Cross and Passion, Ballycastle celebrate rare football silverware

The north Antrim school fired seven goals in this decider

Cross & Passion, Ballycastle
Cross & Passion, Ballycastle Cross & Passion, Ballycastle celebrate their win over Inver College, Carrickmacross in Friday's final of the Danske Bank JJ Reilly Cup at Woodlands. Picture: Bert Trowlen (Bert Trowlen )

Danske Bank JJ Reilly Cup final

Cross & Passion, Ballycastle 7-7 Inver College, Carrickmacross 4-8

A SCORING blitz in the first and third quarters gave Cross & Passion Ballycastle only their second Ulster schools’ football title in the Danske Bank JJ Reilly Cup final in Woodlands yesterday afternoon at the expense of Inver College Carrickmacross.

The north Antrim school was ahead by 4-2 to 2-6 at the break with 2-3 of the Inver total coming in the six minutes prior to half time.

Killian Cassidy scored the first and fourth goals for CPC with a Paidí O’Kane penalty and Damian Laverty net-burster putting them well in control after 20 minutes.

However Inver hit back with some good football and pinned them into their own half, scoring goals through Sean Bateson and Alex Fitzpatrick to close the gap to just two points at the change of ends.

Ballycastle applied the pressure again on the re-start with goals from Ronan Elliot, O’Kane and Pearce McMullan to build up a healthy lead. A black card for their best player Alex Fitzpatrick meant that the Inver comeback didn’t start until near the end and late goals from Fitzpatrick and Eoin Grose couldn’t haul in the CPC lead.

Paidí O’Kane was the Player of the Match ably assisted by Iarlaith O’Kane, John óg Darragh and Lorcán Murtagh, while all the Ballycastle forwards hit the target. Apart from Fitzpatrick, Conor Kiernan and Conor Freeman were very good for Inver who just left themselves too much work to do by the midway point of each half.

CPC: P O’Kane 2-2, K Cassidy 2-0, R Elliot and P McMullan 1-1 each, D Laverty 1-0, T Richmond 0-2, D McShane 0-1

Inver: A Fitzpatrick 2-3, S Bateson and E Grose 1-0 each, C Kiernan 0-3, C Freeman and M Arotins 0-1 each