Abbey Vocational Schools capture Danske Bank MacLarnon Cup honours

OLSP, Knock outclassed by Donegal side

Abbey Vocational Schools
Abbey Vocational Schools Abbey Vocational Schools celebrate with the MacLarnon Cup after beating OLSP, Knock at the BOX-IT Athletic Grounds, Armagh. Picture: Andrew Paton/Press Eye

Danske Bank MacLarnon Cup final Abbey VS, Donegal 2-10 Our Lady and St Patrick’s, Knock 0-8

ABBEY Vocational School became the fourth side from Donegal to win the Danske Bank MacLarnon Cup when they emerged double-scores winners over a gallant Our Lady and St Patrick’s Knock outfit at Box-IT Athletic Grounds in Armagh yesterday afternoon.

Backboned by a dozen players from Ulster minor champions Four Masters, the Tir Chonaill side were warm favourites for the silverware and they didn’t disappoint. They led by seven points at the break and, in truth, already had one hand on the trophy.

A lot of credit must go to Knock, though, who made them fight hard for it in the second period.

Abbey, however, always looked to be in control. And while they hit eight second half wides they had done enough to win it with midfielder Kevin Muldoon’s injury-time goal putting the icing on the cake.

The winners dominated from the start and, while it took them a while to get going on the scoreboard, they were full value for their 1-7 to 0-3 interval advantage.

The Donegal lads had five attacks in the opening half-a-dozen minutes that yielded nothing and, in fact, it was Knock who opened the scoring in the ninth minute with a fine effort from distance from Owen McHugh.

As the half wore on, though, Abbey got on top throughout the field – especially in the middle third when, time and time again, they broke up Knock attacks before their pace proved difficult to contend with.

A flowing move resulted in an equaliser from Conor Meehan to begin a purple patch for the eventual winners

Conor McCahill hit an outstanding point with the outside of his boot and Meehan converted a brace of frees with full-forward Aaron McGroarty on target from play.

A strong run from Turlough Carr resulted in another well-worked score from out on the right wing before their goal arrived in the 26th minute.

Midfielder Tiarnan McBride played the ball inside to Carr who in turn sent McCahill through on goal. He made no mistake with a thumping finish to the net past Knock goalkeeper Ciaran O’Neill.

The hard-working Kevin Muldoon then got in on the act with a quality score and, at this stage, Knock were struggling to get the ball out of their own half.

Knock, though, did finish the half with a flourish with fine scores from McHugh and full-back Conor Boyle.

Team captain Seanan Carr opened the second half scoring with a point from distance and it took a good save from Knock netminder  Ciaran O’Neill to prevent a goal from Kevin Muldoon.

Knock then enjoyed their best spell of the game with points from substitute Colm McKee as well as two frees from Liam Blaney to cut the gap to five with 12 minutes left to play.

Abbey, though, didn’t panic with captain Carr leading the way with a brilliant fisted point after cutting in from the left wing.

Meehan then scored from a markbefore Knock’s Blaney pinned on another brace.

With the game in injury-time player-of-the-match Muldoon closed the match out in style with a clinical finish low to the bottom left-hand corner of the net.

Abbey VS D McGinity; T McGovern, L McGowan, D Gallagher; C Sweeney, C McCrea, D Monaghan; T McBride, K Muldoon (1-1); T Carr (0-1), S Carr (0-2), O Mogan; C McCahill (1-1); A McGroary (0-1), C Meehan (0-4, 0-2 frees, 0-1 mark)

Subs D McIntyre for McGroary, P Gormley for Mogan

Knock C O’Neill; O McGurk,C Boyle (0-1), C McClure; L Doran, R McCamphill, T McCusker; O O’Neill, H Thompson; O Donaldson, D Quinn, L Blaney (0-4, 0-3 frees); O McHugh (0-2), S Pucci, M Guerin Subs C McKee (0-1) for McClure, H O’Neill for Donaldson, M Guest for Thompson, F Cunningham for McGurk

Referee M Conroy (Moy)