Colleges' GAA

A POINT from a Fintan McClure free as the game entered injury-time denied St Michael's, Enniskillen victory over St Patrick's Dungannon in yesterday's Danske Bank MacRory Cup 2-14 to 2-14 draw in Augher, writes Séamas McAleenan.

A series of points from Cormac O'Hagan, Fintan McClure and Mark Donnelly gave the Academy a great start and a 0-6 to 0-1 lead after 15 minutes. But Enniskillen hit back, helped by goals from Lee Brennan and Shane Rooney to lead y 2-7 to 0-8 at the break.

The Academy needed to respond early in the second half and they did with firstly Cormac O'Hagan and then Ross Lavery finding the net to level the tie, 2-9 each, after 41 minutes.

St Michael's however hit back with points from Brennan and Rooney, but again O'Hagan and McClure drew the teams level.

Three points from Brennan, Ryan Kelly and Declan McCarron looked to have secured only their second win for the Fermanagh side, but again O'Hagan and McClure hit back with late scores to deny them.

n ST Macartan's, Monaghan edged out St Patrick's, Cavan 3-8 to 2-10 in yesterday's Danske Bank Edmund Rice Rannafast Cup semi-final in Emyvale.

Robbie McAlister's goal in the second minute gave them a great boost but Cavan got back in contention by the end of the first quarter with a goal from Ryan O'Neill. However, Michael Savage netted in the 21st minute to give St Macartan's an interval lead of 2-3 to 1-5. Cavan levelled on the restart through a point from Daragh Kennedy, but Savage responded with his second goal and points from Padraig Finnan, Jack and Ryan Mohan and Robbie McAlister followed to put the Sem 3-7 to 1-7 ahead entering the last ten minutes.

Cavan hit back with a second Ryan O'Neill goal, to which Savage responded with a point, the Sem's last score.

* ST COLUMB'S, Derry scored 20 times yesterday in Owenbeg and still couldn't prevent Loreto, Coleraine reaching their first ever Danske Bank Rafferty Cup final, coming out on the wrong side of a 5-10 to 1-19 scoreline in the semi-final.

The reason was that the Coleraine side found the St Columb's net five times, crucially three times during the seven minutes after half time. Those scores put them in control of the game and St Columb's in the end couldn't catch them.

A goal from Mark Cassidy in only the second attack Loreto had didn't rock the city side and they responded with eight points in-a-row during the middle of the first half, most of them from the Mortimer brothers, Fearghal and Sean, with a couple from Patrick O'Kane. However a penalty strike from Conor Gillan after a foul on Liam Tosh reeled St Columb's in to a single point deficit at the break.

There was a blistering start to the second half with goals from Aidan McGonigle, Fearghal Dillon and then McGonigle again putting Loreto at a commanding 5-7 to 0-14 advantage.

St Columb's hit back but didn't make inroads until a Conal Fagan's 58th minute goal.

Ice Hockey

There hasn't been much time for Carsen Chubak to get used to his surroundings. The new Belfast Giants netminder has had one training session with his team-mates and this weekend faces a baptism of fire, replacing the injured Stephen Murphy against the Sheffield Steelers on the road tonight and will then make his home debut tomorrow afternoon when the Nottingham Panthers visit the Odyssey Arena. The 25-year-old Canadian will hardly have time to unpack his bags before the team leave for France on Wednesday for the Continental Cup semi-finals.

Steve Thornton's side were also knocked off the top of the standings by Braehead and with perennial title challengers Nottingham and Sheffield tucked in just behind and making up games and points this is a huge weekend for the Giants. "Carsen fits the bill for what we need right now. We've lost the backbone of our team in Stephen Murphy and we've got a guy who wants to come in and establish himself and start his European career," explained Thornton.


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