Hurling & Camogie

St Pius X, Magherafelt hold on to claim Fr Davies Cup glory

St Conor’s, Clady/Kilrea produced a brave fightback which fell just short

St Pius X, Magherafelt
Players from St Pius X, Magherafelt celebrate Fr Davies Cup victory. Picture: Paul Kealey (Ryan Crockett)

Fr Davies Cup final

St Pius X, Magherafelt 4-11 St Conor’s, Clady/Kilrea 5-5

WHEN St Pius X, Magherafelt eased into a 13-point lead with five unanswered points over the first 10 minutes of the second half they looked on their way to a comfortable win over first-time finalists St Conor’s, Clady/Kilrea in Bellaghy.

However, between the 42nd and 45th minutes St Conor’s hit three goals, two for Aoife McGrogan and the third scrambled over the line by Niamh McAleese. Then Cora Quinn clipped over a point and suddenly just one score separated the teams to set up a frantic final quarter.

St Pius X, however, probably deserved to hold on for victory. They played well for longer periods than their opponents who turned it on in fits and starts – but were extremely dangerous when they did so.

Ellie Gilligan hit a goal and a point in the opening three minutes to kick-start St Pius X’s challenge and Alisha Musgrave put them 2-1 to 0-1 ahead in the 10th minute.

St Conor’s responded with two goals inside a minute, from Amy Rose Downey and Aoife McGrogan, but further goals from Gilligan and Eimear Crozier gave Magherafelt a deserved 4-4 to 2-2 interval lead.

That lead stretched after the break with points from Gilligan, Musgrave, captain Ríonach Conlon, Aimee McGroogan and sub Aoife Doyle.

However, those goals from Aoife McGrogan and Niamh McAleese changed the game and St Pius X were under pressure to hold their lead for the rest of the game.

Musgrave and the excellent Feina Kerr exchanged points, as did Ríonach Conlon and Cara Rose Griffin, but time ran out on St Conor’s and the cup remains in Magherafelt, simply moving from St Mary’s across town to the Moneymore Road.

St Pius X E Gilligan 2-2; A Musgrave 1-4 (0-2f); E Crozier 1-0; R Conlon 0-3f; A McGroogan & A Doyle 0-1 each

St Conor’s A McGrogan 3-0; AR Downey & N McAleese 1-0 each; F Kerr 0-2 (0-1f); N Martin, C Quinn & CR Griffin 0-1 each