St Mary’s CBGS push Maghera in Gallagher decider

June 04, 2018

Danske Bank Gallagher Cup final
St Patrick’s Maghera 4-15 St Mary’s CBGS Belfast 4-6
WITH just three minutes left on the clock in this Danske Bank Gallagher Cup final in Ballymena yesterday afternoon, a shock looked on the cards.
St Patrick’s Maghera seemed to be the dominant team from the start, but they simply couldn’t shake off the St Mary’s CBGS challenge and hadn’t scored since the 49th minute when Peter McCullagh’s long range free made it 3-13 to 4-6.
Maghera were wasting chances and it looked as if the Glen Road boys could break and grab a goal.
However Shea McKenna eventually broke the deadlock with a neat point to which Thomas McKeagney added another on the next attack and Jody McDermott iced the cake when he took a pass from Callum Murray to crash to the net.
Overall Maghera were the better team with a strong half-back line and midfield, while sub McDermott was a huge threat up front. 4-15 is a decent total, but they also amassed 13 wides
St Mary’s managed to stay in touch through sheer tenacity at the back where Ben McAuley and Finn Mervyn worked hard to stem the flow. Conor Boyle had a good game at midfield and Niall Fallon was very sharp when he got the chance up front.
Maghera were competition favourites and started strongly with a Conor Murray goal tucked into a three points’ salvo from Peter McCullagh – but they were pulled back to level terms with goals from Niall Fallon and Niall McGarry in the 12th and 14th minutes.
McCullagh however replied with a second Maghera goal, his long free half-blocked down in the St Mary’s area, but ending up in the net. Although Niall Fallon responded with a very good point, the rest of the opening half belonged to Maghera with sub Jody McDermott and centre-back Raymond Dillon firing over two points each and the Derry boys turned over with a 2-10 to 2-1 lead.
The sides exchanged two points each in the opening ten minutes of the second half, before Niall Fallon fired home two goals inside three minutes to bring the gap down to just three points.
Although Peter McCullagh released McDermott for a fine solo goal in the 46th minute, St Mary’s hit back with two excellent long-range frees from Finn Mervyn and another snap shot from Fallon that could well have gone to the net.
St Mary’s held off intense pressure from then until the last couple of minutes, but they couldn’t add to their total and Maghera quickly killed off the game near the end.
St Patrick’s : C McCloskey, E Scullion, T O’Neill, A McLaughlin, A Duffin, R Dillon capt (0-2), S McLaughlin, J Friel, P McCullagh (1-5, 1-3 frees), T McKeagney (0-2), C O’Kane, C Murtagh (0-1), C Murray (1-0), S McKenna (0-2), N Barton.
Subs : J McDermott (2-2) for N Barton (15), N Duggan (0-1) for J Friel (HT), J Friel for C Murray (51).
St Mary’s : C Carberry, P Moyes, B McAuley, M McCluskey, P Short, F Mervyn (0-2 frees), S Hughes, C Boyle, A Churchill, C Duffy, N Fallon (3-2), N McGarry (1-0), M Mallon, E McBreaity (0-1), D Wilson (0-1 free).
Subs: B Burns for M Mallon (HT), L Loughlin for E McBreaity (53)
Referee : Malachy Leech (Oisin’s)