Sunday 17 December 2017

Gough inspires Colman's march to victory

St Colman's Newry 1-14
Omagh CBS 1-8
Dr MacRory Cup final

A final flurry of points swept St Colman's, Newry, to victory in an entertaining final as they defeated Omagh CBS at Casement Park yesterday.

With towering Niall McParland and man of the match Connor Gough controlling midfield, the winners' attack got an ample supply of the ball but still shot nine first-half wides and added another five during the second period.

McParland and Gough weren't the only stars of the Newry victory as players from all over the field shone, with Paul Lively, Jerome and Ryan Johnston, Chris Clarke and Colin Stevenson all hitting form.

In contrast, Omagh relied more on individual efforts with only Ronan O'Neill a real danger up front. Ryan O'Neill and Thomas Canavan worked hard in the centre of defence but with Newry's midfield dominance, they needed greater support around them.

Ronan O'Neill was Omagh's sole first-half scorer and his excellent goal, as he slipped a defender on the end line, in the 15th minute put CBS ahead, 1-1 to 0-3. But four unanswered points put St Colman's 0-7 to 1-1 ahead at the break.

Two minutes after the restart, Caolan Mooney scored a decisive goal for St Colman's. He was sent inside by Colin Stevenson and carefully picked his spot just inside the right-hand post.

Omagh responded and points by John McCullagh, substitute Steafan Tierney and Ronan O'Neill wiped out the Newry goal. McParland stopped the Newry slide, but Ryan Lynch and Conor Clarke closed the gap to the minimum at 1-7 to 1-6 on 44 minutes.

It was then that the winners really showed their class. They played great possession football and in the last quarter rifled over seven points -- four of which came in the last six minutes -- to just two in reply, as St Colman's clinched the title for the 18th time in their history.

SCORERS -- St Colman's: J Johnston 0-5, C Mooney 1-2, N McParland, C Clarke (0-2f), R Johnston 0-2 each, C Stevenson 0-1. Omagh CBS: Ronan O'Neill 1-2, R Lynch 0-2, C Clarke, J McCullagh, S Tierney, T Canavan 0-1 each.

St COLMAN'S -- M McNeice; S McGreevy, N Donnelly, R Lively; R Johnston, P Hillen, P Lively; N McParland, C Gough; D O'Hare, C Clarke, C Mooney; C Stevenson, J Johnston, T McGreevy. Subs: R McGarry for O'Hare (37); S McCartan for McGreevy (47).

OMAGH CBS -- R Clarke; S Mullan, Ryan O'Neill, D Bradley; N Sludden, T Canavan, D Connolly; C Grugan, S Warnock; C Clarke, Ronan O'Neill, A O'Donnell; J McCullagh, C McCullagh, C MacCrory. Subs: S Tierney for C McCullagh (23), R Lynch for Bradley (35).

REF -- P McEneaney (Monaghan).

Irish Independent

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