Second Year Footballers win Irish News Cup

St Paul’s celebrate after winning the Danske Bank Ulster Colleges Irish News Cup.

Danske Bank Irish News Cup Final

from Kevin Kelly for Irish News

St Paul’s Bessbrook 8-18 St Ciaran’s Ballgawley 0-6

A powered packed display from St Paul’s Bessbrook saw them emerge emphatic winners over St Ciaran’s Ballygawley in the Danske Bank Irish News Cup final at the Pearse Óg club in Armagh yesterday afternoon.

A scoring burst in the final five minutes of the opening half gave Bessbrook a 5-8 to 0-6 interval lead and they never looked back after that as they held their opponents scoreless in the second half.

Prior to that there had been little between the sides but three goals in as many minutes turned the game completely on its head. In the final analyses St Paul’s were physically too strong and powerful for their gallant opponents.

Wing half backs Joe McClelland and Darragh Swift were superb while at midfield Ryan Keating and Ross Magee had the better of things over the course of the hour. Up front Piaras Woods, Ruairi O’Brien, Andrew Cunningham and Aaron McArdle made the most of any chances that came their way.

St Ciaran’s had started brightly and actually led at the end of the opening quarter but they never recovered from that blitz just before the break. On the day Eoghan Carberry, Ruairí Canavan and Conor Kane tried hard for them.

It was Canavan who had the opening two points of the game, one from play and one from a free before Cunningham and Conor Cavanagh got St Paul’s on level terms. Canavan and Cunningham exchanged points before James Donnelly surged through to put the Tyrone lads 0-4 to 0-3 in front.

That was as good as it was to get for them however as an equaliser from defender McClelland was followed by an expert low finish to the bottom left hand corner of the net from O’Brien in the 17thminute.

Cunningham and McArdle tagged on points with Canavan responding for St Ciaran’s. With five minutes to go to the break only four points separated the two sides but then St Paul’s seized control. McArdle hammered the ball to the roof of the net and before St Ciaran’s could recover Cunningham, O’Brien and Swift had notched majors as well.

To make things worse for St Ciaran’s the wind changed direction in the second half although it wouldn’t have changed the final result. The first score of the second half was a McArdle goal as St Paul’s really turned on the power.

Woods, Cunningham and substitute Cathal Feely all kicked points while Cunningham and Keating both found the net as they emerged victorious in style.

St Paul’s Bessbrook: S McMullan, S Keenan, F O’Brien, K O’Brien, J McClelland (0-2), G Murphy, D Swift (1-0), R Keating (1-0), R Magee (0-1), C Cavanagh (0-1), P Woods (0-3), R O’Brien (2-0), P McVerry (0-1), A Cunningham (2-5), A McArdle (2-1).

Subs: J Lennon for Woods, V Lowe (0-2) for Keenan, K Grant for McArdle, C Feely (0-2) for McVerry, L Kelly for R O’Brien

St Ciaran’s Ballgawley: P McAleer, C Kerr, E Carberry, S Mallon, C Donnelly, E Neill, C McKenna, B Carberry, D Shevlin, C Mellon, R Canavan (0-5), J Donnelly (0-1), C Kane, T McElroy, D Rafferty.

Subs: D Mellon for McElroy, C Donnelly for J Donnelly, R Ward for McKenna, E Conway for Shevlin

Referee: N McKenna, Monaghan

See below for photos from the match. All photos from Maurice McKay. 

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