Ronan’s make history with first title triumph

St Ronan’s, Lurgan 1-9 St Mary’s, Magherafelt 1-7

History was made at the Athletic Grounds in Armagh yesterday when St.Ronan’s Lurgan won their first ever Danske Bank MacRory Cup title, edging out holders St.Mary’s Magherafelt.

The winners got off to the best possible start when Oisín Smyth converted a first-minute penalty after Eoin McConville had been fouled. Smyth added a point before the holders responded with scores from Liam Quinn and defender Conal Devlin.

In the 24th minute, Devlin won a Magherafelt penalty which Daniel Bradley converted to put the holders in front. Adam Connolly and McConville exchanged points before Tiarnan McAteer gave St.Mary’s, Magherafelt a slender 1-4 to 1-3 interval advantage.

‘Man of the Match’ Rioghan Meehan had the sides level within 60 seconds of the restart and you just knew that this was a contest that was going right to the wire.

Lurgan keeper Luke Mulholland punched a dangerous situation clear before McConville put the winners in front in the 40th minute from a 13-metre free.

That advantage was short-lived, however, as St Mary’s midfielder Jamie McCann landed a wonderful equaliser as they demonstrated that they weren’t going to give up their title without a fight.

Magherafelt keeper Odhran Lynch made a brilliant save to deny Lurgan substitute Josh Megoran a goal before Meehan edged St.Ronan’s back in front. Bradley levelled matters but within sixty seconds Meehan hoisted the ball high and over the bar.

St.Ronan’s were playing with a fierce hunger at this stage and going into the final ten minutes substitute Marc McAfee left two between the sides.

Devlin fired over a superb score but St.Ronan’s weren’t to be denied as McConville converted a late free and the celebrations at the final whistle demonstrated what it meant to the Armagh school.

ST.RONAN’S, LURGAN: L Mulholland, E McCluskey, A Mulholland, J Haddock, A McCreanor, J Lamont, J Haughey, J Lenehan, T Kelly, O Smyth (1-1), A Loughran, R Meehan (0-3), R McConville, L Monteiro, E McConville (0-4, 3f).

Subs: J Megoran for R McConville, M McAfee (0-1) for Monteiro

ST MARY’S, MAGHERAFELT: O Lynch, C Doyle, G Lupari, L McElhone, J Crawford, S McErlain, C Devlin (0-2), J McErlain, J McCann (0-1), A Connolly (0-1), T McAteer (0-1), R Keenan, L Quinn (0-1), C Murphy, D Bradley (1-1).

Subs: A McCluskey for Keenan, D McAteer for McCann, C O’Neill for Bradley, R Hughes for Connolly Referee: P Faloon, Down.

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