St Michael's Enniskillen win first-ever Hogan Cup after tense finale

St Michael's Enniskillen landed their first-ever Hogan Cup after surviving a fraught finish to their final against Naas CBS.

St Michael's Enniskillen win first-ever Hogan Cup after tense finale

ST MICHAEL'S: 1-12 NAAS CBS: 1-11

St Michael's Enniskillen landed their first-ever Hogan Cup after surviving a fraught finish to their final against Naas CBS.

The all-Fermanagh team were much more economical in front of goal than their Kildare opponents, who frittered away nine wides in the second half, including two from Alex Beirne in the 65th and 68th minutes when it seemed the game was there to be taken to extra-time.

Both teams lined out with sweepers from the start, Paddy McDermott of Naas mirroring the role of St Michael's creative influence Josh Largo-Ellis, and occasionally dispensed of the role. St Michael's kicked a lot of ball to McDermott in the opening exchanges.

It was with a full press that Naas got the games' first goal on thirteen minutes. St Michael's goalkeeper tried to find his man but he was swallowed up by Eoin Conneff who blasted his shot high to the net.

St Michael's responded with a major themselves two minutes later. Brandon Horan caught a Naas kickout and played in Darragh McBrien who got onto the right side of his marker to roll the ball home.

Another huge chance came five minutes when Conor Love was shunted by his marker to gain a sight of the Naas goal but he pulled his shot wide of the near post.

Despite that, St Michael's who along with being managed by former Fermanagh boss Dom Corrigan also had the nous of former Down player Conor Laverty and Tyrone's Richard Donnelly on the sideline, were deserving of their 1-6 to 1-4 lead at half-time.

The second half began with two Micheál Glynn points, the Northern Ireland schoolboy soccer international showing his class and a bit of leadership, while Love's movement in the inside line required surgery with Naas withdrawing their full-back after 41 minutes.

For all that, Naas were making inroads into what was a four-point lead and certainly dominated the last quarter, taking heart from the six minutes of added-on time.

Eoin Archbold got forward for a point, followed by Tony O'Connor and an excellent Paddy McDermott point well worked from a free-kick.

However, the wide tally inched ever higher with two late misses from Beirne a cruel means in which to lose out.

Scorers for St Michael's: M Glynn (0-7, 5f), D McBrien (1-1), C Love (0-2), J Largo-Ellis, P McKervey 0-1 each

Scorers for Naas CBS: E Conneff (1-2), M McGovern (0-4, 3f), P McDermott, T O'Connor (0-2 each), E Archbold (0-1)

ST MICHAEL'S: S McNally; L Flanagan, G Cavanagh, J Horan; A O'Cathain, J Largo-Ellis, R McHugh; B Horan (C), J McDade; C Duffy, M Glynn, D McBrien; P McKervey, C Love, T Keenan

Subs: G Treacy for McKervey (37m), G Quigley for Keenan (42m), C McAloon for Duffy (61m)

NAAS CBS: D Morrissey; J Lawler, C O'Gallachóbhair, J Hamill; K Quinn, E Archibald, P McDermott; J Cleary, L Broderick; T O'Connor, A Beirne, D Costello; M McGovern, D Hanafin, E Conneff

Subs: S Murphy for Hanifin (37m), C Boran for O'Gallachobhair (41m), R Monaghan for Broderick (43m), A Cassidy for Costello (50m), H Carroll for Archbold (58m), C Murphy for Conneff (60m)

Referee: Rory Hickey (Clare)

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