Impressive St Ronan’s, Lurgan keep MacCormack Cup with win over St Patrick’s, Maghera

Danske Bank MacCormack Cup final: St Ronan’s, Lurgan 3-11 St Patrick’s, Maghera 1-7

A hugely impressive St Ronan’s, Lurgan side retained the Danske Bank MacCormack Cup thanks to a double scores victory over a fancied St Patrick’s, Maghera at Mid-Ulster Sports Arena, Cookstown yesterday afternoon.

The winners got their noses in front at the end of the opening quarter and by the interval they were well in control leading 2-7 to 1-3.

A second goal from full forward Leo Monteiro early in the second half effectively sealed the silverware but St Ronan’s manager Mickey Donnelly isn’t getting carried away.

“It's nice to win the MacCormack Cup again but we are under no illusions as all the focus is on after Christmas and a MacRory quarter-final with Carrickmacross or St Ciaran’s, Ballygawley,” admitted manager Mickey.

“3-11 is good scoring any day you go out while I felt that our defence played very well.

“Maghera were missing a few key players who would have made a massive difference to their forward line but you can only play what is put in front of you and I thought our lads performed very well.”

The winners were dominant throughout the field with their success built on a defence that only yielded three points to the Maghera starting division.

Jack Lenehan and Tiernan Kelly held sway in midfield which meant that their forward line received a constant supply of the ball and they made it count with all but two points of their tally coming from play.

Ruairi Rafferty opened the scoring for the Derry lads but in the 2nd minute Lurgan grabbed their first goal when Josh Megoran capitalised on hesitant keeper Caolan Convery to drill to the net.

In the next attack though Maghera got through for a superb goal from midfielder Antoin Tohill following a move involving Richie Mullan and Fintan Bradley.

Oisin Smyth and Oisin McWilliams exchanged points but after Adam Loughran had levelled matters St.Ronan’s never looked back.

Ruairi McConville, Jamie Lamont and Smyth all weighed in with quality points before Monteiro hammered the ball to the roof of the net in the 22nd minute.

Eoin Hawe got a badly needed Maghera score but either side of that Smyth and Loughran both split the posts to leave the winners well in control at the short whistle.

The winners missed a couple of early second half chances but in the 37th minute they struck for their third goal when Monteiro rose highest to flick a Smyth delivery to the net.

Maghera substitute Jude McAtamney replied with a point but St.Ronan’s maintained a stranglehold on proceedings with efforts from McConville and Loughran.

Maghera badly needed a goal but there was no way through a resolute St.Ronan’s defence with Eoin McCluskey, Aidan Mulholland, Jamie Lamont and team captain Jamie Haughey to the fore.

Hardworking duo Kelly and Rioghan Meehan were both rewarded with a point apiece and while Maghera had the final say from Fintan Bradley it was only academic at that stage.

St Ronan’s, Lurgan: L Mulholland, J Haddock, A Mulholland, E McCluskey, C Magee, J Lamont (0-1), J Haughey, J Lenehan, T Kelly (0-1), O Smyth (0-3), A Loughran (0-3, 2f), R Meehan (0-1), R McConville (0-2), L Monteiro (2-0), J Megoran (1-0).

Subs: M McAfee for Monteiro, R Shine for Haughey, A McCreanor for Kelly

St Patrick’s, Maghera: C Convery, M Keegan, T Walsh, C Bradley, D McNicholl, T McCusker, P McLaughlin, A Tohill (1-0), O McWilliams (0-1), D McLaughlin, P Shivers, R Mullan, R Rafferty (0-1), F Bradley (0-1), E Hawe (0-1).

Subs: J McAtamney (0-2, 1f) for Shivers, T McHugh (0-1) for Hawe, E Mulholland for McNicholl, T Donnelly for Rafferty

Referee: P Coyle, Tyrone