November 27, 2016
Danske Bank Rannafast Cup final
St Patrick’s Maghera 3-19 St Patrick’s Academy 4-10 There was no sign of a blanket defence in the opening game in the Athletic Gounds in Armagh when the College collected the Danske Bank Rannafast Cup final after a high-scoring match.
The boys had to come from six points down after 13 minutes, when high balls were bombed down on our full-back line and St Patrick’s Academy went into a 3-1 to 0-4.
However we responded with two quick points from full-forward Alex Doherty as the Glen forward moved through the gears in producing a Player of the Match performance with 1-11, just four points of which came from frees.
Doherty had amassed eight of those points by half-time when amazingly Maghera had re-gained the lead we held for a short time around the sixth minute. Turning over now at 1-12 to 3-3 ahead, we had the composure and pace to see the second half out, despite a fourth Academy goal in the 38th minute from Shea Daly.
In truth Maghera had a stranglehold over the midfield and half-back area with captain Conleth McShane and Eunan Mulholland commanding presences bursting forward to punch holes in the Academy defence that was stretched to create space for the excellent Doherty.
There were positives for Dungannon as well. 4-10 would win most games at this level and Michael Conroy and Lorcan Quinn looked dangerous if there had been more ball driven into their area. However they had to work short ball out of defence to bypass midfield and that played into Maghera’s hands.
The Derry side led by 0-2 to 0-1 when the fireworks started with Conroy placing a high cross into the path of Quinn on the edge of the area and he palmed home.
Although McShane and Doherty responded with points, Oisin McHugh ran up the left wing to fire a second goal and a minute later in 13th minute Shea Daly’s strike made it 3-1 to 0-4.
Gradually though Maghera, and particularly Doherty, hauled themselves back into the game with some excellent scores, with McShane and Daithi McLaughlin combining to put JP McGuigan in on goal to level the game at
3-3 to 1-9 in the 29th minute.
In added time, they pulled three clear and that advantage crept up to
1-15 to 3-5 with a Doherty free in the 36th minute.
The Academy then hit back with a goal from Daly after Nathan Connolly’s point effort came off a post.
There followed two points for each team before McGuigan and McShane burst through the centre and Conleth McGuckin was on hand to claim the 47th minute goal.
Victory was in the bag at that point, but fittingly Doherty was able to nail a 54th minute goal after approach work from McShane and then complete the scoring in added time with his 11th point.
Maghera : C Convery, C Milne, S Murray, S Turner, E Mulholland 0-1, C Glass, S McKenna, C McShane capt 0-1, P Shivers 0-1, E Doherty, JP McGuigan 1-0, D McLaughlin, C McGuckin 1-1, A Doherty 1-11, 0-4 frees, E Downey 0-4, 0-2 frees.
Subs: O Doherty for C Glass (52), S Kearney for C McGuckin (59), C O’Neill for JP McGuigan (59), O McClafferty for E Downey (63).
Dungannon : D Fox, C Hurson, M McCusker, O McHugh 1-0, R Duffin, P Keogh, L Kilpatrick, K Barker, N Connolly 0-1, L Conlon 0-2 frees, R McCabe, T Loughran 0-2, M Conroy 0-4, 0-2 frees, L Quinn 1-0, S Daly 2-1.
Subs: F Donaghy for K Barker (28), J Cormac for L Quinn (ht), T McCormick for L Kilpatrick (43), S Donnelly for N Connolly (55), R McHugh for R McCabe (59), C Murphy for T Loughran (59).
Referee : Brendan Toland (Antrim)