McFarland Cup hurlers taste Ulster success
Congratulations to Mr Rodgers, Miss McKee and their hurling charges who defeated a mighty St Mary's Magherafelt team in the McFarland Cup Final this week.
Danske Bank MacFarland Cup final (Year 10 Hurling)
St Colman’s Newry 1-16 St Mary’s Magherafelt 1-6
ST COLMAN’S Newry, last year’s Danske Bank McGreevy Cup runners up, became this year’s McFarland Cup champions finishing off the campaign on Wednesday last with a comfortable victory over St Mary’s Magherafelt in the final at Rossa Park in Belfast.
This was a solid team performance all round from the Newry school, from goalkeeper Dara White who excelled to the forward line. James King marshalled the defense superbly, ably backed up by tenacious and skillful play by Matthew Duffy and Conor King. Centre-half back / midfielder James Duggan who delivered 1-10 over the hour and midfielder Dara Rodgers, scorer of a further four points were a constant thorn in the Magherafelt rearguard while Patrick Cowan was on top form particularly when dropping back to centre half back after half time.
Up front Conor Madden led the attack and fought hard throughout until injury curtailed a strong performance with Cathal Magee and Callum Mc Donagh chipping in with a point apiece. Killeavy trio of Míceál Rice, Myles Boyd and Finlay Brady all hurled well throughout despite some tough knocks.
St Mary’s had strong performances from goalie Sean McAuley, Dara Young, Ronan McCallion, Charlie Curley and Benen Kelly, but they found it very difficult to cope with the twin threat of Rodgers and Duggan.
Both were prominent in the early scoring returns and St Colman’s led by 0-8 to 0-2 after 20 minutes with McAuley bringing off several stops to keep his side in the game.
Eventually though a fine solo-run and shot from Duggan delivered the St Colman’s goal and at the break they led by 1-10 to 0-2 (points from Diarmuid Mulholland and Ciaran McKenna).
A red card, a gathering breeze and a goal midway through the second threatened to derail the college challenge. St Mary’s had a much better second half and they even out-scored St Colman’s 1-4 to six points. The goal from Eoin McEvoy was well worked and closed the gap at a time when Magherafelt were in the ascendancy.However with a tenacious half back line of Diarmaid McCusker, Patrick Cowan and Feargal Kieran digging in and hurling strongly St Colman’s steadied the ship.
The college were able to see out the tie and they finished strongly with two points from Duggan and another from Rodgers.
Subs Sean O’Neill, Daniel Cunningham, Oisín Logan and Eoin Sherry came on and all contributed positively to a great team performance.
This win comes on the heels of a successful Year 11 Leopold Cup campaign and this is the first time two Ulster Schools Hurling titles have come to Violet Hill in the same year.
St Colman’s: Dara White, Matthew Duffy, James King, Conor King, Fergal Kieran, James Duggan 1-10, 0-8 frees, Diarmaid McCusker, Dara Rodgers 0-4, Patrick Cowan, Finlay Brady, Connor Madden, Myles Boyd, Cathal Magee 0-1, Míceál Rice, Calum McDonagh 0-1.
Subs used : Daniel Cunningham for C Magee, Sean O’Neill for C McDonagh, Oisin Logan for C Madden, Eoin Sherry for M Rice
Subs: Jack Breen Joey O Hare Caolan South Bruce Deery Ronan Matthews Paul óg Mc Evoy Diarmuid O’Hare Callum Walsh and Rory Brolly. Niall Elshaw and Oisin Ruane were both unavailable through injury.
St Mary’s : S McAuley capt., E Mullan, D Young, J Convery, R McCallion, B Kelly 0-1, N Rafferty, D Mulholland 0-2 frees, C Johnston 0-1, C Curley, C McKenna 0-1, C Graffin 0-1, M Murray 0-1, J Wilson, E McEvoy 1-0.
Subs : R McEldowney for N Rafferty, L Burns for J Wilson