St Paul’s JH School (Lurgan) 4-15 Dean MacGuirc College (Carrickmore) 3-14
THE under 14 footballers of St Paul’s JH School certainly marked the golden jubilee celebrations of the Francis Street school in style with a remarkable victory over Tyrone champions, Carrickmore at Cookstown.
In doing so, they reached the final of the Ulster Bank McDevitt Cup for the first time in four years and will now await the winners of St Mary’s, Clady and Abbey Vocational School to see if they can win the trophy for the third time.
It was a game full of all that is good in gaelic football, with some excellent scores, passages of flowing football and defensive heroics and two teams intent on playing in the true spirit of the game.
Playing into the strong breeze and despite looking physically smaller than their opponents, it was the Armagh champions who struck first with points from Shea Geraghty and midfielder, Barry McCambridge. However, Carrickmore soon drew level before McCambridge struck for the first goal when he finished to the net from close in. Carrickmore’s ploy of targeting full forward Kevin Coughlan was paying dividends, bringing scores from him, but more importantly allowing
Conor Daly, who finished with a personal tally of 2-8, to stamp his authority on the game.
Indeed, it was Daly who led the revival when he scored the second penalty for Carrickmore, the first one having been kicked wide, and this one blasted to the net, after Tiernan O’Neill in the Lurgan goal had pulled off a wonderful save.
This cancelled out an earler goal from full forward, Odhran Magee, and saw the Tyrone champs lead at half time by 1-8 to 1-5.
The second half saw the Lurgan boys take control early on. Although Coughlan stretched the Carrickmore lead in the first minute, the next ten belonged to St Paul’s as they added a goal and seven points in a scintillating dispay of
attacking football. With the diminutive pairing of Conor Turbitt and Geraghty in impressible form and aided by the powerful running of McCambridge and Cormac Sheehy, Lurgan took control. Geraghty slotted over a pair of frees,
Turbitt helped himself to a goal and when McCambridge kicked over two more points, they certainly looked in control.
However, Daly rocked them back with another goal, before Sheehy and Emmet Reid found the net to knock the heart out of the Carrickmore side. Further scores from Geraghty, Sheehy and a monster kick from Reid stretched the Lurgan lead even further, before Daly finished off a wonderful hour’s football with a crashing goal from a close in free. Nothing was going to stop the Lurgan side as their defence where the half back line of Owen McCluskey, Sean
Mcalinden and Paul Mulholland were outstanding, and they held on to win by four points and claim their place in the final to be held in the Athletic Grounds, Armagh on the 6th of March.
St Paul’s scorers: S Geraghty (0-5), O Magee (1-2), B McCambridge (0-4), G Reid, C Turbitt, C Sheehy (1-1 each) A Mulholland (0-1)
Tiarnan Kelly (Clann Eireann), Rory Shine (Clann Eireann), Tiarnan O’ Neill (St Peter’s), Jack Lenehan (St Mary’s), Eoin McCloskey (Eire Og), Sean McAlinden (Sarsfields), Paul Mulholland (St Mary’s), Emmet Reid (Eire Og), Barry McCambridge (Clann Eireann), Conor Turbitt (Clann Eireann), Cormac Sheehy (Clann Eireann), Aodhan McConville (Clann Eireann), Shea Geraghty (St Paul’s), Odhran Magee (Wolfe Tones), Jamie Lamont (St Mary’s).
Subs: Conor McDonald (Clann Eireann), Aodhan Mulholland (St Mary’s), Eoin McConville (St Paul’s), Ruairi McConville (Clann Eireann), Niall Skelton (Sarsfields), Owen Mulholland (Clann Eireann), Ryan Meehan (Clann Eireann), Niall Loney (Clan-na-Gael), Mark McAfee (St Mary’s), Jamie Lamont (St Mary,s), Jack Haddock (Clann Eireann), Liam McVeigh (Wolfe Tones), Lee Haughian (St Paul’s), Oliver McConville (Wolfe Tones), Shane Lavery (St Mary’s).