St Michael’s hold off Cavan comeback in MacLarnon Cup

St Michael’s Lurgan 2-10 St Patrick’s Cavan 2-9

Monday, 25th February 2013, 4:10 pm

IN the Danske Bank MacLarnon Cup quarter-final last Tuesday St Michael’s Lurgan held off a brave fight back from St Patrick’s Cavan to advance to the semi-final where they will once again meet St Eunan’s Letterkenny as they did back in 2007.

Back then a Michael Murphy inspired Donegal side advanced to the final at the expense of the Lurgan school.

In this pulsating quarter-final tie goals from Tir na Nog’s Pádraig Judge in either half helped them to a seven point lead at one stage, but Cavan fought back to leave the north Armagh boys clinging on as the clock ran out.

Judge’s opening goal came in the 9th minute after a long delivery from John Magee was knocked down by Ruairi Loughran and put his side 1-2 to 0-1 up, a lead they maintained through the opening half, although three points from the impressive Ryan Connolly left it 1-5 to 0-5 at the break. St Michael’s points came from the impressive Loughran (2), Magee (2) and a lovely point on the run from Diarmuid O Hagan.

Drew McKenna was beginning to get to grips with Cavan’s star player, Connolly and this certainly blunted their attack. On the re-start James McDade picked out Judge with a beautiful pass and the other corner-forward’s finish was exquisite. With Ruairi Loughran adding a point, Lurgan looked very comfortable, ahead by 2-6 to 0-5.

In defence Shea Heffron playing as an extra defender along with Jason Rogers and Adam Kelly were ably assisted by Eoin McCabrey and Aaron Casey. Lurgan’s tackling from their forwards was fierce and this ensured that they were looking strong defensively. However Cavan abandoned the sweeper system, went toe-to-toe up front for the rest of the match and almost pulled off a victory.

Sean O’Kane pointed to start the come-back and Connolly stroked home a controversial 39th minute penalty, harshly awarded for a foot block, to really put the show on the road.

Lurgan managed to hit back with a well worked point from Alex Mackey and kept responding over the next 15 minutes. Any Cavan score was matched by scores from Ruairi Loughran,

Declan Heaney, Eoin McCabrey and Paudie Judge. This however was to be St Michael’s last score and when substitute Conaty found the net and then tagged on a point it left the minimum between the teams.

But time ran out on the Breffni boys with Lurgan going through to face St Eunan’s Letterkenny with the date fixed for Tues 26th at 2.00pm in Errigal Ciaran, Ballygawley

St Michael’s: Jack Wilson, Jason Rogers, Shea Heffron, Adam Kelly, Aaron Casey, Drew McKenna, Eoin McCabrey 0-1, Oisin Lenehan, Jonathan Torode, John Magee 0-2, Diarmuid O’Hagan 0-1, Alex Mackey 0-1, Padraig Judge 2-1, Ruairi Loughran 0-4, James McDade.

Subs: Declan Heaney 0-1 for J Magee, Michael Toland for J Torode, Niall O’Neill for D O’Hagan

St Patrick’s : Thomas Kelly, Odhrán Duffy, Philip Bogue, Dermot Reilly, Fiachra McGoldrick 0-1, Cian Monaghan, David Shalvey, Senan Gilchreesc, Matthew McKenna, Pearse Smyth 0-1, Ryan Connolly 1-3, Caoimhin O’Reilly, Sean O’Kane 0-2, Sean Tierney 0-1, Cian McManus.

Subs: Thomas Galligan for S Gilchreesc, Ben Conaty 1-1 for S Tierney, Conor Bates for F McGoldrick, Niall McHugh for O Duffy.