn’t read the script and fired over the late winner to break Maghera’s resolve and take the Paul McGirr Cup back to West Kerry.

Scorers for Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne: R Ó Beaglaoich (0-10, 5f), C Ó Failbhe (1-2), D Ó Géibheannaigh (1-0), F Sauerland and A Ó Dubháin (0-2 each), S Ó Conchúir (f), D Uosis, C Ó Beaglaoich and S Ághas (0-1 each)

Scorers for St Pats Maghera: A Doherty (3-4, 1p, 2f), S Kearney (0-4, 4f), E Mulholland (1-0), JP McGuigan (0-2), C McGuckin, C McShane and P Shivers (0-1 each)

St Patrick’s Maghera: C Convery; C Milne. S Murray, S Turner; PJ McAleese, C Glass, E Mulholland; C McShane, P Shivers; E Doherty, JP McGuigan, D McLaughlin; C McGuckin, A Doherty, E Downey.

Subs used: S McKenna for JP McGuigan 41mins, S Kearney for E Downey 41mins, O Doherty for C Glass 49mins, C O’Neill for E Mulholland 67mins.

PS Chorca Dhuibhne: E Ó Brosnacháin; C Ó Flannúra, S Óg Móráin, C Ó Muircheartaigh; C Ó Muircheartaigh, G Ó Leidhinn, P O Cathalláin; F Saureland, S Ághas; A Ó Dubháin, C Ó Failbhe, D Uosis; S Ó Conchúir, D Ó Géibheannaigh, R Ó Beaglaoich.

Subs used: B Ó Bruic for A Ó Dubháin 23mins, C Ó Catháin for S Ó Conchúir 32mins, C Ó Beaglaoich for S Ághas (49), O Dáibhis for C Ó Catháin (BC, 54), S Ághas for B Ó Bruic (ET)A Ó Dubháin for C Ó Failbhe (66)