Second Herald Cup for St Paul’s

November 27, 2012

Danske Bank Herald Cup final : St Paul’s Bessbrook 2-7 St Joseph’s Crossmaglen 1-2

St Paul’s Bessbrook won their second Danske Bank Herald Cup with a 2-7 to 1-2 derby win over St Joseph’s, Crossmaglen at the Athletic Grounds on Saturday. The 8 point winning margin was in the end quite flattering against wasteful opponents who hit seven first half wides and opted for goals in the final quarter when points were there for the taking.

Two minutes into the game Miceal McCabe pointed St Joseph’s into a short lived lead as Ryan Hughes quickly leveled. St Paul’s took the lead they were never to surrender when full-forward Paul Quinn got the games third point. The game turned on 12 minutes as Jarlath Og Burns fired the ball past goalkeeper and fellow Silverbridge clubman David Garvey to give the Bessbrook side a telling advantage. Indeed Burns was the pivotal player for St Paul’s as he exercise a strong influence on proceedings in both halves of the match. St Joseph’s response to the goal was immediate with their second point coming from half forward Pauric Mackin but from then to the short whistle the Crossmaglen based outfit squandered numerous opportunities to eat into the deficit which stood at 1-4 to 0-2 at the break following a fourth point for the leaders from  the boot of Caolan McConville.

Jarlath Og put the opposition firmly on the back foot with the opening two points of the second half before capping off a super performance by finding his corner forward Paul Quinn with a great delivery which he dispatched to the net to open up a 10 point lead 2-6 to 0-2. St Joseph’s needed something to happen as the game was slipping away from them and full-forward Paul Quinn threw them a lifeline as he shot past Barry John McCourt to raise a green flag. Little did we know that despite all their second half possession this was to be the only score recorded by the losers for the half. Indeed when the winners replied to the goal with a second point from midfielder Caolan McConville it was to be the last score of the match with still one quarter left to play.

St Joseph’s prompted throughout with forceful play in particular from Johnny McKeever and Phelim McArdle could not find their way through a very resolute Bessbrook rearguard in which the full-back line of  Ryle O’Hanlon, Kyle Mallon and Declan Loye repelled everything that was thrown at them in that scoreless last 15 minutes. As the game came to its conclusion it became evident that the winners were comfortably in control in defending their lead, with the losers seeing goals as their only means of getting back into contention. In the end it was the two goals from St Paul’s which gave them the decisive edge to claim their second Herald Cup in what could be a momentous year on the Gaelic fields for the school.

St Paul’s : Barry John McCourt, Ryle O’Hanlon, Kyle Mallon, Declan Loye, Ryan Gaskin, Mark McCabe, James Robinson, Caolan McConville 0-2, 0-1 free, Cathal Boylan, Ryan Hughes 0-2, David Grant, Jarlath óg Burns 1-2, Miceal McNamee capt., Cathal McArdle, Paul Quinn 1-1.

Subs : Niall Canning for D Loye (10), Richard Keenan for J Robinson inj. (42), Joshua Durnin for R Hughes (50), Ferdiad Ó Gribin for P Quinn (59).

St Joseph’s : David Garvey, Sean Garvey, Declan Reel, Shane Farrelly, Johnny McKeever, Phelim McArdle, Daniel Cunningham, Francis O’Rourke, Tiernan Gonnelly, Pauric Mackin 0-1, Eoghan McDonald, Jack McArdle, Miceal McCabe 0-1, Peter Quinn 1-0, PJ McCann capt.

Subs : Tiernan Thornton for F O’Rourke inj. (40), Stephen Morris for E McDonald (44), Conor Traynor for D Cunningham (55).

Referee : Cathal O’Hagan.