Maghera reach Leonard Cup final
Danske Bank Leonard Cup semi-final
St Patrick’s Maghera 1-10 St Killian’s Garron Tower 1-1
THERE was plenty of honest endeavour in this Danske Bank Leonard Cup semi-final in Ballymena yesterday, but not too many scores as free-taker Peter McCullagh steered St Patrick’s Maghera into a final against St Mary’s CBGS Belfast in early January.
In the first half Maghera faced the wind and a very determined St Killian’s team who dominated general play, yet went in at the break two points in arrears.
A goal from Colm McKeegan was followed by a free from Pádraig McKillop, but really they could have been further ahead after 20 minutes although John V Morgan in goals was needed to rescue them as well.
The goal that beat him was a shot from Thomas McKeagney that came through a maze of players to reach the bottom corner.
Maghera therefore turned over with a two points’ lead and, with breeze in their favour, there was more intensity early in the second half.
However the Tower boys, particularly Odhrán Gillan, McKillop, Archie McSparran and Seanie McIntosh matched that intensity and Maghera relied on Peter McCullagh from frees.
He hit the target six times from placed balls during the second half with James Friel, their top performer on the day, taking their only score from open play at the half way point in the McCullagh show.
St Killian’s struggled for scoring efforts against the stiff breeze and can have no complaint about the result, while Maghera’s sharpness will need to improve ahead of the New Year showdown with St Mary’s.
St Patrick’s: Thomas McKeagney 1-1, Peter McCullagh 0-7 frees, Jody McDermott 0-1, James Friel 0-1.
St Killian’s : Colm McKeegan 1-0, Pádraig McKillop 0-1 free.