There were so many twists and turns in the keenly contested opener to the schools’ double-header yesterday in Ardboe
, that had it gone on for another five minutes, the Danske Bank
McGreevy Cup might well have been heading to east Belfast.
However, the introduction of substitute Shea McCloskey midway through the second half caused enough trouble for Knock’s defence that they conceded four goals in the last quarter for St Patrick’s Keady to take the title.
Keady got an excellent start with goals from Dara Gallogly and Conor McKeever in the opening eight minutes. But as the half wore on, Knock grew in stature with Tomás Gilmore, Oisín Braniff, Tom Hickson and full-forward Dara Pucci taking control.
Braniff hit the net twice to put them ahead at 2-2 to 2-1 and then Pucci fired two to the net in the 21st and 23rd minutes to send Knock in at the break with a lead of 4-3 to 2-4.
After half time it was Keady’s turn to take control and they added four points before James Hamilton grabbed a goal to bring the game level at 3-8 to 4-5.
Knock responded with a brilliant team move that saw Ollie Whythe hit the net. But almost immediately McCloskey created the chaos at the other end for Shea McConnell to level again.
With five minutes remaining Dara Pucci pointed a long range free to edge Knock ahead, but two minutes later James Hamilton was brought down inside the area and Conor McKeever made the penalty count with a goal. In injury time Hamilton took a pass from McCloskey score Keady’s sixth goal and seal the win
Keady: C McKeever 2-3 (0-1f), J Hamilton 2-0, D Gallogly 1-3, S McConnell 1-0, S McCloskey 0-1, L Beagan 0-1
Knock: D Pucci 2-1 (0-1f), O Braniff 2-1 (1-0f), O Whyte 1-1, C Kane 0-2, T Hickson 0-1.