St.Paul’s Lurgan 5-8 Abbey Vocational School 3-11
ST. PAUL’S Lurgan bridged a 12 year gap at Brewster Park, Enniskillen on Tuesday afternoon by winning their third Ulster Bank Vocational Schools McDevitt Cup after defeating Donegal champions Abbey Vocational.
It was a superb contest from start to finish between two well prepared sides and while St.Paul’s deserved their victory they were pushed right to the wire by gallant opponents. St Paul’s win was based on a watertight defence where Tiarnan O’Neill at full back was outstanding and with Jack Lenehan and Sean McAlinden keeping a tight grip on the Abbey attack, scoring chances were kept to a minimum. Barry McCambridge and Emmet Reid were in control of midfield and got the Armagh champions got off to a dream start with centre half forward Sheehy hitting the net inside the opening minute. McCambridge then added a point and in the fifth minute while Shane Lavery grabbed St. Paul’s second goal.
Abbey were in a state of shock but recovered with centre half Jack Keaney, who finished with 2-7, opening their account from a free before he scored a goal in the next attack. It was an explosive start to the game and that continued with Sheehy getting his second goal via the post after only eight minutes. That left six between the sides and it was a gap that was to remain for most of the game. Turbitt and O’Grady had points for their respective sides as St.Paul’s led 3-3 to 1-4 at the interval.
Conor Turbitt and Shea Geraghty continued to catch the eye in the Lurgan attack before Emmett Reid and McCambridge added to their lead on the restart. Excellent work by Turbitt saw Sheehy put through to complete his hat-trick in the 40th minute. To their credit though Abbey refused to throw in the towel with Keaney and Meehan landing points before a free from the former was dropped by keeper Tiarnan Kelly into the net.
Only three points separated the sides but with a minute to go McCambridge converted a penalty after Lavery had been fouled. Abbey came straight up the field for Meehan to get a goal but in a frantic finish St.Paul’s held out to grab the glory.
St.Paul’s Lurgan – T Kelly, R Shine, T O’Neill, J Lenehan, E McCloskey, S McAlinden, P Mulholland, E Reid [0-1], B McCambridge [1-2], C Turbitt [0-1], C Sheehy [3-0], A McConville, S Geraghty [0-2], O Magee [0-2], S Lavery [1-0]. Sub: A Mulholland for Shine.